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CHAIRMAN: We are all aware that Archbishop Tutu, who is the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has undergone surgery and is being treated at a clinic in Cape Town. He is the Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and in many ways, the spiritual head, if I may put it that way, of the TRC. On behalf of the members of the Committee and perhaps on behalf of the members of the community at large, I would like to express our hope and wish that he makes a speedy recovery from this illness. The second point on which I would like to make a comment is that it may not be known to interested parties that representatives of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee, who are vitally interested in the proceedings, are here and their representatives will be here throughout these hearings. We have with us this morning Professor Piet Meiring of the R&R Committee and Mr Joe Japhta who will be present throughout the hearing and Mr Tom Umtanta. The purpose of making this announcement is for applicants, their witnesses, victims, dependents and relatives of victims who are here or who may be here, to be advised that such assistance and counselling as they may require in these difficult matters will be provided by members of the R&R Committee and that as soon as it is possible, either now or during the short adjournment, legal representatives should convey this to their respective clients and witnesses that should they require counselling or assistance, that will be made available and that they themselves make contact with these representatives. They are here to the left as you will see, Professor Meiring, Mr Japhta and Mr Umtanta. Thank you. Mr Mpshe?
MR MPSHE:: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman today as I have indicated to you is 20 January 1997, a continuation in the hearing on applications of Dirk Johannes Coetzee et al. Mr Chairman the sequence, as already arranged with the legal representatives, that we are going to hear matter No 6 and thereafter matter No 7 Mr Chairman.
MR MPSHE:: Of comrade A Mr Chairman, it will be the first matter that involves both applicant Dirk Coetzee and Almond Nofomela Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman may I just put it on record that the comrade A is a code name, the full names of the person are General Khothatso Christopher Moloi. He is a General in the South African military. Mr Chairman he has been served with the form 2 notice and I have been in telephonic contact with him since last year, December, wherein he indicated that he would make himself available. I have the return of service with me Mr Chairman but I have not seen him as yet in the hearing room. Thank you Mr Chairman. He has not arrived. I will then Mr Chairman hand over to (indistinct) for first applicant.
MR JANSEN:: Thank you Mr Chairman, honourable members of the Committee. Before I call the applicant, as far as the 6th matter of applicant Coetzee's application is concerned, the relevant facts are found on page 12 of the application before this Committee and on page 89 of the applicant's manuscript which I believe is evidence book No 1 before you, it's in paragraph 220.127.116.11 thereof. Further, the page in the manuscript is page 89, paragraph 18.104.22.168 and page 12 of the application before this Committee.
ANSWER:: Mr Chairperson during 1981, towards the second half of 81, I was requested by my officer commanding, Brigadier Willem Schoon, to report at the Regional Security Police offices in Bloemfontein under which Lesotho fell as far as so-called ANC activities and revolutionary activities in Lesotho was concerned. I did report to Colonel Coetzee, who was then Officer Commanding in the Regional Office where I also met with W/O Hendrik Prinsloo and was briefed to report to the branch office at Ladybrand, near Maseru Bridge, where Captain Louw was in charge for surveillance operation in the Maseru Bridge area on the Lesotho border. I did proceed to Ladybrand where I reported, and set up base at Van Rooyenshek border gate in a vacant police house.
ANSWER:: Weppenar in the Free State Mr Chairperson. In the days whilst I was there at a stage I was called by Captain Louw and a message relayed to me that there was an ANC cadre withe MK name comrade A based in Lesotho and I should put a plan in operation to eliminate him, assassinate him.
ANSWER:: I was Mr Chairperson, amongst others Almond Nofomela and David Tshikalanga and I can't remember exactly which of the other team members were present. For the purpose of the operation a Valiant motor car was made available to me and a black police member of the Ladybrand Security Branch was allocated to me to assist Almond Nofomela, whom I chose, to execute the operation. I issued them with firearms and a Russian hand grenade from the arsenal in the boot of my police vehicle. The idea was that the member of Ladybrand Security Police who accompanied Almond would point out the house and comrade A, upon which I suggested that they knock at the front door and when he opens, shoot him and throw the hand grenade into the house. They did proceed to Lesotho and that evening reported back that they shot at comrade A through the window of his house.
ANSWER:: I did Mr Chairperson to the Ladybrand, Captain Louw, Branch Commander where he was also personally briefed by or they were de-briefed by him as one of his own personnel was also involved, as I said, as I indicated. Branch Commander, Security Branch, Ladybrand, Captain Louw.
ANSWER:: In the context of the security operations that I was involved in, all of them, the Regional Office instructions and picking specific targets always came from the Regional Office and was passed on to the Branch Office, but in this specific case, as I say the message was relayed to me as coming from the Regional Office.
ANSWER:: The officer responsible for the ANC desk in this specific country - Lesotho - was at the time W/O Prinsloo, Hendrik Prinsloo, of course in consultation and with the final decision of his Regional Commander who was Colonel
ANSWER:: Not at all Mr Chairperson, I didn't work with any files or was involved in any collecting of information as far as the freedom organisations were concerned. I was on the operational side only.
ANSWER:: Well I accepted it in context of the Security Police operational side, with so many people involved I knew that if it was at all any private enterprise it would never could have happened with the people involved at regional level in the Orange Free State, at branch level at Ladybrand and with me reporting back at Security Police Headquarters.
ANSWER:: That the name of the person and as I say I haven't, I didn't see the exact spelling of it, it was just mentioned to me something in the line of... (impossible to transcribe)... or something like that, I can't pronounce it. So the spelling in my manuscript is on hearing the name only, not seeing it how it's spelt.
this paragraph 5.4, page 90, book 1, paragraph 22.214.171.124.7 this you also confirmed in your evidence that the specific instructions you gave to them was that they should knock at the door and when he opens, they must fire and throw a hand grenade?
my duty to do the after assessment of the success of the operation afterwards, that would have come from the Ladybrand branch office through the Free State/Bloemfontein Regional Office to headquarters, a full report on the final result and outcome of the operation. The name was of no meaning to me at all and I've never met or seen the target Mr Chairperson....an ANC operative with the code name "comrade A".
ANSWER:: Well Mr Chairperson, in strict theory it could have been possible that it was not, but because of the number of officers and persons involved and my reporting back in context in the job that I was employed and the experience that I had, it was impossible to execute an individual, a private operation of that magnitude into a foreign country, with the risks attached to it, being caught amongst other things without the necessary knowledge and back-up from as high up as Security Police headquarters. There is examples in my operations where this in fact happened, if for instance I could remind the Commission of the abduction of Joe Pillay(?) where action was immediately taken two days after the incident and in fact even on the Sunday from Department of Foreign Affairs level and from General Johan Coetzee who was then the Regional, the headquarters security commander in Pretoria.
ANSWER:: Well I can report that the shooting did took place and as I say, the postmortem of the operation is then done as I did not collect any information on the target or assess the target, in the same way it was not my job to assess the result of the specific operation. That was done by the branch office and feedback was given through the regional office to security police headquarters.
ANSWER:: I did and it was not thrown Mr Chairperson, the circumstances apparently was not favourable as we planned. As I say, I can only give them a broad outline of the operation, but eventually it is left in their hands on the scene according to circumstances awaiting them on the scene to decide whether they could execute the whole instruction or just part of it.
ANSWER:: I did say so at the time Mr Chairperson, this was in 1989/1990 when I have written this document. I left the country without any notes, I had to rely on memory only and since then during the Harms Commissions and all the other
inquiries, documents were submitted and I of course had the opportunity to speak to Almond and Tshikalanga and I've learned that they did not throw the hand grenade. I was not sure at the time when I left the country, as I said I had to rely on memory only.
ANSWER:: No but he would have been able to tell me what Nofomela said, I can't remember which one exactly but Almond for sure. Tjekelanga was with me on the border but did not go on this specific operation with Nofomela.(End of side 1a)
ANSWER:: Mr Chairperson if you would allow me I would just like I believe comrade A is present here this morning to just extend my extreme apology to him and say to him that I'm glad that I can look him in the face this morning and apologise to him and not like some of my other victims, where the operation was successful, to the extent - if you can call it successful - where people was killed and I could not, I cannot face them today and say I'm really sorry.
MR NOFOMELA: What I remember, Sir, is that he said that there was someone in Lesotho. I cannot remember the name he gave, but he is a member of the ANC and it is someone who should be killed and I was with Jantjies from Ladybrand Special Branch. He gave me a 9mm weapon, I cannot remember whether it was a 7.65 or what, but it was a 9mm and Jantjies was also given a firearm. I cannot remember the hand grenade. I cannot remember, although he mentioned something about a hand grenade. We were to go to Lesotho and when we got there we were to kill this person, whose name I cannot remember, but when they mentioned Comrade A it sounds familiar.
MR NOFOMELA: We were in a blue Valiant, which I had brought from Vlakplaas, myself and David Chikalanga. We used the Maseru border gates, myself and Jantjies, and we went through the Maseru border gates and we went to this place. It was dark by then, it was late evening, and we went there carrying these firearms. We jumped over the fence. We entered the premises from the backyard and if I remember correctly it was L-shaped and there was a door which we were supposed to knock at and Jantjies was walking in front and I was walking behind him. When we came near this door he said, "There he is sitting at the table". There was a big window in front of us and when he finished saying that he started firing immediately. I was behind him and I couldn't shoot from behind him, I had to get next to him in order to shoot. When he finished shooting and he turned around I started firing as well in the direction in which he was firing although I didn't see anyone any longer. And we then ran back to the vehicle and we passed through the border gates again. It was closing by the time we went through. When we got back we reported back to Captain Dirk Coetzee. And I cannot remember who he was with when we came back from the border, and that is what happened.
MR NOFOMELA: Sir, the way in which this whole thing happened is that we were supposed to get there and go to the door and Jantjies had already spotted him before we got to the door and he started firing. When I asked him thereafter why we didn't knock he said that it was possible that there were other people besides him inside because when we got there and he was saying, "There he is", there were people sitting next to him at the table. So when I asked him why we did not knock, I asked him when we had left already, he said no, it was possible that there were other people there who - we could endanger ourselves that way.
MR NOFOMELA: Jantjies was well-known at those border gates at Maseru and going with him through those border gates was a great advantage because the two of us went through and we weren't asked any questions, nobody bothered us and even coming back I was with him and on our way back they were
MR JANSEN: On that mission that you were involved in into countries like Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, was explosives taken on some of those missions? Could you say whether it was taken as a general rule or not?
MR NOFOMELA: Sir, when an operation was being executed, what I do remember is that I never used explosives besides a firearm. It is possible that the person accompanying me could have carried it, but I do not remember myself using any.
CHAIRMAN: Gentlemen, I trust that the time that was afforded to you to discuss amongst yourselves how the need for the leading of certain evidence may be curtailed has been achieved and, if so, I think we should place that on record.
MR MPSHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman and members of the Committee. Firstly, we are indebted to the Committee's indulgence in allowing us the time to look into our papers. We have identified matters wherein the confirmation will be done as agreed in chambers, and they are as follows, and this will be in the Dirk Coetzee application only. I just mention the numbers. That will be matter No 7, No 8, No 12 and matter No 1. We have included matter No 11, but this we are keeping in abeyance pending information I have been promised by the Investigative Unit this afternoon. If I do not get the information this afternoon then matter No 11 will also be included under those where evidence is not going to be led.
MR JANSEN: I confirm that, Mr Chairman. I just wish to add that my learned friend Mr Mpshe also told me that he was awaiting instructions on matter No 2 in Mr Coetzee's application, the matter of Dhlamini and Mavuso.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, there are matters wherein Mr Nofomela is alone where Mr Dirk Coetzee and others are not involved, hence the applications are separated, separately bound. So the numbering is not a continuation of the other matters.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, yes. As far as I understood from my learned friend we would be dealing with those matters where we are going to lead evidence first, and then when we get to that point where we will start just leading brief confirmatory evidence, that we will then place that on record. I can do so at this stage already, because I have the notes.
Mr Chairman, as far as incident No 1 is concerned in Mr Coetzee's application, the bombing in Manzini, it is found in the manuscript, Evidence Book No 1, at paragraph 126.96.36.199 on page 95 of the manuscript. And as far as No 7 is concerned, that is found, the Swazi detainee, that is found on paragraph 188.8.131.52, of the manuscript, page 87, and I think it is page 17 of the numbered pages of the paginated papers of the present application.
MR JANSEN: That was the matter we just led evidence about, the Comrade A matter. Then matter No 8 is found in the manuscript at page 94, paragraph 184.108.40.206, and matter No 12, the Manzini Post Office bomb, page 54 of the manuscript, paragraph 220.127.116.11.
Then the two matters in which we are awaiting instructions, that may possibly be dealt with in this manner, is matter No 2 in the application Peter Dhlamini and Selby Mavuso, that is found in the manuscript on page 108, paragraph 18.104.22.168.
MR JANSEN: It is typed page 15, in other words paginated page 19. And then finally matter No 11, which is in the manuscript on page 103 paragraph 22.214.171.124. In the application it is typed page 21 of the Annexure and therefore page 25 of the paginated papers. So those are the issues that will be dealt with by way of confirmatory evidence. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, the situation with regard to the applicant, Mr Nofomela, is correct as stated by my learned friend, Mr Mpshe. I am not in possession of this manuscript that is being referred to. Apparently that was compiled before the application for Mr Nofomela was received by the Commission therefore his application is not contained in it. But the paragraphs referred to by my learned friend all appear in the Annexure annexed to the affidavit by Mr Nofomela.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman and members, just to clarify the question of affidavits. Further submissions were submitted and the affidavits counsel is referring to are not included in the application. These are further submissions that were sent which are going to be given to the Committee members when the compilation is completed.
MR MPSHE: Definitely they are not there. Mr Chairman, if that is agreed upon, we further agreed that we start with matter No 9 in the Dirk Coetzee application on page 21, paginated page 21, because the victim is present at this moment. We felt we could dispose of this while she is available. This has been agreed upon.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman at any particular stage, whatever is most appropriate, it's just that it would need some introductory evidence to explain the origins of the manuscript and the circumstances that was written under and then how it relates to the application itself, to the extent if there are any differences how those came about. So I would think it could then be appropriately be done at any stage after the present matter we're going to deal with.
JUDGE WILSON:: Before he comes, there is one question I would like to ask. Mr Nofomela gave evidence about the previous matter, the shooting in Maseru. Could you just give me the number of that in his application?
ANSWER:: It was not personally known to me, it was the base from where the Vlakplaas group that operated in the Western Transvaal under Captain Koos Vermeulen, who worked under me, operated from, very near to Kopfontein hek border gate, a kilometre or three away.
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman no, it was a friendly farmer, it was on the first, it's fairly a straight road coming from Botswana through to South Africa, the road makes, after a kilometre or three, a turn towards Zeerust and on that turn is a high ridge on your left-hand side of the road running across I would say the direction in which you are travelling, that road is travelling. I know in the 1981's there was a shoot-out between freedom fighters and the police in this ridge right behind the farmer's house, but I can specifically go and point out this farm, I will still get it, it is as I say it was used as a permanent base by one of my groups, the Western Transvaal group, led by Captain Koos Vermeulen. The border gate into Botswana at that point is called Kopfontein border gate.
with Captain Rudy Kraus of Zeerust security branch, under which security branch the area of Gaberone fell as far as ANC collecting of information and the electing of targets in the area is concerned. I also met up with Captain Jan Coetzee, the officer who took over from me at Vlakplaas, but at that stage was still with West Rand Security based at Krugersdorp under the Regional Office of West Rand. The Zeerust Security Office was under the Western Transvaal Regional Office which is Potchefstroom. With them was Joe Mamasela and Koos Vermeulen was on the farm. At the farm the target house was explained the exact place where this house was in Gaberone, was detailed to us by Captain Jan Coetzee and Rudy Kraus and also a layout of the house, a plan of the house where each bedroom is and where Rola apparently slept. In the south-eastern corner was a bedroom where he slept and it was also told to us that if a bakkie, a 1 400 Datsun bakkie was parked in front of the house or next to the house, then Rola would be home. I then first sent Almond Nofomela and Joe Mamasela in with a police bakkie, a Cortina 3 litre bakkie, with false registration plates which I thought at the time. They went for a reconnaissance during the daytime, in the afternoon of 26 November 1981. When they returned I then went in to do a reconnaissance of the area and the house and came back to the farm. At 7:45 that night, the border post closes at 8 o'clock, Koos, I instructed Joe Mamasela to take the bakkie through the border gate into Botswana and drive to Gaberone, coming back at about 9 o'clock to pick us up, after the rest of the team would have crossed over the border fence. The team consisted of myself, Captain Koos Vermeulen, W/O Paul Van Dyk, Captain Rudy Kraus and Captain Jan Coetzee as well
as Joe, Almond Nofomela and David Tshikalanga. Joe was already in at that stage then. We crossed the fence as discussed and at 9 o'clock that evening, Joe came back and picked us up. At the point where he picked us up, Captain Rudy Kraus and Captain Jan Coetzee stayed behind as markers so that we could coming back flashing our lights they would get into the road and show us the way where we could branch off to the right of the border post coming from Botswana to South Africa and cut the fence and get back into South Africa through the cut border fence. As we entered into Gaberone, I left Paul Van Dyk and David Tsekelanga with the bakkie about one and half street blocks away under a tree, from the target house, whilst Koos Vermeulen and myself with Almond Nofomela and Joe Mamasela proceeded to the house on the corner, right next to the target house. At that stage, right in front of the target house was a disco or a party going and there was a lot of people in the street and the dogs at the corner house were barking at us and I then saw that a storm was building up and decided to wait for the storm to break and use that as a cover for after the people have been chased into the house and the dogs into the kennels by the rain. This happened round about midnight when thunder and lightening broke out and heavy rains. There was a power failure in the area in the town and we got up and walked down the street into the front gate, past the bakkie which was parked at the back of the little verandah at the back of the house. I've asked Koos Vermeulen to take position at the south-eastern window of the bedroom and fire towards the street, away from us, whilst we would go into the house and fire in the other direction. As we were still discussing of how to, how next would we break the door
down now two women entered the kitchen with a lit candle and opened the back door. Joe grabbed one of the women and closed her mouth and shot at her at point blank. I heard someone drop to the cement like a bag of bones and the other woman turned and ran into the house. Shots were fired at her in, and at a stage I pushed Almond and Joe Mamasela aside, entered the house and shot with a sub-machine gun, a HMK with which Koos Vermeulen also had one issued, with a silencer on and a canvas bag to pick up, to pick up the empty shells that they don't drop on the scene. With that I then fired. Koos Vermeulen was also instructed to hurl a hand grenade through the bedroom window and after the shooting then we started running towards the back fence of the house, past Koos Vermeulen and at that stage he didn't fire one shot as yet. I don't know whether he then did a small, a few rounds on the room but for sure he did not throw the hand grenade. We got over the back fence into the street, into the street at the back of the house, ran to the bakkie and left for Kopfontein border gate whilst it was heavily raining. I should just mention also that Joe Mamasela and Almond Nofomela was armed with a Tokarev and a Makarov, if I remember right, respectively. Approaching the border gate, flashing the lights, Rudy and Kraus and Jan Coetzee came out of the veld, stopped us, we branched off to the right of the road and eventually found our way through the mud and whatever, cutting the border fences, three of them, there were three - the main border and then on each side of that specific borderline was also a smaller fence. Cut the three and went back to the farm where we re-grouped. Joe Mamasela was sure that the woman he shot was Joyce Dibali and it was that she was dead. My conclusion would
be after reading evidence in the end, a statement by Mrs Dibali that she was actually the one who ran into the house and that the one that collapsed on the cement on the back verandah must have fainted or something, or emulated a fainting, and that is why I was so sure that she was shot, because Joe was so sure. It later proved that Mrs Dibali ended up with three wounds, I don't know whether it was actual bullet wounds or shrapnel wounds and I don't know exactly what the injuries was of the woman that fell on the back verandah which was held in Joe's arms.
QUESTION:: The statement that you refer to, which to some extent disagrees with your manuscript, is that the statement that was handed in at the Harms Commission by Ms Dibali which she had made more or less at the time of the incident?
ANSWER:: It was after I testified in London and the incident wasn't(?) denied at all and then at a later stage one of the advocates appearing for one of the parties, Advocate Paul Pretorius, uncovered these documents from the Botswana police and handed it in, which in fact proved what I told about our entering Botswana was true and in which statement Mrs Dibali confirmed that she recognised Joe Mamasela as one of the guys being present. I first saw it of course recently when it, when we prepared for this specific case but when I was testifying in April at the Harms Commission, it was as yet not handed in at the Commission as evidence.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman I have a Bundle of documents which emanate from the Harms Commission which relate to the Dibali incident. My Annexures at this stage go up until F, so this would I imagine be G. Mr Chairman you would note that there is firstly a, there are some documents which briefly
explain to the Harms Commission what was known about the incident at the time and that is followed by certain documents which is a medical examination of Ms Dibali, a registration document of a vehicle and then certain border crossing documentation of the Republic of Botswana and those documents are then followed by the statement, the actual statement of Ms Dibali. If we could then HAND THIS UP as EXHIBIT G.
ANSWER:: It goes through the branch office, Rudy Kraus at Zeerust, the regional office or branch office at West Rand where Captain Jan Coetzee worked, through the regional office in Krugersdorp and of course Rudy Kraus through his regional office in Potchefstroom would have compiled a report which then eventually went in detail to headquarters after all the facts, the so-called results of the operation
ANSWER:: That he in person, together with Joe Mamasela will accompany me to the back door of the house from where we will then burst into the house and that he should shoot anyone in sight inside the house who would come, we would come upon or that would come onto us.
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman during my time in exile I could not remember it at all, apart from the fact that Captain Koos Vermeulen one afternoon picked up a hitchhiker on the road towards Zeerust which eventually proved to be an ANC cadre. As a result of that shooting, as a result of that pick-up a shooting ensued a day or two thereafter in this ridge behind the farmhouse where Koos Vermeulen was staying. The Dibali, that it was this specific Dibali I don't know, did not know anything about it. There was also allegations about a Dibali being abducted from Soweto by Almond and Joe Mamasela. I could not remember that in exile after being reminded about it when, amongst my return I just could remember the fact that during an abduction in Soweto Almond's private car - a Mazda - was used and because the registration number was taken by witnesses on the scene and the police eventually got to the registering address where the vehicle was arrested, at his mother's place I think, we then decided to hide the vehicle. That I only could remember afterwards but I did not tie that specific incident up with the Botswana raid, well even up to now I can't remember ever seeing this Dibali person that was abducted.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: For the sake of clarity, this incident is the applicant seeking amnesty in respect of, I'm looking at the application, page 21 "conspiracy to murder Mrs Joyce Dibali and her husband" and also "attempted murder in respect of Joyce and her husband"?
expect mainly to go for two targets who is living in that house, Joyce and Rola Dibali. There is of course always a possibility of other people being in the house too which as proved in the past and other incidents unfortunately their lives were also then sort of not saved, it's decisions that had to be taken on the spur of the moment and it was difficult to select targets at night where you were in a hurry to just kill and get away safely out of that neighbouring country.
QUESTION:: Do you then agree with me further that if that is the case that this woman was just an innocent person, this woman had nothing to do with the political motivation the applicants referred to or you refer to here?
QUESTION:: Yes. You told us in evidence that the specific instruction you gave to Mamasela and others is that they must enter the house and shoot at anyone they find in the house. Did I quote you correctly?
other ANC cadres that would be in that house, as it was apparently used for that purpose as transit and house ANC cadres, other ANC cadres, it would be very difficult to say only concentrate on two targets while there might be three other ANC cadres in the house, armed to the teeth and you get shot in the back. So unfortunately in an operation of that kind it's very difficult to say take that target and don't touch that one. So the easiest way is shoot at sight anybody in that house that would approach you or you would come upon.
ANSWER:: Well as I say, the idea or what was going through my head and what was explained to me what the house was used for, anyone in that house would 99% sure be connected with the African National Congress and involved in ANC activities.
ANSWER:: "Occupants of an ANC house in Gaberone", I think uppermost in my mind was the names of Joyce and Rola Dibali, but except as I say always that anyone present in the house could be armed, the house was used for ANC purposes and you can be shot if you start identifying targets it takes a long time, specific persons in the house and to separate them from other people in the house, you could end up dead because the house was used for ANC activities.
QUESTION:: Your application says that you were instructed to go, you were on a plan to go and kill Joyce Dibali and her husband and they are not the same. I want to know precisely the nature of your instructions?
ANSWER:: The instruction at headquarters was to proceed, by Brigadier Schoon, to proceed to the farm near Kopfontein where I will be briefed on this specific issue by Captain Jan Coetzee and Captain Rudy Krause.
ANSWER:: Well that was the purpose we entered for and I mean if you found any other people in that house it was not for me to decide to wait or to leave, it was to accept that they were then also ANC involved and to shoot first and ask questions later.
ANSWER:: No Mr Chairman except, apart from that the main targets were Joyce and Rola Dibali. I don't think that the briefers could say at the time that there would be more than that, than only those two people in the house at the time. I think what they should have said is that there was a great
ANSWER:: Well if they ducked under the beds I'm sure we wouldn't have (indistinct) them, although there was incidents later on, not where I was involved in, where it happened that even the children in the house was taken out and in a specific case in Swaziland a 10 year old child of the target Mowi(?) Nkosi, he was not in the house because it was again said if the Valiant is parked outside my brief was he's in the house, I did not know of anyone else, I was not told that there was anyone else in the house. I blew up the house, he was not there he went out with friends apparently, and his 10 year old child got killed as a result.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Well Captain in terms of your manuscript, for them to be killed they don't have to be in your way, all they have to do is be in the house because in terms of the instructions as per the manuscript, your instructions was to kill occupants of the house and that includes people who would have been kneeling under the bed.
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman yes, my target was Joyce and Rola Dibali, I wouldn't have gone searching in that house, me myself at that stage, for any other persons. The house was a well-known ANC safe-house, it was apparently a well-known ANC transit house, used by the ANC in those days and I'm sure they would be able to confirm whether that was true or not Mr Chairman.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Is there a chance that you would be able to remember exactly what the nature of your instructions were, as per the manuscript or as your application because that may be relevant to your amnesty in respect of the unknown?
CHAIRMAN:: This business about if anybody else came in the way are just words you are using. You went there to kill Joyce and Rola Dibali and whoever else was in the house, whether they got in the way or not. Is that not what you really did?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman as I already said, the main targets were Joyce and Rola Dibali, unfortunately in an incident like that anyone else in the house that came in the way and as a result of the power failure and no lights there, I'm sure that everyone in the house would just have been shot at random, that's correct Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: That is correct, the other woman that ran back into the house was also shot at which eventually then proved to be Joyce Dibali according to the statement that was handed up to the, Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: Yes it's not clear in that statement, bullet wounds are being talking of in the thigh and upper leg, they went to the hospital, the wounds were treated, they were sent back and had to come back the next day so I accept that the specific naming of "bullet wounds" must have been
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman at the time Joe was still a very sensitive, identified source from the outside, working specifically with Captain Jan Coetzee of Westrand Security Branch, whom together with Major Kruger recruited Joe whilst being a waiting trial prisoner in a criminal case in the Krugersdorp prison in late 1979, I think July. At that stage Joe was still working closely, he only came to Vlakplaas together with Captain Jan Coetzee permanently in February 1982, two months after I've left the farm and Captain Jan Coetzee took over the farm as Commander.
"Captain Jan Coetzee from Westrand Security Branch in Krugersdorp handled Joe Mamasela who used to live in the target house of this mission whilst undergoing ANC crash-course training."
ANSWER:: What I actually want to say Mr Chairman, he was not with me at Vlakplaas, I didn't have first-hand knowledge of his collection of information of his details of his training, only that he did stay in that house while undergoing training and whilst he was still under the wing of Captain Jan Coetzee and Westrand Security Branch.
ANSWER:: I can see it Mr Chairman please bear with me, as I said this manuscript was written in exile, it was written on memory only, if word selection as such is he was not based on the farm, he was based with West Rand Security Branch, he was paid by West Rand Security Branch and when not needed there he would operate with the Western Transvaal group, mainly in Western Transvaal.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman if I could possibly just come in here, there seems to be a slight misunderstanding. Mr Coetzee you refer to the "Western Transvaal group" and Captain Vermeulen, could you just explain how that relates to Vlakplaas?
ANSWER:: Well Vlakplaas was, there was four groups on Vlakplaas. One mainly under Koos Vermeulen, Captain Koos Vermeulen worked Western Transvaal, from the farm as base near Kopfontein gate. That was because Koos Vermeulen grew
up in Botswana, he spoke Tswana fluently and all of the askaris and people that worked with him was people that were clued up with the Botswana set-up of the African National Congress. Then there was another group under W/O Paul Van Dyk who was mainly Eastern Transvaal, because he worked Swaziland for quite few years, I think five years and mostly people, ANC cadres or askaris who infiltrated and knew the Swaziland set-up very well. In the same way I operated in another region and there was a fourth group, so when talking about Koos Vermeulen was working from his base, when not needed as a whole party, as a whole Vlakplaas group in one specific area like for instance in November 1981 with the Mningi killings in Durban.
MR JANSEN:: Is it correct to say that when you refer to Vermeulen and his Western Transvaal group, you're not referring to anything that structurally has something to do with Rudy Kraus' Western Transvaal branch or region?
ANSWER:: It is possible that they could have said for instance that there was a bakkie parked, that the bakkie was parked outside or that someone entered the house, that is quite possible. Nothing specific that I can remember Mr Chairman.
MS KHAMPEPE:: Did you not think it reasonable on your part as the leader of the operation to take reasonable measures to ensure that only the identified targets, being Mr and Mrs Dibali, were attacked and no one else?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman it's very, very difficult to, and I'm not referring to anyone of the Chairpersons, with hindsight or with hindsight it is easy, but I can assure you Mr Chairman it's a nerve-wracking experience to go into another country with such an instruction, with the knowledge always in the back of your head that you might be caught or picked up by the local police or army, and as I say under the circumstances the first thing in your head is to get the operation over and get away. There's actually no real time for going, sort of in a clean way, clean way selecting and so it is hastily hit and run operation.
ANSWER:: That is not because of being in a black suburb we would have stood out like sore fingers as white persons, we did then black our faces with make-up, had balaclavas on to cover our ears and hair, long-sleeved shirts and our hands were also blackened. We kept a low profile in the grass next to the corner house whilst Joe and Almond paraded up and down on the sidewalk.
MS KHAMPEPE:: Was there any urgency in you having to carry out your instructions on that particular day, without having taken the reasonable caution in ensuring that only the identified targets would be dealt with by your members?
ANSWER:: As I say Mr Chairman, it's very difficult to wait until a specific target is in the house alone because your information, as I could pick up through the relevant branches, would be always a few days or a week old so you would always operate, because there was not a fax or phone line open between your source and that branch, you would not know what was going on at that specific time of night, and just have to operate on week old evidence or of that kind,
ANSWER:: He, Mr Chairman, Jan Coetzee although being with the Witwatersrand, West Rand excuse me, West Rand Security Branch handled Joe Mamasela who infiltrated Botswana, the ANC in Botswana. As a result with that he had close ties with the, with the ANC's activities in Swaziland but the main handlers of that area was the Security Branch, Zeerust, Captain Rudy Kraus.
ANSWER:: Well it wasn't for me to decide Mr Chairman, as I say his involvement was as a result of Joe Mamasela's involvement and his infiltration with the ANC in Botswana and him as Jan Coetzee being his handler, bringing him with Joe Mamasela to link up with Rudy Kraus of Zeerust Security Branch and we of Section C, Headquarters Security Branch.
ANSWER:: Comrade A's house, I think it was because he was, I accept I mean I'm just speculating, it was because he was an open target in front of a window and could clearly be identified. There was light in the house, he was sitting in a chair and therefore it was very easy in that case to shoot at a specific target which you could see and identify as I say.
ANSWER:: That's correct Mr Chairman, I can only accept that or after reading Mrs Dibali's statement that it was not her that was shot at, and that the person that Joe in fact had in his arms was the other lady that was made mention of. He did not kill her at all but she must have fainted or pretended fainting because she dropped to the floor on the back verandah there right next to us.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: It doesn't seem like that is what she would say in her statement. The impression I get from her statement was that, perhaps to assist you, she actually says that as she opened the door and she saw the three of you, Joe Mamasela actually identified her and said "that is Joyce" and she also says that she also recognised Joe Mamasela's voice because she also knew Joe Mamasela.
ANSWER:: I can't remember him at all identifying her, I did read that statement of hers and I did see that she recognised his voice and go further even and said the second man that was present must have been a black man and she's fairly sure that the third guy was a white guy.
ANSWER:: I'm not sure Mr Chairman, I think in the letter, accompanying letter of the Botswana police department it was mentioned and I think even mentioned that two people were hurt in the incident. I'm not 100% sure I might be mistaken but not to my knowledge the specific identification of this lady.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman if I could be of assistance, on the second page of Exhibit G you will find in paragraph 2 that mention is made of one Sadie Mkwanjane, also known as Sadie Phule and that this name is repeated in the statement by...I remember picking up something but I can't pinpoint the position now but I remember that these seemed to have been people with almost either close friends or relations that were from South Africa.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: By the way Captain Coetzee, according to Mrs Dibali's statement I've already told you that she said when she opened the door at midnight to go to the railway station, when she opened the door she saw people standing there. What she's really saying in her evidence is that that was not really a coincidence, the message she's giving is that she's of the impression that you knew that around midnight she was going to get out of the house to go and meet somebody from South Africa who would have been getting off the train.
and therefore at the time was not in the house. But the impression I had was that they forgot something in the bakkie and they came to the bakkie to fetch it. I couldn't make out or remember what clothes they had on, whether they were in pyjamas or dressed to leave, but the impression as I say I got they came to the bakkie to fetch something that they might have forgotten. That is the conclusion I arrived at at a later stage, but not at all had we at any time had any information that they were going to leave that night 12 o'clock to pick someone up, not at all I can assure you of that. Not from, not to my or anyone of my specific group's knowledge. If Captain Jan Coetzee or Captain Rudy Kraus had that knowledge I can assure you 100% did not convey it to us.
ANSWER:: Yes, we would have gone early the night, 9 o'clock, when we entered when there was still light in the house and around the house, but as I say as the result of the neighbour's dogs as a result of a disco or a party that went on right in front of the house of Mrs Dibali and as a result of a lot of people in the street in front of that
ANSWER:: Not at all, not at all, it was all, we did not know of a party that went on in front of the house with the people in the street, of the neighbour's dogs that we wouldn't be able to get over the neighbour's fence to get into the back yard and we couldn't enter through the street. No it's purely coincidence Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: No we were three to go into the house, that was myself, Almond and Joe and arriving at the house I suppose it was earlier and there was occupants in the house and the doors were still open...(end of side b)...no just to get into the house and get to the targets Mr Chairman. It's very difficult to plan, there's always unforeseen factors. As I say, the information of the information gathering groups is always a week old or maybe two weeks old so it's impossible to tell what is going on on a specific night in
JUDGE WILSON:: May I just correct something? I put it to you that it was her cousin, I've had a chance to read the statement more carefully now, her cousin and her mother-in-law were the people she was going to go and fetch from the railway station. The woman whom she mentions by name was in the house with her but it was not her cousin.
ANSWER:: That was his first operation that he went on and I said, my instructions to him was as soon as we start firing he should fire into the bedroom and throw the hand grenade into the bedroom, but he was completely stunned and when we ran away he started running. He as yet has not fired one shot or threw the hand grenade, but I suppose it was because it was his first operation of that nature.
ANSWER:: Well Mr Chairman he wanted to go with and as it was his first operation I thought it fit to not have him with a group of three that had to burst into the house, but rather in the outside from a different direction to limit the possibility of we one another shooting at each other.
ANSWER:: I am not 100% sure Mr Chairman, I'm sure Mrs Dibali might indicate if there was any shots fired from the, at the south-eastern corner bedroom to the window towards the bedroom that must have been Koos Vermeulen. I don't know whether he pulled a few shots whilst we ran past him and I told him he should have already shot, whether he
"This was Koos' first operation of this nature...As I ran past Koos, I shouted that he should follow us. He asked whether he should shoot and I realised that there had been no cross-fire. This was Koos' first operation of this nature, he first fired a spurt through the window and then followed us forgetting to throw the hand grenade."
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Sorry Captain, in answer to the question which was asked by the gentleman over there, are you in fact saying that this house was used by a safe-house in the sense that we have come to understand a safe-house?
ANSWER:: That's correct and a transit house, it was used, it was frequented by the ANC, used by the ANC as a safe-house and apparently Joe Mamasela stayed in this house whilst training with the ANC in Botswana Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: Well yes it is quite possible, as I said and I asked Mr Chairman to please bear with the fact that this statement was written 14 days before the Harms Commission would have started. We had very little time, it was my
brother and myself, we had a temperamental word processing machine and struggled day and night to try and finish this manuscript in time for the Harms Commission. So I am afraid that you would find a fairly lot of detail not in this manuscript which came to my knowledge either later on or I had at the time just, slipped my mind.
MS KHAMPEPE:: In your application Mr Coetzee you do mention that the house was used for ANC activities, and this in your evidence would be one of the activities you've referred to on page 21 in your application? I'm saying in your application you have mentioned that Joyce Dibali and her husband, the house thereof, was used for ANC activities.
ANSWER:: That's correct Mr Chairman, that was compiled recently after as I say, during the Harms Commission after having sight of the documents in possession of my lawyers it became knowledge to me, that fact but at the time of the manuscript unfortunately as I say, not.
ANSWER:: I do want to and thank you for the opportunity Mr Chairman. To Mrs Joyce Dibali very sincere regret and apology to you for the lot of discomfort, pain and mental stress that you were caused as a result of this operation. I believed in exile from the ANC that your health, you had a serious setback as far as your health is concerned and most probably the main cause of that is the fact or the results of this operation that we caused. Please accept
that from me and if you don't forgive me I can understand it. Again I say because it will be very difficult for me to forgive you if you had done to me what I have done to you and your people. Thank you Mr Chairman.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman I did ask her, there was a bit of a problem between myself and herself, she cannot speak anymore because of the incident, she's got this amnesia again she cannot recall certain things, which thing I'm going to explain at the end the reason why I'm also not going to call her.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman I will be leading the evidence of Mr Tsikalanga. I understand from my learned friend we will be calling him before Mr Nofomela. I then ask leave to call Mr Tsikalanga as applicant on this incident, the Gabarone raid.
ANSWER:: Yes I can explain. What happened was, well I will just before I say another thing is that the same thing that used to be said in Vlakplaas, they used to say we must meet elsewhere. They will say this before time. They then gave us the instruction to go to Zeerust where we went to a nearby farm near (indistinct) near the farm, that is where we really discussed the issue about Gaberone, that's where we were de-briefed to go to that house.
ANSWER:: What was said to us was that there was a house, if I can remember so well, there was Joe who was sent to that place, I don't exactly remember whether he went there alone or with somebody else and then he came back, he sat and
ANSWER:: Well all these white people who were there, Jan Coetzee, Vermeulen there was a lot of discussion as to how all these things were going to do, some people were opposing as to whether Dirk Coetzee was to be involved and the like. After that, that is where Dirk said we were to go together because they didn't want to include whites, that is how we ended up getting together to the house.
ANSWER:: I was together with an officer, Paul Van Dyk who was driving, we were to remain in the car which was not that far from where the operation was to be conducted. We were able to see whatever was to happen.
ANSWER:: It was already indicated that Joyce Dibali was a common name(?), of course Joyce as a name was mentioned, the surname I couldn't remember and there was another person who came in our discussion but I can't remember who it was.
QUESTION:: What about this Joyce Dibali and somebody, the question which was asked to you was, was there any mention of people to be injured or to be killed. You say that Joyce's name was mentioned, what are you really saying?
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Tsikalanga I wasn't clear whether I understood your evidence with regard to a question which was posed to you by your counsel. What did Mr Dirk Coetzee say was the purpose of going to Zeerust to you, when you left Vlakplaas?
ANSWER:: As I said, it was that if at all there was an operation to be done like going to Lesotho there was no further instruction you know, they just said we are going to meet at Ladybrand, they say at the same time they just said to us we are leaving.
ANSWER:: Okay well I'm not specifically saying that it was Dirk, there was Captain Jan Coetzee, Vermeulen and one other person in Zeerust and then there were some other people who were discussing, deciding on the operation. I'm not specifically saying that Dirk said such a specific thing.
ANSWER:: When we got to Botswana that night Joe and I and Captain Dirk Coetzee and David Tsikalanga and Paul Van Dyk were together. I was given a Makarov pistol, Joe was given a Tokarev, Captain Vermeulen, I think he was a Lieutenant at the time, Lt Vermeulen had an HMC sub-machine gun which had a silencer and Captain Dirk Coetzee also had a gun with a silencer. David Tsikalanga and Paul Van Dyk were, remained in the van in which we were travelling which was some distance from the house. The people that went to that house that night were Captain Dirk Coetzee, Lt Vermeulen,
ANSWER:: When we got there, Joe was walking in front, I was behind him and behind me was Dirk Coetzee and he had smeared something black on his face and his hands. While we were standing there people came out of the house, ladies, I do not remember what they used to light their way, I did not see what it was. Joe... (End of 3a) One of the ladies fell to the ground and then we entered the house, there was a door going, leading to the passage and there were bedrooms and Dirk Coetzee pushed me back and he and Joe went in to the passage and they started shooting. Gunshots rang out as he and Joe were shooting and I was standing behind them in the house in the kitchen if I remember correctly. Thereafter when he went out, it was myself and Joe and I shot and as we were leaving I shot once if I remember correctly and there I wasn't seeing anyone, we were just shooting randomly. I just had one shot towards the closed doors and we went out. We passed where Lt Vermeulen was standing near the window, I cannot remember whether he shot, whether he fired a shot or not because at that stage the way the shots were ringing I cannot say. We then ran to the car and went back and we crossed the border through the fence and we went back to a certain base which we were using which was somewhere near a hillside where there was a house.
ANSWER:: Sir with regards to Joyce Dibali, me knowing about her, more about her knowing that she was the main target and she was an occupant of that house, I only came to hear about that afterwards when Joe spoke a lot about that. There was
no specific instruction to me that we should go in there and shoot Joyce Dibali specifically, we were told to go in there and shoot any occupant. If she was, we were instructed to shoot her only then I don't know.
ANSWER:: I heard it several times sir because there was another incident which I linked to this one, the one of Mowabi(?) Dibali, there was an incident where I was present where I had participated when he was in Soweto while they were looking for this person's sister by the name of Joyce or Lilian, so I assumed that Joyce was known as being in Botswana because they took her brother Mowabi Dibali. The fact that we went to Gaberone was not that we were going there to seek out Joyce Dibali's specifically, I had heard her name several times.
ANSWER:: That was another name, I don't know if it was an MK the name that she used, but the name that I heard most about was that one. I don't know whether it was an MK name or whether there actually was someone else by that name.
ANSWER:: Sir I do not deny what you are saying. This name was mentioned often by Jan Coetzee and Joe Mamasela, they are the only people who knew these people very well so I got the name from them. I don't know those people up to this
ANSWER:: Not that night, you see I said there was another incident which I linked to this one that happened in Bophutatswana which was where Mohabi Dibali was taken and I linked it to this incident in Gaberone, according to what I remember.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: ...separate, divorce them if possible and concentrate on the Joyce Dibali incident. Are you saying that the name Lilian Kahile belongs to the incident where you abducted Mohabi Dibali, is that what you are alleging now?
ANSWER:: I'm talking about after his abduction that is where I became familiar with these names. It is possible, I do not dispute it, that even this incident where there was this shooting in Gaberone that these names were mentioned by Jan Coetzee and Joe Mamasela.
ANSWER:: We were next to the house if I remember correctly sir, we were not far from the house, we were right next to the house. I said that when the people were coming out of the house, we were next to the house, we were not far from it at all. We were standing.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: ...I'm talking about standing, you can stand near or far next to the house it doesn't matter. The point is you say that you were stationary, you were standing, you were not moving towards the house?
ANSWER:: Yes we were standing. We were standing sir because Mr Dirk Coetzee was saying something, I cannot remember what he was saying we should do and then these people appeared, but we were busy talking. He was speaking to us, I cannot remember what he was saying.
ANSWER:: I am unable to say sir but it was a very short while, I'd say that we had just got there, we had just stopped there it wasn't a long time at all, we just stopped when he was starting to talk to us. I don't know what he was saying when these ladies appeared, you could see the light and they appeared.
MS KHAMPEPE:: When you left your base for the targeted house, were you given any specific instructions on what each and every one of you were going to do to successfully execute the operation by Mr Coetzee?
ANSWER:: According to my knowledge Joe was someone who worked for the ANC in the Gaberone region and he knew these places there. When I went with him to look at this house, keep it under surveillance, there was no problem because he knew this place and that was why I was told to accompany him. He showed me this place because he knew the area,
JUDGE WILSON:: I'd like you to tell me a little bit more please about what happened after these two women came out of the house. You have told us that you had just stopped there when they came out and Joe grabbed one and a shot was fired. Is that correct?
ANSWER:: Inside the house Dirk Coetzee and Joe Mamasela were standing at the door shooting inside, towards, in the direction of the other rooms. There was a passage and there were rooms leading off from the passages and they were
ANSWER:: It's possible that their names were mentioned but I cannot remember, it's a long time since these incidents took place. A lot of things have happened in which I was involved and I know sir that I am supposed to try and recall this specific one that we are dealing at this point in time, but I have difficulty remembering events and the sequence in
which they took place because I had absolutely no contact with the people with whom I was involved in these things, apart from hearing them denying that I was, they were involved with me or not. As far as my memory serves me, I cannot remember all the details of this but there are merely certain things where I can dispute but most of the time I cannot, because I was never in contact with any of the people that I was involved with.
MR DE JAGER:: Mr Nofomela you've told us of two incidents now where you were involved, the one in Lesotho and this one in Botswana. You only fired one shot in Lesotho and one shot in Botswana, is that correct?
MR DE JAGER:: Mr Nofomela I'm putting this to you because if you want amnesty you should tell us the whole truth and I'm getting the impression that you are saying I've always had only a minor role to play, I only fired one shot, I wasn't involved, I never killed anybody as far as we've heard up to now. I'm not sure that you're in fact telling us the whole truth.
ANSWER:: It's possible sir that where there were several of us firing that I fired several times without knowing whether I had finished a magazine or not. What I am saying here is what I recall and what I am sure about, but you know I'm not sure exaggerating in order to strengthen my case for the sake of amnesty would be the correct thing to do.
ANSWER:: I did play a role sir and it is possible that the bullet fired from my firearm is the one that injured or fatally the person. I am not trying to create an impression that I played a lesser role than any of the other applicants, I'm not trying to hide anything. Firstly sir I am the one that said I am the one who mentioned the story about the hit squads when everyone else was denying it. Why would I then come here today and try and portray myself as being less guilty than anyone else. I am sorry that you see it as, you seem to be getting the impression that I am trying to portray myself as less guilty than the others or that I played a lesser role than everyone else. I did participate and the facts that I am putting before you today is as I can recall.
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Nofomela you had the house under surveillance on the incident in question, you and Mr Mamasela. Mr Mamasela obviously was familiar with the surroundings, he knew the house fairly well. What was the reason then during that day to have the house under surveillance?
that he knew that house before we went there, but the way in which he knew the area so that it was easier for me also to be able to identify this house as the house that we were targeting. That is why he went with me, because he knew the area so well.
ANSWER:: It is possible that we did speak, but what I can remember, especially after this incident, Joe spoke quite a lot about this saying that he knew Joyce Dibali and he had no doubt that he had killed her.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman, to mention this that in this incident that we're busy with now, the Joyce Dibali incident (end of 3b)...it was a bit difficult for me to communicate with her and she has indicated to me that she is not going to testify because she cannot speak for herself, she has undergone a stroke, she has (indistinct) and amnesia and quite a number of things. She says she will be seated in here to listen to the evidence. I may perhaps just to show the Chairman what she has written on the return of service to confirm what I have said, that she won't be able to talk for herself Mr Chairman, she is satisfied with just listening.
MR MPSHE:: Yes Mr Chairman, she has mentioned those names. I have explained to her that Joe Kabi is unknown to me, nobody has applied for the death of Joe Kabi and the mentioning of Mohabi Dibali, she was just indicating to me that Mohabi Dibali is the incident which we are going to deal with next, it is her brother.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman, as I was talking to her she did not indicate that to me, she just said she wanted them to tell about what they have done to the people, including Joe Kabi and I said they won't say anything about Joe Kabi because they have not applied for amnesty affecting Joe Kabi. Perhaps Mr Chairman to round it up, she has indicated to me
that she does not know the whereabouts of the other woman with whom she was in the house, but I must put it on record that her recollection is quite incoherent, she cannot remember quite a number of things that happened on that day. Thank you Mr Chairman.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman if it is permissible at this time then we move to the next matter, that is almost linked to the one we have dealt with, that will be in Nofomela's application, that is matter No 3 on page 5. That is the abduction of Mohabi Dibali, the brother to Joyce.
ANSWER:: We left Vlakplaas, Joe Mamasela and I, after we had been instructed by Jan Coetzee and Lt Vermeulen and Jan Coetzee had said that we should use false number plates on my vehicle which we were using. We went to Soweto and when we were near the place, I can't remember who remembered between Joe and myself, who remembered that we did not swop number plates. I remember Joe going to urinate outside so that he could wet some sand and then he covered my number plates, I think he was driving at that stage, because he knew Soweto better than I did. I'm not sure but we went to Soweto to the house where Dibali was staying, Joe knew that house, he even knew the address. When we go there we encountered a lady, I think it was a young girl if I remember correctly, and when we got there Joe asked where is
ANSWER:: Yes sir. When we got there Joe asked where Mohabi Dibali was and this girl said he wasn't there. Joe suspected that he was there and he said that we should go into the house and we then went into the house looking for Mohabi Dibali inside this house. When we entered one room, Joe said here he is hiding behind the wardrobe. We found him and took him and Joe then said we want our money from him, he sort of made as if we were there to get some money from Mohabi, pretending as if he owed us money. We took him and put him into the back seat and I cannot remember whether Joe got into the back seat with him or whether it was me. As we pulled away in the car this girl came running out and I could see that she was going to other people not too far from the house. We then left and we went to Roodepoort near the mines where we told we would meet Captain Coetzee and Vermeulen. We then met them there and there was also a Captain Grobbelaar from Protea Security Branch. From there we followed them until we got to Zeerust where we went to a house near a dam which was not occupied, together with Mohabi Dibali. Before we went there, we had taken him out of the car so that Captain Coetzee and Grobbelaar could see the person whom we had just abducted by taking him out of the back seat of the car where we had put him. They then advised us, instructed us to close up his face and also tie his hands behind his back and put him back into the back seat. We then went, proceeded until we reached this house where he was questioned
intensively about his sister who was in Botswana. Although I was not part of the team which was interrogating him, Joe was there because he knew his sister and he knew him as well and he could argue with him when he was saying something that Joe knew, which was in dispute with what Joe knew and Grobbelaar was also there and Vermeulen, as well as Jan Coetzee. There was a time where he was assaulted and then taken outside and when he got outside, Captain Vermeulen would bring him so that we could also assault him and we'd assault him and hit him with fists and kicked him. There was a stage where he lost consciousness and he was lying on the ground. This happened the afternoon where we had abducted him and that evening, that night he was interrogated and he would answer questions in several ways and he was assaulted to such an extent that he was swollen. The people that were assaulting him the most were myself, Joe Mamasela and Vermeulen. Grobbelaar and Coetzee did not do anything. The people who assaulted him the most were myself, Joe Mamasela and Vermeulen, we would kick him and hit him with fists and so on.
ANSWER:: Sir as time went by after this incident, if I remember correctly I can say that I was linking this incident in Gaberone because to me it seemed as though in order for us to have gone to Gaberone to this house, it was as a result of information which we had extracted from this person whom we had abducted. When the time came for me to discuss this incident with Dirk Coetzee, it seemed that I had made a mistake in linking these two incidents because it was not so.
ANSWER:: I last saw him in that house, I've never seen him since. I then went to Vlakplaas where I had left him with Grobbelaar, Coetzee and Vermeulen and Joe and I went back to Vlakplaas and left him behind.
ANSWER:: Yes sir because there was a mistake made at some stage where I was saying Mr Dirk Coetzee stopped working in 1982 whereas it was in 1981. Jan Coetzee, then Jan Coetzee came but he came while Coetzee was still there in 81 so there were two Coetzee's there at the same time and you know when one thinks back now you tend to mix the two up, you would be talking about Dirk Coetzee and actually be saying Jan Coetzee. They would come to the farm while working at Krugersdorp.
ANSWER:: I cannot say whether he was the commander but I know that he was working there and I know that he was involved with that branch. I cannot say whether he was the commanding officer or if there was somebody in higher authority than he was.
were people who seemed to be police who were looking for me saying that I had abducted someone in Soweto. I then reported that to Lt Vermeulen who instructed me to take my car to Vlakplaas until such time as it was safe to take it back and use it without any problems.
ANSWER:: Sir I would think that that girl that was running to the other house could have written down the number plate of my car and given it to the police and that is probably how the police knew where I lived.
ANSWER:: Since I was sent to abduct this person and take him from point A to point B, I merely assumed that they would see what they were going to do with him you know I did not know what they were going to do with him, whether they were going to kill him or not.
"Dibali was injured during the interrogation and at the time I presumed that he was eventually killed."
ANSWER:: Sir the way I was told by the people who instructed me to abduct this person and assault him the way that we did assault him, there was no way in which I could not do that and say no I cannot do this because he's related to this person. There are a lot of people who become victims because of questioning authority at Vlakplaas and I could simply not have done that. I just had to do what I was told to do.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: It's easy to say I assaulted him simply because I was given instructions to assault him, but it's a different thing, as you said in a question to your counsel, to say that you actually saw it as part of your duty to assault him. How can you ever see assaulting somebody
ANSWER:: The people who were instructing me sir were people who whose command I was, if they said to me go and fetch a certain person and bring him here, I had to do that. I had to bring that person to them. My duty was to obey their instructions without question.
ANSWER:: Sir if I believed that what I was sent for that he wanted me to fetch Dibali so that he could question him, I saw it in the line of my duties. It was the instruction that I should go and fetch him for interrogations. The fact that he was brought there and assaulted is something that I followed when I saw it happening, I was not told beforehand that we were going to abduct this person and assault him if he does not answer the questions the way he should have answered. I merely followed instructions given by my superiors.
assaulting him and then I joined in and then Joe and I were assaulting him and Vermeulen was present. I did not start assaulting him when I had abducted him I was told that he was not telling the truth and that we should assault him.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: ...you were actually instructed to assault him. You told us that he was assaulted and you took part in the assault, that you told us, but you didn't tell us that you were actually instructed to assault him. Were you in fact instructed to assault him or did you just see people assaulting him and then you joined?
ANSWER:: I said that Vermeulen is someone who speaks mainly Northern Sotho and he spoke in Northern Sotho that we should assault this person because he is not telling the truth and he was saying that while assaulting this person, after asking him a question because as I said Joe was also disputing what he was saying because Joe also knew him and knew the area where he was staying. I was also told to assault him and that's when I assaulted him, severely.
ANSWER:: You know sir there was this process of assaulting a person when bringing them out of this place where he was being questioned, he would be pushed and be hit with fists, he just said "hit him" as a general instruction to the two of us. He did not say Nofomela hit him he just said hit him so that he can speak the truth.
saying because there was an argument between Joe and Mohabi and others who were asking him questions. There was nothing I could ask him because I did not know anything about the information that they were trying to extract. Joe was the one that knew his sister and knew where he moved around and they were arguing about things like that. So there was an argument.
ANSWER:: He was still there but when this incident took place where we were given these instructions to go and abduct him, I did not see him, I did not communicate with him about this incident. Vermeulen was there.
ANSWER:: Often Vermeulen, even when Dirk Coetzee was working there, I would often be placed in a group under his command because we would often be sent out in groups. You would be deployed in groups and you would receive instructions from the commander of your group, so even with regard to this incident he was the one that instructed me and I was to follow his orders.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman may I just be afforded a five minute indulgence without an adjournment just to consult with the sister who is sitting right behind me here, without adjourning. (Discussion between Mr Mpshe and Mrs Dibali).
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman I cannot remember the date from the Harms Commission, I am now looking here in the arguments presented on behalf of the Security Branch before the Harms Commission and it was their evidence that Dibali was transferred to Soweto police cells apparently on 21 October 1981, that was now after this incident. The police at that stage denied the whole abduction at the Harms Commission, but according to the evidence presented by the police, after the date that he was apparently abducted according to his family in Soweto when they laid a charge of abduction on 12 October, on 21 October he was transferred to the police cells in Soweto. I do not find any reference to a date but I remember from the Harms Commission that he did die in detention later.
MR MPSHE:: Thank you Mr Chairman for your indulgence. Mr Chairman the information given to me by Mrs Dibali, that is the sister to Mohabi, is that Mohabi was detained on 6 August 1981 and then he was released on 29 January 1982. He was re-arrested on 5 August 1982 and died on 8 August 1982 in detention.
MR MPSHE:: Before his abduction, we can say he was detained on 6 August 1981, this is now just my reasoning, and then abducted in October 1981 and then released on 29 January 82 and then re-arrested on 5 August 82 and then died on 8 August 82, that is about three days after the second detention.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Nofomela are you quite sure about the date on which this person was abducted? You have just heard the information that according to the family he was detained on 6 August and you say that you (indistinct), could it be that you are wrong with your month?
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman there were affidavits handed in at the Harms Commission by attorney Priscilla Jana who was handling the matter for the family at that stage and by, if I remember correctly, a person Lizzie who was at the house when Mohabi Dibali was abducted. According to those affidavits taken during that time of the abduction that was on 12 October 1981.
ANSWER:: That is one of the things that I must have mixed up, I thought it was before the onslaught in Botswana and while I was speaking to Dirk Coetzee it seems as though he's the one that I thought was Jan Coetzee in the situation, I found that I had mixed up my facts a bit, not knowing which one to place first and which one followed.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman can I refer you to, it's Exhibit B.106 and Exhibit B.107 before the Harms Commission. Those are the two affidavits, I'm not sure whether they are in the book before this Commission but it should be in the record of the Harms Commission.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman if I may also come in at this stage, in the initial proceedings we indicated to yourselves that we are in possession of the typed records of the Harms Commission but not of the Annexures which are referred to as the so-called "B Series" of documents. Since our last hearing in Durban we have come in possession, for purposes of the criminal trial, we have come in possession of those documents and we will try and make an effort to get these two particular documents to yourselves.
ANSWER:: As far as I can remember him not wanting to go, the first thing was I was surprised when we found that he had hidden himself and also when we left with him, he tried to resist but he seemed more afraid, he was coming along but not of his own free will.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Mr Nofomela you were asked as to what caused him to give in, you said that the two of you had firearms and one of you produced the firearm and then you said to us you also slapped and then you went on to say there was something else again which caused him to come out. Mr Mpshe asked you what was that other something else and then you go back and you tell us about the assault while we were eagerly waiting for that something else.
ANSWER:: The other thing that I was referring to was that I could remember that we assaulted him. I was asked who had assaulted him and what I had done and what I remember is that, I don't know who started assaulting him but what I do remember is that we assaulted him.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: You had already said that it was because one of you produced a firearm, you had already said that he was slapped which is assault and then you said there was something else again, and then you go back to assault which
ANSWER:: I assume that it's something that Joe made up as a story for us taking this person away to avoid saying to this person we've been sent here to abduct him, I think it's something that he fabricated himself by saying to this person "we want our money". This girl that was there should be under the impression that he owed us money and that is why we came to fetch him and not think that we were police who had come to abduct him.
ANSWER:: This happened in a very short space of time, I did not notice whether he was bleeding or whether he was swollen anywhere. I was walking behind him and Joe was holding him saying that we want our money and put him into the car and we left. All I know is, all I remember is where he was swollen and he was bleeding was where we had taken him for interrogation.
time when you were moving out with him because you participated in the assault as Joe Mamasela grabbed him and walked with him you were following behind and you travelled in the same car with him. You mean you couldn't see him at all from Soweto to Roodepoort, from Roodepoort to Zeerust, you can't tell whether he was bleeding or swollen or whatever?
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman I think there's confusion now because the witness is now talking about the stage where Dibali lost consciousness and that was at the house at Zeerust, not at the house in Soweto.
ANSWER:: I said sir that this, he was severely assaulted at Zeerust, that is where he lost consciousness, in Soweto...(end of 4b)...he was assaulted because it took it happened in such a short space of time. Zeerust is where he was severely assaulted and he was bleeding and he was swollen and where he lost consciousness.
QUESTION:: Be that as it may. I'm still with you, I'm taking you back into the house in Soweto where you took Mohabi, don't move to Zeerust I'll tell you where we are moving. How long did the assault take place in Soweto in the house?
ANSWER:: It was not a long time, it is something that happened over a very brief period because when we found him in the wardrobe it started there where we took him and dragged him outside. That is where it started, shortly after we had found him it happened over a very brief period because we couldn't stay there too long for fear of the risk of people coming to the house.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: No before you move away from the house, why did you indicate to the interpreter that when you spoke of loss of consciousness he was still at the house? Why did you give that impression to the interpreter because that's what the interpreter told us.
ANSWER:: I would say that I cannot hear what the interpreter is saying to you in English, I wouldn't know if she is saying what I am saying because the interpreter made sure of whether I was speaking about Soweto and Zeerust and that is where I indicated. The incident to which I referred to where Dibali lost consciousness was in Zeerust
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Nofomela when you say the assault lasted for a short while, can you approximate in terms of minutes or hours what that means to you. When you say short would it be 30 minutes, would it be an hour?
ANSWER:: I would say it was less than three minutes, we were in a hurry, we came to abduct a person and this is something that happened in a very short space of time. We spent a very short space of time in that house after this girl said that he was not there. I'm referring to after this girl told us that he was not there. After we had found him there we spent a very short period of time with him in that house.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman before my learned friend continues, the two Exhibits that I referred to yesterday before the Harms Commission are available today and we have made copies. That's the affidavit by Lizzie Dibali who is the mother of Mohabi Dibali, according to the affidavit, and by attorney Priscilla Jana. I HAND THESE UP then and they should be EXHIBIT J.
QUESTION:: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, members of the Committee it is the 21st today, a continuation in the Dirk Coetzee & Others application. Mr Nofomela, we are now moving to Zeerust. You testified that Mohabi was assaulted, kicked, slapped and so on, what other things were used in assaulting him?
ANSWER:: Sir I'd say that to explain what happened in detail, apart from what I can remember, would be difficult. It's 16 years since this incident took place and I cannot, it's impossible for me to remember exactly what took place in sequence. I'm sorry that I do not have that memory to provide you with satisfactory answers.
ANSWER:: Sir I'm here to tell the truth, taking guesses would be telling lies, I could take a guess and say one or two hours and it could have been five hours or three minutes. I'm sorry sir, it's been a long time I really cannot guess.
ANSWER:: He was assaulted, it would happen at intervals, he would be assaulted and then questioned up until such a stage where he lost consciousness, that was the last, after that we left and left him there.
CHAIRMAN:: Isn't it all part of the transaction where the assault takes place in order to get answers to questions so they would assault him until he answers questions that they want him to answer? What would be the advantage of breaking it up into little compartments from your point of view?
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman I'm doing this in order to determine the manner in which this man was being treated and even if Mr Chairman it can be said, with respect, that this was one transaction but it is clear that assault would take place and the assault would stop and he would be interrogated and thereafter assaulted. Now these are compartmentalised instances which have a bearing on full disclosure.
ANSWER:: They spoke sir and then there was the name of Joyce Dibali mentioned and the name Lilian so I'm not sure who exactly they were talking about. The people who knew these people were Joe Mamasela and them.
QUESTION:: ...because evidence was led yesterday that Joe Mamasela knew Joyce Dibali very well even where she lived and he also stayed in Joyce Dibali's house, so the knowledge was already with you. Would you agree with me?
JUDGE WILSON:: How can you say that, they wanted information about his sister, that doesn't mean where she lived, it may well mean when she travels through Johannesburg, when she was next going to be in the country and matters of that nature. I don't think it's right to put to the witness that "you already knew".
ANSWER:: Sir the instruction was that this person should be abducted not arrested, so the pretence, we had to take him from there under false pretences not to give anybody the impression that we were policemen taking this man away but that we were ordinary citizens whom he owed money.
ANSWER:: Sir I would like to explain this. When I was at Vlakplaas I was given different training to what I had been taught at the college, which I was to follow. What I was doing at Vlakplaas I thought was right in the way that they had trained me and I was supposed to do it accordingly. I could not ask any questions.
MS KHAMPEPE:: When you attacked Dibali at home in Soweto, you were then acting on a frolic of your own, you had no instructions to assault him. Your instructions were specific, you were to abduct Mr Dibali.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman and members of the Committee, again on this matter the next of kin will still be the same woman who was also involved in the other incident, Joyce Dibali and what I've relayed to the Court still applies in this matter as well. Mr Chairman I don't have any matter in which witnesses are present but yesterday we agreed that there are matters that can be dealt with where witnesses need not be called and this was the three matters; (1) affecting Nofomela, the murder on Mr Lawrence; (2) the shooting at Lindley(?); (3) the killing of the diamond dealer. I don't know amongst my colleagues who is going to start first, I think Advocate Jansen indicated that he's going to start with one of the last two I've mentioned today.
purposes inform the Commission whether you've given all the interested parties notice, all the victims and if so, when should they have been here, yesterday or today or tomorrow, because it may be that they are not interested and wouldn't turn up so we could continue with the cases.
MR MPSHE:: Yes Mr Chairman, members of the Committee, that is so if they are not here we will continue with the matters. What I have been doing, I did even this morning at 6 o'clock I phoned some of the people to whom I had sent notices and they indicated to me that they have received them and I spoke to them last on 11 December 1996 and they indicated that they were going to attend if I sent them notices. This I have done and they have not shown up. The two that I phoned today were in the matter affecting the kidnapping of an activist called "General", his full name is Glory Sadibe. I spoke to his brother-in-law, Minister Joe Modise this morning at 6 o'clock and he said he did receive my notices to him but he has forwarded the notice to the wife of Glory Sadibe, Comrade A, who is in Zimbabwe and he had to come down. He said he will phone me today to tell whether the wife will come or not. The one person I phoned is the brother to Japie Maponya who indicated to me that he can only be here tomorrow, after I phoned this morning to confirm whether he received the notice. May I just mention that all the people that are here that I have mentioned I spoke to them personally first and I can say this to the Committee, I've got returns of service here from the investigative unit. If the Committee would like to know whom I have informed, I can read all the returns of service, unless if the Committee wants to know about specific persons?
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Mr Mpshe, before we leave the matter of the Dibali's, you handed to us a letter from Joyce Dibali and she said I would like Dirk Coetzee and his colleagues to tell us what happened to Mohabi Dibali and Joe Ngabi. What is the status of this request, what happens to it? I know we have asked the previous applicant Mr Nofomela about what happened eventually to Mr Dibali, he told us what he did tell us. What is to happen to this request?
MR MPSHE:: As I spoke to her yesterday when I wanted to find out about her dilemma in speaking, she referred me to the letter which I read and she said I'm just here to listen and to know what happened to these people from their evidence. That is how far I went with her.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Speaking for myself I don't think this is an unreasonable request and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't ask Captain Dirk Coetzee about it, after all that is why we invite members of the family and relatives to be here. If they come here and make reasonable requests, if it is possible to accede to those requests, I think we should try to entertain them.
ANSWER:: No Mr Chairman, the only thing that I knew that someone was abducted with Almond's private car and the car had to be hidden on Vlakplaas but it was a West Rand Security operation under Captain Jan Coetzee together with one of my men, Captain Koos Vermeulen, which I had no knowledge of.
ANSWER:: Not at all, not at all without my knowledge, that was more the operational area of Section A3 under the command of Brigadier Piet Goosen those days but the more specific A3, Captain Craig Williamson. The operated most of the times with the Defence Force co-operation into Harare, Zimbabwe, South West Africa or Namibia, Zambia and neighbouring countries.
ANSWER:: Well only by hearsay evidence as far as the London bombing of the ANC offices, the smuggling of explosives in a diplomatic bag as conveyed to me by Peter Casselton(?), the individual that was involved in the London blowing up of the offices, Craig Williamson himself, the Jeanette Schoon murder and her child Katrina in Angola where a parcel bomb was sent to her, as relayed to me by Craig Williamson and the (indistinct) one.
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman in the manuscript during a departmental trial where I was the accused, he gave evidence to the Presiding Officer to explain to him what this, we've got this different way of talking, a dubious way of talking by for instance saying "make a plan" or and I would say "deal with the person" and he would say "hmm" which will have a complete different meaning in the normal sense of speaking but then Williamson explains to the Presiding Officer he says, officer at the presiding trial and he says
"I think for people in the profession people who speak deviously to each other and who have a very intimate rapport with each other, understand intimately, understand very well what is going on in this type of conversation."
Craig Williamson at my internal trial on 10 June 1985, Vol 6, page 292-293 of the proceedings. This was done when he made a recording of a conversation between himself and, him and myself where you had this half completed sentences and
I stopped when I saw he understood what I was talking about and the same half complete answer would sort of come back. So he was then explaining to the Presiding Officer and he's talking about a very "intimate rapport" referring to the relationship between him and myself.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman as I understood the idea was that we would again start with Mr Coetzee, more particulary two of the matters where we will be leading evidence, that is No's 13 of the application and 14, these are both..the idea was that we lead the evidence...(end of 1a)...page 24 and 27, that are the typed page numbers of the Annexure respectively 24 and 27 and then in the manuscript you will see that the two incidents are dealt with together. The one being an adjunct to the other one, in other words the diamond dealer starts on page 118, continues through to page 119 that's paragraph 5.4.18 and then...
MR JANSEN:: Page 118 to 119 and then it re-starts after a digression into the Lindley shooting incident, it re-starts at page 121. That's paragraph 5.4.18 where it starts and it starts again at paragraph 126.96.36.199 I think. The Lindley shooting incident starts at page 119, paragraph 188.8.131.52.
MR JANSEN:: Yes, it then goes through to, the diamond dealer goes to 119 to paragraph 184.108.40.206 that is where it stops in the meantime. Then there's a digression on to the Lindley shooting incident from 18.8 on to, the next page deals with the Lindley shooting incident and then on page 121 from 18.20 is the diamond dealer starting again. Then it's to the end of paragraph 5.4.18 until page 123. Mr Chairman if I may just enquire from yourself whether we could proceed with the evidence and then at the first adjournment ensure that you have page 118?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman on the farm with me was an askari, Ernest Ramathlala, a Lesotho citizen who was responsible for the first attack attempt on the life of Chris Hani. He together with David Tshikalanga, Almond Nofomela and Joe Mamasela and there might be others, approached me for a loan of R5 000 to go and buy diamonds in Lesotho for, from the relatives of Ernest Ramathlala who apparently had very good
contacts on the mine and some of them working there. I did then borrow R5 000 from my mother-in-law, Mrs Crause(?) and handed it to them. It was, must have been towards the end October, beginning November 1981. Almond, David Tshikalanga and I don't know who else proceeded with Almond Nofomela's private car to Lesotho and returned a day or what later, I'm not sure how long, with five little small diamonds the size of a matchstick, stained, cracked and a little bigger one like the nail of my small finger perhaps, a yellow one which I later learned is called "canary yellow". To me as a layman I could see that they were cheated if one just thinks of your wife's, the size of that diamond on her ring, engagement ring, and I sent them back to go and give the man's diamonds back and bring my money back. Joe Mamasela, Almond Nofomela and David Tshikalanga proceeded to Lesotho, whilst the group, the Vlakplaas group as a whole departed for Durban where we were summonsed to do surveillance work. I must just mention that this was also at the time, it was in November and also at the time of the murder of Griffiths Mnenge. Again some time later an evening shortly afterwards they returned, Joe Mamasela, Almond and I think David Tshikalanga was also present in a, if I remember correct, a grey-blue Datsun Laurel automatic, with Lesotho registered number plates. They reported to me that they couldn't get the money back, they lured the dealer out of Lesotho, they then took him to a turn-off, gravel road just to the north of Lindley, the first one after you turn off to Lindley, coming from or in the direction of Johannesburg, a few kilometres down that road in a bluegum plantation, the diamond dealer was shot and killed.
They took his car and apparently waved, whilst this was happening, David Tshikalanga apparently followed in the police bakkie of Almond Nofomela and they waved him on to continue on the road. I immediately took the car to Sgt Schutter's house who was the Sergeant in charge of the farm, the sort of foreman who had to look after the farm whilst we were on operations, to his private house where I asked him to strip the car of all possible identification and keep it until further notice. David Tshikalanga and Almond Nofomela then accompanied me in my official car to Lindley. My concern was that the body might have been discovered in the meantime and I should get to the place as soon as possible. Joe Mamasela was dropped on the farm if I remember correctly to continue his work with Jan Coetzee in West Rand. As I say Almond escorted us to or showed us the way to this road just before Lindley, gravel road coming from Johannesburg now, turning off to the right and him and David Tshikalanga went into the bluegum bush. A few minutes later they arrived dragging a corpse by its pants, at the feet, one at each of the feet, and we bundled him in the dark into a plastic bag that was used or that is used by mortuaries to transport bodies in. I put him in the back of my official vehicle on my whole armoury that was inside and the three of us continued via Bethlehem, where I put in petrol and signed the petrol book, and on our way to Durban where we arrived the next morning. I reported in brief to Brigadier Van Hooven and then with his permission, left to get rid of the body. Almond and David Tshikalanga were left in Durban with the rest of the group whilst Koos Vermeulen, Paul Van Dyk and myself continued towards the Swaziland border to a ruin, the ruins of an old house,
farmhouse, just to the south of the then so-called Houtkop border post. We waited there whilst Paul Van Dyk took my car, with the body, Koos Vermeulen and myself whilst Paul Van Dyk continued with my vehicle to Piet Retief to an old Swaziland friend of ours that was working at a garage in Piet Retief, Fred Howells(?). From him he collected tyres and brought it back to the farm or to this ruin where we were waiting. A fire was built of tyres and wood and the body in the plastic bag put onto this fire and set alight. I remember Koos Vermeulen cutting open the bag at a stage and taking out the ID document of Lesotho passport of the guy, of this person, but I have never had a look at it to identify the guy. We stayed there through the night and burned the body to ashes and returned to Durban the next day.
ANSWER:: That is correct Mr Chairman and if diamonds were to be obtained at this stage, myself would have been involved together with Koos Vermeulen, Paul Van Dyk and Sgt Schutte in the selling and profits of the deal.
police in extreme, which could result if for instance Joe Mamasela and Almond Nofomela and even myself then were charged with illegal diamond dealing or/and murder, that exactly that will happen what happened on the evening of 19 October 1989 when Almond was to be sentenced the next morning on death row and he spoke out about all this illegal government sanctioned hit squads that was going on in the security police.
ANSWER:: There was no time, it was 8 at night when they returned. The team had already departed for Durban, there was extreme urgency to get hold of that body that same night before the morning, next morning daybreak, and then to proceed to the team in Durban to dispose of the body.
ANSWER:: Well it wouldn't have been the first time that security policemen would have been involved in illegal activities, it was about the greater context in which they work. In other words criminal activities of members in the security police, and especially Vlakplaas, was very often condoned and dealt with in such a manner to prevent them from speaking out against, about the illegal activities
going on at Vlakplaas. There was for instance murder cases against two askaris, Bobby Modiba and I can't remember who was the other guy at the moment, which was dealt with in such a way that they got off the hook. There was cases like, I mean the first priority of us in the security police was security police operations. I suppose if things got out of hand everyday by the same person they would have decided to make a plan with him and I'm sure, as proved after I left, if you become a security police risk like Brian Nungalungwa(?), he's six feet under after being killed and a policeman being found guilty in a trial of his murder. The Motherwell Four, three policemen and an askari that was involved in illegal activities with the local security police branch who were blown up in their vehicle. Major Mos who died of a heart attack, so-called heart attack but I believe there's now ample evidence that it was not a heart attack but things that were given him by the police.
ANSWER:: I did because after dealing with the body I phoned Brigadier Schoon and in brief told him about it and asked him to release Koos Schutte from the farm for two days so that he could bring the car down of the diamond dealer to the Gulela border post, after I have arranged with a person in Durban I think Ebrahim Latief, I think the phone number
at the time of Ebrahim Latief it was a well-known source of ours, whilst I was stationed at the Swaziland border, undertook to buy the car for R5 000 and take it through to Mozambique. Koos Schutte then did bring the car down, fitted with false police, false number plates and licence and third party disks which was printed at the police printing press as explained previously, and a few, a kilometre or two before the Gulela border post Koos Schutte, Captain Koos Vermeulen, Koos Schutte was Sergeant Koos Schutte at the farm, Captain Koos Vermeulen, W/O Paul Van Dyk and myself waited for a short while when Ebrahim Latief, with another unknown gentleman, arrived. They paid me
R5 000 in cash in front of all the witnesses present, took the car and departed for Swaziland. I gave the R5 000 back to my mother-in-law and called it a day, told the people to lay off in future of such operations.
ANSWER:: He was at that stage as yet Mr Chairman, not identified yet by anyone, I don't think one will have to ask Jan Coetzee, Captain Jan Coetzee with whom he was working, and I think there is a report available where it is described that it is sensitive. He was also armed with an illegal unregistered Tokarev, Russian-made pistol and it was of extreme importance that his identity should not be revealed. He might at that stage have still been with the ANC, infiltrated with the ANC in Botswana, I won't be able
to tell. He was for sure not permanently based at Vlakplaas, only since February 1982 when Jan Coetzee had taken over a month before from me at Vlakplaas, Joe Mamasela was permanently transferred to Vlakplaas and sworn in as a policeman.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman this is the only evidence I intend leading on this incident. I do, however, wish to draw your attention that during the next incident the Lindley shooting incident, certain documents will be handed in, one document emanating from official sources, specifically dealing with the issue of how sensitive the identity of Joe Mamasela is. That would then just be on that specific issue would then, I would just ask you to see that as evidence having been led in this application itself.
MR JANSEN:: Yes Mr Chairman, yes there was just the one issue that Mr Tshikalanga is also involved in the Lesotho diamond dealer matter. I would personally suggest that we continue with Mr Coetzee's evidence and then go over to Mr Tshikalanga if that's alright with you?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman during the McNally and Harms Commissions of Enquiry after the revelations of Almond Nofomela on 19 October 1981 and after I then went into exile to support the allegations of Almond, Joe Mamasela denied, with his superiors involved - Jan Coetzee then at Vlakplaas, Brigadier Schoon and the police upper echelons, that Joe Mamasela knew me at all. They said at the time he never came to Vlakplaas and it was impossible for me to have known Joe Mamasela in 1981 because he only came to Vlakplaas in February 1982, more than a month after I've left. I then described this incident of the Lindley shooting to demonstrate the fact that they were lying and misleading the Harms and McNally Commissions and that Joe did in fact know me, but the whole lot was covering up from top to bottom. Now this incident at Lindley happened whilst we were working at the Lesotho border, again in the Ladybrand area, and at the time I think it was also in October if I'm not mistaken there is some more specific times, dates available, we were requested to all pull up from all directions, Koos Vermeulen from Western Transvaal, myself from Lesotho, Paul Van Dyk wherever he was and to meet in Middelburg with the Eastern Transvaal regional commander, who was then Brigadier Schalk Visser, after two men were shot in a caravan near Ogies by a so-called ANC cadre. On our way I drove in my official car, a Datsun, followed - alone - followed by Almond Nofomela driving his bakkie and Joe Mamasela as passenger on the left front seat. As we came down the hill approaching the Lindley turnoff I could see a yellow and blue two-door Ford Escort vehicle turning in from Lindley town into the
main road in the same direction that we were travelling, in other words north to Johannesburg, towards Johannesburg. The vehicle was swerving viciously over the road, the driver had his fist out the window shaking and I pulled up next to him and put on my vehicle's siren to try and pull them off because I could immediately see there was five black men, occupants in the vehicle, two in the front, three at the back and that they were heavily or had been heavily drinking. As, just after the Lindley turnoff, you come up a hill where they threatened to go over the white line to the right of, in front of oncoming traffic, I gave way to the right for them to enable to come back to the left of the road and the next moment just heard shots and glass flying into my vehicle as I was next to the Ford Escort. Looking over my shoulder I saw Joe Mamasela hanging out the left front door, emptying his Tokarev pistol on the vehicle. Eventually on top of the reach at the same gravel turnoff to the left where they took the Lesotho diamond dealer and killed him, the vehicle turned to the left and as I learned later from the passenger, he pulled up the handbrake. The vehicle came to a standstill and I stopped at the T-junction while Joe and Almond pulled the people in the vehicle out of the car. Joe of course in a normal manner, kicking karate and fisting them down. At the time, a Pastor, an Afrikaans Dominee stopped with his wife and asked if everything was okay and I was just worried to get this member of the public away and I said there was nothing to worry about, everything is under control, I was the police and then I stopped the assault and then immediately realised there was trouble. We got the inhabitants into the car, the bakkie, and we started collecting all possible Tokarev shells that were
lying next to the road. I then handed Almond my 9mm pistol and asked him to pull off a few shots, rounds, and pick up the empty shells and bring it with to the, where was this town, Lindley police station. We drove to the police station together with the car that was shot at and the inhabitants, I asked Joe to keep a low profile it was already then turning dark, whilst I went into the charge office with Almond Nofomela and the occupants of the vehicle and arranged for blood tests of the driver to be taken for the injuries, especially the man in the middle back seat, that was sitting in the middle back seat he was wounded in the back to be attended to by the local district surgeon or the doctor who acted as district surgeon. The left front passenger and the right back seat passenger just light flesh wounds, bullet wounds under the chin. I immediately rang Brigadier Schoon, reported the matter to him and asked him, and already told him what I did as, if he agrees with what I did by picking up the empty shells and let Almond fire off a 9mm pistol. He agreed with the suggestion that to keep Joe's identity secret and his involvement that Almond should pretend that he was the guy who actually shot at the vehicle. I then prepared at the Lindley police station my and Almond's statements and a docket. We charged the driver of the vehicle for drunken driving. The back seat passenger was transported to hospital and after that we left for Middelburg where we joined up with the rest of the group. After I left Vlakplaas on 31 December 1981, and whilst being with Narcotics Bureau in Pretoria, drug squad in Pretoria under Colonel Basie Smit, I was called early January if I'm not mistaken in 1982, maybe towards February, by Brigadier
Schoon and Brigadier Jan Du Preez at this stage and instructed that I should accompany..(end of 1b)...Van der Merwe, in my manuscript I couldn't remember his name, who had close contact or good contact, whatever one wants to call it, with the Free State Attorney-General, who was Advocate Tim McNally. This resulted, happened as a result of the Attorney-General of the Free State that decided that Almond Nofomela must be charged because of his shooting on a vehicle where he knew he could have injured innocent people and not specifically the driver. Almond then refused to take the brunt for Joe. We went to Welkom police to the Divisional Commissioner's office, we spent the whole day there making some statements, I'm not sure exactly what went, what happened but I know it was in the line of terrorists, possible terrorists in the area and that this was confused with possible terrorists and so, and this was forwarded to the Attorney-General's office in the Free State. Eventually the case was squashed against Almond, it was withdrawn, the passenger in the middle back seat was paid an amount of R1 500 round about I think and the driver of the vehicle was found guilty of drunken driving. In documents that I've seen later, I know that is now the Attorney-General's decision to prosecute Nofomela and that happened middle December I think, 1981.
ANSWER:: Well I can't remember whether I again made any statement at Welkom police station, unfortunately the sweepers in the Harms Commission has removed that docket but I'm sure there will be some copies or reports to that effect in the Attorney-General's office of the Free State, but it's quite possible that I did yes. But it was also quite clear Mr Chairman that things were arranged and we had very little to say, we were actually just waiting outside in the sun for hours on end after a very short meeting with Brigadier Van der Merwe, the Divisional CID Officer.
QUESTION:: I wish to show you a Bundle of documents which relate to the Lindley shooting incident, page 59 if we can start there Mr Chairman, I have HANDED SOME of the documents, I assume that would be Exhibit K, Bundle of documents relating to...
QUESTION:: Yes, now if you'd turn a few pages further, page 64 it's on the second page of a memorandum dated 3 May 1983, how would you describe this memorandum? Can you see from whom it is and to whom it was? It actually starts at 63 sorry.
ANSWER:: On the third page. I can see copies on page 66 were sent to the Commissioner of the South African Police, Private Bag X94, Pretoria. (b) The District Commandant, Kroonstad and coming from JMH Van der Merwe, Brigadier in Welkom. I'm sorry I'm at page 66, sorry Mr Chairperson, it's the Staatsprokureur, on behalf of the State Attorney.
ANSWER:: No, this comes from Brigadier Jan Du Preez, this was a decision and in theory we were on a secret operation next to the Lesotho border but for sure not in the Lindley area. The exact way in how to cover up came explicitly from Brigadier Jan Du Preez, JA Du Preez, who was the then second-in-charge under General Johan Coetzee in the Security Police Headquarters.
ANSWER:: Well firstly to avoid Joe Mamasela's identity to be blown and secondly to avoid anyone being charged as the result of some conviction which might result in the danger of the illegal activities of the Security Police, like the hit squads being exposed, by the then victim in this case who would have been Almond Nofomela, Mr Chairman.
"In the light of the above and especially due to the fact that the person had to keep his identity secret and that he may not give evidence in court, there remains no other alternative than to dispose of the matter in the best possible way."
ANSWER:: From Security Headquarters, Brigadier Jan Du Preez with the consent, I can assure you Mr Chairman, of General Johan Coetzee through the Divisional CID officer, Brigadier Van der Merwe in Welkom, to the Attorney General's offices in Bloemfontein, Advocate Tim McNally.
QUESTION:: To return to the page where you were just now page 66 of that memorandum, Mr Chairman again this is obviously not a document of which the applicant is the author, but if I could just ask him as a policeman could you recognise this document and would you be able to make some
ANSWER:: The stamp, rubber stamp impression on the right top hand side is that of the Commissioner of Police upon receipt of documents, each one is stamped, and it was received on 5 May 1983 in Pretoria. Then there is a Private Bag No at the top, a reference number, enquiry number Major Ellis, a phone number which is the 017 code, I don't know which area code that is, 4 May 1983, it should be the Welkom because I see the author of the letter is Brigadier JMH Van der Merwe, Divisional Commissioner, Welkom, Brigadier. It was addressed to the Commissioner of Police with a copy to the District Commandant in Kroonstad which fell under the Divisional Commissioner, Welkom.
"Van der Merwe's instructions to the State Attorney was given with the full knowledge of the head of the Security Police at the time."
QUESTION:: At the time would it have struck you as strange that people like the head of, well let me first ask you this. If the head of the Security Police had wanted to know the truth, would it have been very difficult to find out from him whether you were actually busy with a secret operation in the Lindley area?
ANSWER:: No not at all, in fact he would have known the truth and would have assisted in the covering up. The only reason Mr Chairman if a source is of some value, a cover-up of this kind would happen if he has no value at all he would be assassinated as happened to many askaris after my time.
ANSWER:: Not at all surprising, common practice I think like was proved in the Harms Commission that even higher up to the Commissioner of Police, former Commissioner of Police Johan Van der Merwe who is admitting and even up to a cabinet level.
QUESTION:: Yes, as a security policeman then was your understanding that if there were any judicial problems or any problems from the political side that your colleagues would cover up for you and that you would cover up for them as much as is possible under the circumstances?
QUESTION:: In covering up the Lindley incident and the diamond dealer, was it your understanding that you were in fact performing or doing what was condoned in the wider culture of the Security Police?
MR JANSEN:: No Mr Chairman, it's with respect not meant as libelous, what is meant is that with their cover-up, lying to politicians and it's not saying that the politicians or the judicial officers were part of the cover up. What is meant by that answer and the question is that, and specifically relating to this incident, is that the Security Police lived under a culture where they believed that if they covered for each other and lied for each other they would successfully keep the politicians ignorant. They would successfully keep the judicial officers ignorant, not that they were a party to it. That is only how it is meant, I think it's the only extent to which it can be
ANSWER:: Absolutely Mr Chairman, there was a huge massive cover-up, again to the top, and illegal operations of the kind that I'm asking amnesty for escalated dramatically, personnel build-up operationally ten-fold, 100-fold if it was compared to what I did.
QUESTION:: As an example, you at one stage wrote a letter to the then President, F W de Klerk trying to convince him that he should see a different perspective as to that which he was being briefed with by his Generals, is that correct?
ANSWER:: That was correct Mr Chairman and if I remember correctly it was on 21 February 1992 or 1991, I wrote the letter whilst in exile in London, went to an attorney to do an oath. It was faxed to the President's office through the newspaper the Sunday Times and the original registered to him by registered mail.
QUESTION:: In the diamond dealer incident the body was disposed of, cover-ups were done. In the Lindley shooting false statements were given and further cover-ups were done. I want to put it to you that these things were done in both incidents for the following reasons;
morning of 20 October 1989 after Almond Nofomela spoke of the Griffith Mninge incident the previous night only, so one can imagine if then some or one or two or more people were charged that were involved in these incidents and they eventually landed up in jail without being assisted in the normal way by the Security Police covering up, and they started spilling the beans in 1981. It would have had exactly the same effect as it had on 20 October 1989, in other words that date would have been moved eight years forward, earlier if they risked to charge any one of the people involved.
JUDGE WILSON:: Surely there's an enormous difference Captain Coetzee between the deliberate assassination of an attorney who is carrying out his business for political reasons and the killing of a diamond dealer who has tried to cheat you by selling you diamonds that aren't worth the money?
ANSWER:: It is true Mr Chairman that is, but I'm specifically answering the question of Mr Mpshe as far as he related it to me that it was not politically intended, the end result of it, but it's completely different, it's completely private, that's correct Mr Chairman.
MR DE JAGER:: Mr Coetzee but the police didn't deny responsibility for paying for instance the victims in the Lindley incident, it was only that they didn't want the identity of the informer or agent to be...but they accepted responsibility for the act as a police act.
ANSWER:: That is correct as far as the civil law suit was concerned, that is correct but as far as the criminal act of the shooting of Joe Mamasela, which was then moved to Almond Nofomela, that was squashed and covered up Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: No there will be, Lindley at that stage still had these old exchanges and I phoned Brigadier Schoon to his house, I think it was a Saturday night, and had a long discussion with him. I'm sure if records could be traced it will be proved that way and if W/O Heath who was then station commander, at this stage he's on pension but his son is director, (indistinct) Heath who is still with the South African Police Services.
ANSWER:: I did because of the culture of the police, but would not have risked doing it at all with consent from the very, very top because of the magnitude of the possible results that could come out of that if it was not done.
MR DE JAGER:: Mr Coetzee and you're also referring to the culture of the police, and I think you should let us stick to the Vlakplaas police, because I don't think, or was it the culture of all the police?
ANSWER:: There was no action taken at all Mr Chairman, records will prove that, there was not even an indication of any possibility of any action taken to him, criminally or departmentally, or against any one of us for that matter.
CHAIRMAN:: Are you advancing the theory that no matter what the Vlakplaas police did, openly criminal activity not related in any way to any political objective, is by you regarded as an overall political objective. Is that what you are really saying?
ANSWER:: In a way yes Mr Chairman, if the source is still valuable, if the police individual or police member is still a valuable member it is allowed, it's an open hand and I think it was very clearly indicated in the Eugene De Kock trial recently where it is, there was an absolute open free hand and everything was condoned from the top as being publicly admittednow, in the majority of those cases by the former Commissioner of Police General Johan Van der Merwe.
CHAIRMAN:: It may have been condoned but I'm not talking about whether it was rightly condoned or wrongly condoned, I'm looking at the acts that were committed and I'm trying to wrestle with whether those acts can be interpreted in terms of the Act as being related to a political objective. The evidence that we've heard so far, at least on these two murders, leave me in grave doubt whether they can be described directly as being motivated by a political objective. For example, the purchase of the diamonds was not political, is that correct?
CHAIRMAN:: Well that's the end of the matter isn't it. Everything that flows out of that was part of criminal activity by the police, but because they were police of the Vlakplaas Unit, therefore they become political that's what you're saying.
CHAIRMAN:: There may be political consequences out of ordinary simple acts as well, but looking at the acts themselves one wants to know whether this can be brought within the ambit of the Act. This is a matter for argument, no doubt we will hear argument on that.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: I don't understand your answer to a question which was asked by the Chairman. I would have thought that if a member of the Security Police based at Vlakplaas committed an ordinary crime, he would be prosecuted like any other person?
ANSWER:: At that time he was a highly sensitive source whose identity could not be revealed and as I said if it was, and it ended up in a criminal court case, it would have had exactly the same result, I think he would have acted exactly in the same manner as Almond Nofomela did on 19 October 1989.
ANSWER:: When I left the country after Almond spilled the beans to expose it to support him, the attempts on my life twice, two of them, one was a Walkman bomb which eventually killed Beke Mgeni(?), the other with a contract with the Ulster Freedom Fighters where the British police apprehended two South African agents, that it was impossible to expose to take on the system, the mighty apartheid system during those days, and more (indistinct) the South African Security Police. Just impossible, no court as proved in the Harms Commission, when I told all these stories and it's on record
where Judge Harms in public asked me and I quote, "how must I believe this crap you're talking" and I'm afraid with respect to the judge because he's been misled by the police as usually successfully, all those nonsense that I so-called spoke is exactly coming out as the truth with a little bit of finer detail here and there, but nothing else. At the time there was not an indication that I would come home within the next year with...
ANSWER:: Well Mr Chairman I'm sorry I'm just giving you examples of how impossible it was to, one of the Chairman said that if Joe was then arrested and were charged in 81, it would have moved the process of peace and reconciliation eight years earlier but at that time it was completely impossible. If you were still a...
ANSWER:: Because of the sensitivity, as I already said, of Joe Mamasela being an askari, being infiltrated with the ANC in Botswana, shooting with an unregistered, illegal firearm and if that would have come out it would have been in itself chaotic for the South African Security Police and furthermore if he was charged and he exposed the hit squad activities of the South African Security Police, even so more.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: In that case if you didn't think it would go so far as to have Mr Nofomela prosecuted, what was the purpose then of substituting him for Mr Mamasela, after all he too would not have been prosecuted.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: If he had raped a 14 year old girl during that time following the trend of your argument, he would not be prosecuted, apparently the police would have found an appropriate rapist to put in his place?
ANSWER:: No I don't know what exactly would have happened in that specific case then Mr Chairman, all I can tell what the Security Police needed they could achieve by oppressing whatever charges was against them. Joe Mamasela for instance was recruited by the Security Police in June 1979, Major Kruger in Krugersdorp prison awaiting a charge of robbery if I'm correct, of robbery. He then approached the Security Police that he can assist them, opportunist that he is, and they then squashed that case against him and in August he was out working for the Security Police. He was on a robbery charge awaiting trial in the Kurgersdorp prison.
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Looking at this Lindley incident, if the police deemed it necessary to recruit Joe Mamasela for whatever purpose, and he does certain things, shouldn't the police simply accept the consequences thereof?
ANSWER:: Not in the security culture, the main purpose as I described in this same document Mr Chairman, if you would allow me and the answer is a little bit long, I just say I will just come to page 9 of my manuscript where I say
"Illegalities in the course of duty (and I'm describing the Security Police culture in this introductory form)...illegalities in the course of
duty often gave rise to illegalities outside the call of duty and illegalities outside the call of duty as well as by criminals outside the police force were condoned to serve the ends of the Security Police operations. We were as part of the culture, quite unconcerned with bringing a car thief to justice if such a thief can serve our ends. Our informants were quite typical criminals."
CHAIRMAN:: So it seems that the overriding concern of you and your superiors was to maintain the integrity of Vlakplaas, to prevent it from being discovered in any way whatsoever, to prevent any of its activities being discovered and that was the sole aim and purpose?
CHAIRMAN:: Yes now I'm talking about whether there's a political objective and it seems that the real objective was not a political objective but the objective was, a structure had been created called Vlakplaas, all kinds of offences were then committed and all things were done to maintain the integrity and identity of Vlakplaas, that was the objective
ANSWER:: Well Mr Chairman as I say, as a result of the (indistinct) chain, I did not know always how high up did the command come but I think again it is now public knowledge and no secret that Minister Adrian Vlok was at Vlakplaas after the Kotswe House bombing for instance to make it unusable and then was on the farm partying with the members, congratulating them on the operation and then going on TV and blaming the ANC for that.
ANSWER:: I think the end result is the Minister of that relative department is a member of the then Government or was and of course it is not Vlakplaas as such but one must see it in the Security Police culture and set-up and if one looks at it that the Security Police is actually the people who advised the Government on security laws and in a way was actually governing this country. Stringent security laws were made by Parliament on the recommendation, untested evidence of the Security Police about the freedom fighters and the freedom organisations.
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Coetzee would you then say that the State Security Council was aware of the then raging culture of deceit and cover-up by the Security Police in relation to their criminal activities which had no relation to the total onslaught against the liberation movements?
MS KHAMPEPE:: I'm just asking if in your opinion the State Security Council was aware of the then raging culture of deceit and cover-up by the Security Police in relation to criminal activities which had no relation to the total onslaught against the liberation movements?
ANSWER:: I would not be able to answer that question because I don't know, I never had contact, personal contact with the Security Council at all. All that made me wonder why didn't they stop all this Vlakplaas operations, why did the criminal activities escalate dramatically, apart from all the other illegal activities as far as security's operations, after....
ANSWER:: Well they could have pleaded no knowledge or, before myself and Almond Nofomela's revelations but for sure thereafter such serious allegations coming from your Security Police people surely people surely must have made the Minister get into his car and drive to Vlakplaas to go and see what is going on on this farm or, instead of going there and congratulating the people on incidents that happened three or four years, I can't remember when was the Kotse House bombing but to sort of go there and party with the guys and congratulate them on it, on their activities.
JUDGE WILSON:: Did he know this, it's all very well to say it was built into his official car but I get an official car and I don't know where the radio comes from, it's just put there. Did Brigadier Schoon know where it came from?
ANSWER:: Well I made it known to him what happened, Sgt Koos Schutte did build the radio into his vehicle. Colonel Jack Cronje on Vlakplaas, the Commander, it was after me Captain Jan Coetzee and then a Colonel Jack Cronje came to the farm and then I threatened whilst my phone was tapped and it was admitted in court and that it was tapped and it was illegally tapped during my departmental trial, I told my listeners on the phone, the upper echelons, that the later Chief of the Security Police, Lt Gen Piet Viljoen's wife was monthly drawing the illegal money from a non-existing source for months on end. I then got a message from Sgt Schutte on the farm that if I would make that public they would, they are threatening to expose the diamond dealer, the Lesotho diamond dealer story. I said go ahead, I did expose Joan Viljoen's activities, the wife of Lt Gen Piet Viljoen, it's in this manuscript, and up until this day they did nothing from their side as they threatened to do.
JUDGE WILSON:: Nothing you have said in your answer, as far as I am concerned, did anything to show that Brig Schoon knew where the radio came from. You've told us about other people, other threats, other things, who issued him with is official car?
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Coetzee also there is no evidence to show that Brigadier Schoon in fact agreed to the cover up. According to your manuscript on page 123 that's paragraph 220.127.116.11 you phoned Schoon, briefed him on the cover up and then requested that he sent Lt Schutte(?) to bring the car to Gwalela.
ANSWER:: That's true Mr Chairman, not doing anything about it then resulting of my report, shows that he agreed in covering it up otherwise he would have immediately proceeded with criminal charges against the people involved.
ANSWER:: Yes Mr Chairman I know that was when he was working with his handler Captain Jan Coetzee of West Rand, what the exact circumstances are, why he sent him in daylight because maybe he was known to the people of the house, maybe he was known as a courier running between Botswana, the house of Joyce Dibali and the house of their relatives in Soweto, I can't say but I'm sure Captain Jan Coetzee will assist in that answer.
ANSWER:: Well obviously the inhabitants of the house knew him and I can't say in what context did they know him, but I'm sure that it was as a result of his contact in Botswana coming through because he was also transporting arms for the ANC through the border gate, with the knowledge of the ANC, ag with the Security Police.
MR DE JAGER:: You always bring in other incidents like the carrying of arms now, but I say they weren't concerned about his identity acting on behalf of the Security Police because he was acting on behalf of the Security Police in abducting Mr Umfali.
ANSWER:: Ja that's correct Mr Chairman, I can't answer that question I wasn't involved in it, in the decision-making, I don't know the circumstances around the set-up at the house, him knowing the inhabitants of the house and why Jan Coetzee then...
JUDGE WILSON:: But once he was known as Joe Mamasela and he took part in the interrogation and assault, then his identity was blown as a police assistant wasn't it, they would know he was helping the police.
"Mohabi was released from detention in January 1982, he told me that one of the men who had taken him in October 1981 had been Joseph Mamasela. I know Joseph Mamasela as before the arrest of my son Mohabi, he used to visit us."
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman this manuscript was prepared with the intention in Zambia, with the help of my brother, two weeks before the Harms Commission which commenced in London on 23 April 1990, hopefully to complete it and get it printed in a book form on memory only, I had no access to documents or colleagues, former colleagues that I could consult with, and then hand it up as my evidence in the Harms Commission
saying that is my story and I am prepared to answer questions on it. We did not succeed in completing it, we only came to a certain page, I think, up until page 125 because the lawyers for Human Rights who made date appointments for the Harms Commission in London did not want to listen to me, did not know what I was up against, and we were forced on to the plane to London and I could not succeed in completing this document. I only completed it after the Harms Commission in London.
ANSWER:: The date on it is 21 April in the beginning, the introduction Mr Chairman I might just refer in the preface on page 6 and 7, the Committee would get the first long piece, signed or printed by my brother Ben Coetzee, dated 21 April 1990, that was the Saturday morning that we landed in London for the Harms Commission to commence on the Monday 23. I completed it and returned to Zambia on 13 May 1990, after the Harms Commission, when I signed it, dated it and handed several copies out to the ANC and advocates in preparing for other cases, it was never altered, changed. I think if the Committee might just look at the second part of the preface, where it specifically said, explained how several factors prevented my brother, that's now referring to me, written by my brother Ben
"..from producing a reasonable, spell-checked document in Lusaka and London. Neither of us are good at spelling, we had precious little time, a temperamental computer and a primitive word-processing package. I have now converted the electronic text to a more modern word-processing
document. This enabled me to use a different front(?), a variety of letter sizes, bold faces and paragraph justification. I also corrected the bulk of the numerous spelling errors but did not as much as touch the original grammar, idiom choice of words or sentence construction for fear of changing the meaning in any way."
QUESTION:: As far as your involvement in the incidents are concerned, as far as the core of these offences are concerned, in other words the fact that somebody was killed, the fact that somebody was kidnapped that you were involved to some extent, would you say that the manuscript is at least as far as that is concerned, an accurate reflection?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman, resulting from documents that were submitted and handed up by the police, in the Harms Commission, the McNally Commission and also in the Mnenge docket, murder docket that was made available to us.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, in respect of matter No 8 that is being dealt with now. I just want to hand up a letter from the attorney of Willem Schoon, that is in respect of matter No 8, from the lawyer responding to the form 2, just for completeness sake.
MR MPSHE: I may perhaps further add relevant to the letter, Mr Chairman, that after receiving the letter I got in touch with Mr Wagner, the attorney, the author of that letter, and he indicated to me that he can only come at the end of the hearings to make submissions that will be in writing and he will read this into the mike. He need not come and listen to all the evidence. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
Mr Chairman, the victim Marius Schoon was also served with the document, form 2, and I had a talk with him on 11 December 1996 and he said he is not prepared to come, he does not want to come, but he will consult with his attorney and come back to me, which then did not happen. On Friday last in Cape Town I phoned his house once more but I did not find him, I found the son, who then provided me with the full home address and that's when I sent the form 2.
Mr Chikalanga, I assume you recall the incident where you were involved in the purchase of diamonds together with two of your colleagues in Lesotho, and where the person that sold you the diamonds was eventually killed.
MR CHIKALANGA: Yes, we went back to Lesotho together with Joe, we were three, myself, Joe and Almond. When we arrived in Lesotho that's when we found the guy and we spoke with him again and they said we should come back with him so that
MR CHIKALANGA: When we met him Almond and Joe spoke with him inside his car, I remained in our car, Almond's car, I was sitting there, they were speaking with him and they ended up saying go forward we will meet you on the way. They said I should drive back home, they will meet met in Vlakplaas.
MR JANSEN: No, but on your way to Lesotho with Almond and Joe to return the diamonds, and again returning to South Africa with the diamond dealer, did you know what was about to happen with the diamond dealer, did you know that they were going to kill him?
MR CHIKALANGA: That's when Dirk Coetzee said let's go to the area where they killed him together with Almond because Almond knew where they killed the diamond dealer. So we went there together, myself and Dirk and we found the corpse.
MR JANSEN: What do you think would have happened to you if you hadn't followed Mr Coetzee's orders or instructions as far as covering up is concerned, in other words, if you had gone to the police, the ordinary police, and told them that a murder had been committed?
MR CHIKALANGA: What I am saying, as I have said before, while they were discussing with him, Almond and Joe, when they told him that we are going to meet him outside the border of Lesotho next to Ladybrand, they were alone. A lot of things they discussed I can't tell you because I was not there.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, as far as the matters of this applicant is concerned, there is only matter No 4 left, which is the burning of the trucks at Rhodes and the theft of an Audi vehicle in Uitenhage. In both these incidents nobody was injured, so they do not constitute human rights violations, with respect.
Although in the further particulars that you requested from this applicant, you only requested such further particulars relating to the theft of the Audi vehicle in Port Elizabeth. More particularly the reason therefor was that he referred to a certain part - I am sorry, Mr Chairman, I am wrong there. It was in the burning of the vehicles that he refers to the affidavit of Mr Dirk Coetzee and does not give the details himself. I don't know whether you wish me to lead evidence on these two issues or to carry on with the final matter in which this applicant seeks amnesty and that is the matter of Jabu Njowase and the wife (indistinct).
MR JANSEN: No, Mr Chairman, but in the sense that this follows the same pattern of surveillance in Swaziland with orders to eliminate if the opportunity arose and so forth. It follows very much the same pattern as many of the other incidents.
before you, if you just look at the front part of the document as well, is that your application which you signed for purposes of being submitted before the Amnesty Committee? Just have a look at the cover of that document.
MR CHIKALANGA: I think it was in 1982, if I am not mistaken. Most of the time when Dirk Coetzee was still there he used to come there, they used to work together with (indistinct). He used to come and work at Vlakplaas for one week or two weeks and then he left.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, I am to seek permission from the Chair or guidance as to the questions I intend asking, whether I could put these questions to the witness or this can be responded to by the lawyer, because this pertains to the acts or omissions or offences as on page paginated 14 of the application. This is going to involve legal knowledge.
MR MPSHE: On matters of fact I have no questions to the witness, Mr Chairman. It is on the question of paragraph A1, the acts upon which amnesty is applied for, murder, conspiracy to murder and attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
MR CHIKALANGA: The way they described him, all the people who were with me, there were albums which were having photos of these targets. They told us this person stays in this particular place, just like that. No, we didn't find him that time.
MR CHIKALANGA: While we were going to Swaziland we went there with the instruction from Jan Coetzee and some other people from Ermelo but I cannot remember their names. Always in the morning they used to come and report and late in the night. People who were in Swaziland was Almond and Joe who used to go and (indistinct) in a particular hotel in Swaziland.
MR CHIKALANGA: Actually I just thought for myself that what happened, because we were told that if we got a chance, there were people who were still inside. Because they said we shall retreat very fast, it means therefore that something happened, so I thought maybe the people who told us to retreat very fast were the people who were responsible.
MR CHIKALANGA: What I said is that those were the people whom we used to report to every day. They were inside Swaziland by then, so Almond Nofomela and Joe used to report to them in Swaziland. So Joe and Almond they are the people who said to me that those people said we shall retreat immediately.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, yes, there is just the one problem and that relates to the query that was forwarded to Mr Chikalanga relating to his application where he just refers to Mr Coetzee's application instead of stating things himself. There has been no answer to the Committee's request on that. What happened since the last - Mr Chikalanga has basically effectively been without representation since the last hearings. I don't know whether I should deal with that by way of oral evidence or just by way of submitting an affidavit before the end of this session of the hearings.
"With reference to page 7 para A4 kindly be advised that in accordance with the promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995, as amended, the applicant must make full disclosure and cannot refer to someone else's application form".
In other words, that neither the further particulars sought in respect of paragraph 5A(4) has been answered at this stage. Personally I would submit that we should deal with the matter just by way of submitting a further affidavit before the close of the session. If, of course, Mr Chairman, with respect, you are of the view that both those incidents, theft of the vehicle and the burning of the vehicles, do not require any evidence as such.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, just to inform my learned friend and perhaps the Committee. These two matters are some of the matters whereupon we have agreed that these are matters of non-gross violation of human rights and these are some of the matters that will be dealt with in chambers. The letter that he is reading from is a letter that was asking for information for chamber purposes.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Mpshe, you circulated a letter in which you identified matters which need not be for hearing and then you listed them. You submitted a list of matters which could be disposed of in chambers on paper. Have you tried to get hold of that document?
MR MPSHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, we are in the hands of my colleague, Adv De Wet Marais. He is going to do a confirmatorist(?) and he will be left with one matter, the Lawrence matter, which we have decided we will do to tomorrow. Thank you, Mr Chairman. Tomorrow it will be Lawrence and Maponi.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, a supplementary affidavit was also filed by this applicant dealing with two matters of gross violations and that is being handed up to you now. Those two matters were not included yesterday in the list that Mr Mpshe read out to you of the incidents that will be
EXAMINATION BY MR MARAIS: Mr Nofomela, in your affidavit there is a paragraph dealing with an attack on ANC members in Swaziland in November 1983 under the command of Colonel Jack Cronje and that is the incident where three occupants of a certain house were killed. Do you confirm the contents of this paragraph in your affidavit?
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, the witness has already confirmed the contents of this paragraph now, so I will move on to the next paragraph which is paragraph 6 on typed page 10 of the application. Mr Nofomela, this paragraph deals with an attack on unknown persons in Swaziland in approximately November 1985, again under the command of Colonel Cronje. Do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
MR MARAIS: The next paragraph is paragraph 8 on page 13 of your application. It deals with a shooting incident in Lamontville near Durban, also referred to as Chesterville, where you dropped off certain persons who went into the township where a shooting incident took place. Do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
MR MARAIS: Paragraph 9 on page 15 deals with an incident near Amsterdam in the Eastern Transvaal in approximately 1985 or 1986, where you were involved in a shooting incident with Major Eugene de Kock and others, do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Excuse me, just for the sake of clarity. In paragraph 8, is it or is it not the same matter in which Mr Mpshe told us that initially people could not, the victims could not be identified and they have now since been identified or can now be identified, or is it a different matter, or a different incident?
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, this is the incident that was discussed in chambers yesterday, and the decision was that it will be dealt with in the Durban area if there is an application later by Mr De Kock in this regard, since the evidence that this applicant can give only deals with him driving the people who committed the actual shooting to the area and that he cannot give any evidence with regard to the killings itself.
Mr Chairman, paragraph 10 was not included in the list as well. I notice it now and according to Mr Mpshe, this witness could also not be traced and will not be here in September. For that reason that can also be included in this list of incidents where the evidence or the application is only confirmed.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman and members of the Committee, in respect of matter No 10, that one of the man called September, I could not or I was not in a position at all to can trace the next of kin inasfar as this person September is concerned, and as a result we came to the conclusion that it can be dealt with as a confirmatory.
MR MARAIS: Paragraph 10 then, Mr Nofomela, is an incident that deals with the abduction of a certain September from a police station on the outskirts of Manzini in Swaziland, do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
CHAIRMAN: There was evidence in a previous hearing, was there not, in which it was said that the Commissioner of the Police in Swaziland was susceptible to the influence of the South African Security Police.
Mr Chairman, I just want to correct a mistake I've made here about the victim September. I thought we were talking about General, because they are using code numbers. September I said we could not trace them. That is not true. I have just checked on my notes. September's relatives I did trace. September's full names are Glory Sedibe. In this matter I contacted, as I indicated this morning, the Minister of Defence, Joe Modise, who is the brother-in-law to September, and I subsequently learnt that actually the wife to Minister Joe Modise is a sister to September and I spoke to her as well. This was on 11 December 1996. The sister to September, that is Mrs Jackie Modise, agreed that I can send Form 2 to her as the sister, which then was done. This morning at 6 in the morning I phoned Mr Joe Modise's
house to find out when are they available. Mrs Jackie Modise said to me that she will not attend but she has deemed it necessary to forward the amnesty Form 2 to Glory Sedibe, that is September's wife, who is presently in Zambia and she continued and stated that Glory Sedibe, who is September, has a brother who is currently in the Transvaal, but she does not know the address nor the telephone number. The other brother knows the particulars and this will be forwarded to me and this has not been done. That is all, Mr Chairman.
"During 1987 I met September and he informed me that he was then working for Section 1C at Vlakplaas".
MR MPSHE: It was served on her, I cannot remember the date, but I can pull out the return of service, and when I spoke to her this morning she confirmed having received it and says she has decided to forward it to the wife.
MR MPSHE: Let me put it this way. Service on the wife has not been done because she is in Zambia, but service was done on the sister, Mrs Jackie Modise, who then today told me that she has forwarded the documents I served on her to the wife in Zambia.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, I can point out that this person September gave evidence at the Harms Commission so there will be a version from him on record in the proceedings of the Harms Commission. The applicant has already confirmed the contents of paragraph 10 of his application. The next is paragraph 11. Mr Nofomela, in paragraph 11 you deal with an attack in Lesotho in 1986 under the command of Major De Kock. Do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
MR MARAIS: Paragraph 17 in the supplementary affidavit deals with the attempted kidnapping of an ANC member called General in Swaziland in 1981 under the command of Captain Dirk Coetzee, do you confirm the contents of this paragraph?
MR NOFOMELA: The intentions were to go and corner people who were sleeping at night. It was planned that some would enter and others would wait outside and the ones waiting outside would shoot whoever tried to escape and those inside the house would shoot the occupants.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Marais, I suppose you are going to enlighten us during argument as to what the purpose is of asking for amnesty, for example in respect of this particular incident. Because it seems to have happened exclusively or wholly in Swaziland, and I don't know whether amnesty can immune him against Swazi prosecution.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, I am sure we will deal with that in argument. If the conspiracy to murder took place in South Africa, I would imagine that the charge could be brought in South Africa, and I would also imagine that it can affect later extradition proceedings if that would be required if amnesty was granted in South Africa, but I have not looked into that in detail at this stage.
MR NOFOMELA: The instruction I received was that I should transport people to a certain bridge where I was to remain behind with Eugene de Kock and Geoffrey Bosigwo, I cannot remember the others, but where we dropped them off they were to proceed from.
MR NOFOMELA: It is not something that emanated over a short period of time. These people used to go there from time to time to Lamontville or Chesterville, I am not sure what place it is, but they used to go there often under the pretence that they were ANC people so that they could give weapons to people that they met there and politicise with them and on a certain day they were to go there and shoot them and that's the day Geoff and I accompanied them with Eugene de Kock and other white people and some blacks as well and we went to this bridge. And after a while we heard gunshots and we went back to our base at C R Swart.
MR NOFOMELA: I cannot say but there were approximately 10 people from Vlakplaas and others that were assigned to this specific mission, I know some of them, but I cannot remember the others. Even those who were shot, I don't know how many of them there were.
CHAIRMAN: You say the men who had been sent to the meeting returned and reported to Major De Kock that the mission had been successful. By this I understood that the target persons had been killed. Did they not say how many people they killed?
MR NOFOMELA: I only heard after a while that there were people killed and there were some who escaped. But when they came back they did not say whether everyone had died or whether there were any survivors. They just came back and said that they had executed the mission and then we left.
MR NOFOMELA: I heard from Johannes Mbelo at the Eugene de Kock trial when I went there and I asked him about other people that I knew and I was told that he had suffered a heart attack, September had suffered a heart attack.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, information from the Harms and other documentation. It is a newspaper cutting, the fourth block on page 63, paragraph 3, which I will read. I have shown this to the witness. He said here, they are referring to the witness Nofomela
"He said he had received R1 000 for the assassination of civil rights lawyer Griffiths Mxenge and R500 for the September abduction".
JUDGE NGOEPE: But is it possible that you did receive it? I know that you are saying that you don't remember, but I want to know from you whether there is a possibility that you did receive that amount of money.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Seeing that you cannot remember as to whether or not you did receive remuneration in respect of the matter which Mr Mpshe has put to you and seeing that you are not ruling out the possibility, are you in a position to disagree with what the newspaper is saying, that you were
MR NOFOMELA: I can dispute it, Sir, because the incident involving this PAC member was also in 1986 and it seems to have been more or less at the same time as the September incident, and I remember receiving money for the PAC member incident, but I do not remember being remunerated for the September incident. That is why I can dispute having been rewarded.
MR NOFOMELA: The reason for that is because I received one payment and both these incidents took place in 1986, that is why I dispute the fact that I was remunerated for that because I remember this one incident.
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Nofomela, are you able to enlighten us with regard to under what circumstances you were remunerated for carrying out the instructions and in what circumstances you were not remunerated.
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Chikalanga has given evidence that you and Mamasela tricked the diamond dealer to come back to this country. Why did you do that, why was there a need for you to employ tricks when in fact you had gone back there to demand a refund of the R5 000 that you had paid for diamonds?
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, before the witness replies to this question, he is not applying for amnesty with regard to this incident, and I would advise him about his rights with regard to self-incrimination in this regard and if necessary ask for an adjournment.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, the witness is not applying for amnesty with regard to this matter, and if he is asked questions about it I would want to consult with him before he answers any questions in this regard.
JUDGE WILSON: Could I deal with one matter before we adjourn while I have got the references in front of me at the moment. Is it correct, Mr Nofomela, that ion your application for amnesty you set out at the beginning of
the application the fact that you received R1 000 as a special bonus in respect of the Griffiths Mxenge murder and also a R300 bonus in respect of another incident? This is on page 2 of your papers. Is that correct?
MR MARAIS: In terms of the Act on the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation, there is a procedure in terms of section 31 that has to be complied with before any person can be compelled to give evidence that might incriminate him. I have pointed this out to the witness and also the provision in subsection 3 that an incriminating answer given may not be used in criminal proceedings against him and the witness in this case has indicated to me that he is willing to assist the Committee and will answer the question put to him by the member.
MS KHAMPEPE: I want to know why in October 1981, when you went back to Lesotho on the advice or the instructions of your commander then, Mr Dirk Coetzee, to return the diamonds and get the refund of the money you had paid for the diamonds in the sum of R5 000, you then decided not to insist the refund of the money, but to get that diamond dealer to come down to the country, to South Africa.
MR NOFOMELA: It was not the intention to trick him not to get the money. Initially we tried to get the money but we saw that he was hesitant and realised that he did not have the money and we saw that he wasn't playing the game and then we looked at the car he was travelling in and found that it was valuable and if we could get the car from him and sell the car we would get the equivalent of the money we had given them. That is why we decided to tell him that we
MR NOFOMELA: We did speak about the fact that the diamonds weren't with the money that we had paid him and he hesitated and he gave us stories telling us to wait and telling us about other people whom we didn't know.
MR NOFOMELA: We told him that we want to give these fake stones back and we want our money back and this is when he started telling us about other people. I do not remember whose names he mentioned, saying that we should wait for them and he gave us a lot of stories that we could see weren't very clear.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Nofomela, continuing with that. You said you saw the car was valuable and could be sold and through selling the car you could get back your money. When did that occur to you, this plan of taking the car and selling the car?
MR NOFOMELA: Joe and I discussed that amongst ourselves that the way this guy's talking now we are not going to get anything out of him and Joe and I were discussing the car saying that the car seems valuable and we agreed we were going to cheat him into coming to Ladybrand with us.
MR NOFOMELA: Myself and Jonas Mbelo(?) were standing guarding, covering those who had gone inside. We were standing outside near the door. We stood near the door when they went in. I made a mistake where I said that we went in. We did not go in. Mbelo and I remained outside.
MR NOFOMELA: Because we did not go into the house. The mistake that I made was saying that we went into the house saying that they kicked the door and we went in. We in actual fact stood outside guarding those that had gone into the house.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Were you aware at all times that you never entered the house, that you stood outside, but when my brother asked you, you said that you did use your firearm. If you had been standing outside the house all the time, how do you manage to make a mistake that you used your firearm in the house?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Can I go back to my question. I want to understand the basis of your mistake. If you were at all times that you were standing outside the house and you never went in, how do you manage to make the mistake that you used your firearm in the house, if you were never in the house?
MR NOFOMELA: I am trying to correct the error where I included in my statement that I went in, when in actual fact I did not enter the house, I did not shoot, and that is how I remember that I did not use my firearm because I did not go into the house. And due to the fact that I did not enter the house I did not use my firearm.
MR NOFOMELA: As I said Sir, where I was with Major De Kock and the group from Ermelo and Colonel Cronje, where we went to shoot people in Swaziland in 1983. I practically emptied the whole magazine on a wrong person, someone that accompanied me.
CHAIRMAN: But this doesn't say that. This says that "we entered the house" and you say "inside we found three inhabitants sleeping". Now you can understand ordinary common English and you know what that means. ... three inhabitants sleeping if you were outside and Van Dyk
MR NOFOMELA: Sir, it could appear so because I made the mistake in making the statement to my attorney because I notice now that in this incident, this incident in which I was involved, did not take place as in this statement and that is why I thought I would rectify that mistake now because it did not take place as I said in the statement.
MR NOFOMELA: He was quite a distance from me and it was dark and I could not see that it was him and I just fired and I struck him in his foot and he says that he survived by lying flat and shouting to me that it was him.
ADV DE JAGER: Apart from that incident you were asked when did you actually fire shots at people on any of the operations. Could you tell us where did you actually participate in shooting and did you ever kill anybody?
MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I have killed someone. In Amsterdam where we were waiting for people at the border gates coming from Swaziland and that's where we lay 500 ... from the ... border gate in the direction of Amsterdam. When these people passed the instruction which we received from Eugene de Kock was that we shouldn't do anything because they were on their way to go and give weapons to people up ahead and
when they approached we came nearer to the fence and we shot them on their way back and that is where I remember shooting one of them - shooting and killing one of them - and another one fell and dropped his gun and he was injured and we tried to trace him all day but we couldn't find him.
MS KHAMPEPE: The incident marked No 12 in your application, that is the attack on the ANC members in Swaziland, you stated that it was Major De Kock and Lieutenant Van Dyk who did the shooting. Now in which part of the house were the three persons shot by Major De Kock and Lieutenant Van Dyk?
MR NOFOMELA: I would say from what Van Dyk told me, the position of the house is as Van Dyk explained it to me, and that is how I wrote it here. That is why I say that that is the reason for the error - that is the error I made. Thus I ask if you would please allow me to explain it - to accept it in the way that it actually happened, not in the way that I mistakenly put it in here. I did not go into the house. How the people were sleeping or where they were found is what Van Dyk told me. I was actually supposed to say in my statement that Van Dyk told me this, that and the other, not to create the impression that I saw them or to create the impression that I went into the house because I did not enter the house.
CHAIRMAN: I want you to look at page 23 starting at the foot of page 22, where you set out the nature and particulars of what happened. You describe how, at the top of page 23, you started assaulting him.
CHAIRMAN: So then this whole business of asking him to accompany you is so unrealistic. You say you approached the target and you requested him to accompany you and after he refused you stated assaulting him. So you didn't tell him why you wanted him to accompany you, you didn't tell him at all, because you went there to kidnap him. That's right, isn't it?
CHAIRMAN: It seems that you got some pleasure out of doing this kind of thing using violence on people who are utterly helpless when you are in the company of others who are armed and you beat this person up.
just that we went there with the intention of abducting this person, but there was no way in which I could just walk around with him normally you know, when he was refusing, without doing anything to him. I had to force him to come with me because I had gone there to abduct him.
CHAIRMAN: And after he was abducted and taken away my question was then you further assaulted him and interrogated him and I am saying to you judging from the statements you've made you seem to have had no difficulty in going around assaulting people, is that so?
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Nofomela, would you say you probably received that amount because you are the one who initiated the assault? According to the application you are the one who started assaulting this person after he refused to come with you and the others joined, after you had initiated the assault.
JUDGE NGOEPE: May I take you back to the assault on ... Mkize, which is item 15 where you proceed to 18, page 24. I notice that you are telling us that you assaulted this person after he came into the Republic of South Africa on a false identity document.
MR NOFOMELA: The reason for assaulting him was when we met up with him and - when we apprehended him and questioned him we found that he had an illegal passport and there was no identify document to prove that he was a citizen from here
and then Sergeant Van Heerden who was the immediate commander then while Coetzee was the weekend off, he had gone to Piet Retief, he said that we should put him into the vehicle and take him to a plantation near Piet Retief. He was in his own vehicle, and when we got there he started assaulting him and started questioning him.
JUDGE NGOEPE: And you go on to say that after he was assaulted you took him to a panelbeating premises where he was burnt with a welding torch on his chest and face. What was the purpose of doing this, of going to this extent of burning him with a welding torch on his chest and face?
MR NOFOMELA: Those are the decisions taken by Van Heerden. He was the one who said we should take him to this panelbeating shop and he took this welding torch and he scared him with it and that was after he had been assaulted. I cannot answer those questions. Those were his decisions.
panelbeating shop he was very weak and I made a mistake by saying the person was burnt. In fact, he was threatened with being burnt by the flame from the welding torch. He was not burnt. Because I actually testified before the Harms Commission that this person was not actually burnt, he was merely threatened with the welding torch flame. That was a mistake that I made to say that he was actually burnt.
JUDGE NGOEPE: You are very pertinent here. You are not saying that he was threatened. You actually say that he was burnt and subsequently he sued the police and the matter went to court. You are not saying that he was threatened. Either you saw a person being burnt or you didn't.
MR NOFOMELA: It seemed as if he was being burnt, because the flame was held close to his face, close to his body, because when you press this button the flame shoots forward and he cried out as though he had actually burnt and he was bleeding as well and I merely assume that he had burnt due to the extent of his injuries, whereas in actual fact he had not burnt.
MR NOFOMELA: Because of the way that the flame was being brought close to him and the way he cried out, it seemed as if he had actually been burnt by the flame, but he had actually not been burnt. But afterwards I never checked him to see whether he had burnt or not.
JUDGE WILSON: So this was a man that had quite clearly very strong ties in South Africa, is that so? His father was a community leader at Kraaifontein. You have told us that, haven't you? So he had strong ties with Kraaifontein, his father lived there. He was not some strange foreigner who had no connection with the country, was he?
"Community leaders were often associated with the broader democratic movement and thereby associated
JUDGE WILSON: Well, why didn't you mention one word of it earlier in your evidence today? You made no mention of the fact that he was the son of a community leader who might have been associated with the broader democratic movement? You didn't tell us a word of that, why not?
CHAIRMAN: Community leaders were often associated with a broad democratic movement. It didn't mean that every community leader belonged to the democratic movement. So community leaders were associated, some of them, with a broad democratic movement, and because they were associated with a broad democratic movement, some community leaders, this man was the son of a community leader, was treated the way you treated him. Now where is the politics involved in all this? This is sheer brutality, where you started assaulting him without knowing at that stage that he was a
community leader's son, you assaulted him and you beat him up because he didn't have proper papers or suspected that he didn't have. You then say that he told you that his father was a community leader. So it was after he told you that his father was a community leader, you then say community leaders were often associated. So when you started beating him up at that stage you didn't know anything about his father's supposed political affiliations. That's true isn't it?
CHAIRMAN: So then your application for amnesty for this incident quite clearly cannot be said to be motivated properly because there was no political objective to be achieved in beating this man up. You beat him up because he didn't have the right documents.
JUDGE WILSON: I want to go back now again to the attempted kidnapping of the General. You told us that you and Captain Dirk Coetzee went to Swaziland for the purpose of kidnapping him, is that correct?
MR NOFOMELA: Firstly, it was dusk when we got there. It was quite dark already, and we first got into a BMW that was outside and hid ourselves there. I cannot remember when we moved from there, but we gained access into the flat via a window and we stood somewhere near the toilet so that we could see when he came to the toilet, and if he happened to come to the toilet we were going to grab him and leave with
MR NOFOMELA: him and we were unable to do that. While we were standing there, he came to the toilet and we tried to grab him, but he resisted and he was not, as we expected him. We expected him to have been intoxicated, but he was not, because there was something that was thrown in his drink. His drink was supposed to have been spiked in order to aggravate his intoxication, and we found that things didn't work out that way. This person was very strong and he resisted, to such an extent that Captain Dirk Coetzee said that we should leave.
MR NOFOMELA: As far as I know, from what I was told by Dirk Coetzee, there was a person known as Lockwood(?), who was a friend of the General, and that day there were two of them, and he was going to throw something in his glass so that when he drank, when he consumed that alcohol it would aggravate his intoxication far more than the normal drink and that would have made it easier for us to abduct him. And it did not happen that way.
"The General's driver was also subdued by the so-called "knock-out drops" used in many of our missions".
MR NOFOMELA: I remember that they were done to Askaris as well, where they were given alcohol and you could see that they weren't all there, like Petrus Gwadi whose drink was spiked, and that is where I could see from the way he was behaving that something was thrown in his drink and we took him to hospital and the doctor confirmed that his drink had been spiked.
with him and that there was going to be another white man. I thought it was going to be Deetlefs from Ermelo, because he was someone I had become accustomed to, but I wasn't sure if it was going to be him. We went through the border gate, I think I was in front, and they came behind. We were travelling in one car. After we had been defeated by General my tackie slipped off my foot because he was biting me and trying to drag me in, he did not want me to go, and I said to Dirk Coetzee this guy is biting me and he said well bite him back and I bit him on his head and he left me and I hit him with my fists and I took my shoe and put it back on and got into the car, into the BMW that was outside and from there I ran to the car that was waiting in the street. We got into the boot, Mr Coetzee and I, when we got to the border gate. The person driving did not have any problem about the vehicle being searched. We remained in the boot until we got through both border gates, until we got to Oshop(?) border gates and then he came and he opened up the boot for us to get out.
MS KHAMPEPE: I will ask the question again, Mr Nofomela. What role did Mr Coetzee state you were going to play when you were still in South Africa, prior to departing for Swaziland? Were you advised on how you were going to kidnap Mr General?
MR NOFOMELA: He said that we were going to go in because this person was going to be drunk, so we were going to carry him out, I was going to assist him in carrying him. And he made mention of his vehicle as well that I had to bring back. It was a Mazda which was parked outside.
MS KHAMPEPE: But that's what you say in your affidavit:"The intention of the mission was to kidnap this person, bring him to South Africa to interrogate him, concerning ANC dwellings and then to dispose of him afterwards".
JUDGE WILSON: Can I ask one more thing and then I hope I am finished. I am reverting now to the assault on this man you say had a false passport. You know the man I am talking about, Paris Mkize. You told us that you were told that you had to testify in a court case brought against the police by this man, do you remember that?
MR NOFOMELA: I was told by Stephen Banda that there is a message that I should go to the Supreme Court, that there was a civil case which had been instituted by this Mkize, and I went there and there was no one then I went back.
MR MARAIS: In your application on page 2 you refer to a R1000 special bonus in respect of Mxenge(?) and a R300 bonus in respect of another incident which appears in paragraph 13. That is the incident of the abduction of the PAC member, not September, is that correct?
MR MARAIS: What was put to you by Mr Mpshe was from a newspaper article in which it was reported that you had said in your evidence at the Harms Commission that you received R500 for the September abduction. Do you remember whether you gave this evidence at the Harms Commission or not?
Tomorrow we will be dealing with the murder of Johannes Lawrence, matter No 16 on page 26, that is Nofomela's application, Japie Maponya, matter No 7 page 11 as well as the murder of Ace Moema, matter No 4 page 8.
Mr Chairman, you will notice on the typed page 11 that the application is for amnesty with regard to the offence of murder. That is incorrect in the case of this applicant, and amnesty is sought with regard to the offence of kidnapping.
I will also at a later stage in these proceedings come to an explanation on how this affidavit was drafted and why there are certain matters like this specific instance which is not correct. But at this stage the witness will give his evidence with regard to the Maponya incident.
MR NOFOMELA: I was at Vlakplaas at the time under the command of Eugene de Kock and he was my commander. He called Johannes Mbelo and I and said to us that there was someone whom we should go and abduct in Krugersdorp. He even called Moses Nzimande and we were three altogether, and he told us there was someone whose brother was Derulem Maponya who was being looked for at De Wet in connection with the murder of a policeman, a certain Warrant Officer Tswale. Hence they were looking for Japie Maponya in order to question him about his brother, Derulem Maponya, who was a member of the ANC. He then said to us that we should go and abduct him and he also gave us a photograph of him and a vehicle as well.
MR NOFOMELA: We abducted him in a cream Jetta, myself, Moses Mzimande and Johannes Mbele and we went to Krugersdorp. When we got to the building society where Japie was working we parked the vehicle on a road in the direction of Pretoria and got out and we were also told what time he left work and it was - we left Vlakplaas after lunch and we were told that he travels by public transport. When we got out of the car Mbelo was standing near the vehicle, if I remember correctly. Moses went towards the post office because there were two roads he could take. He could either pass the police station or he could pass where we were parked and I stood near the vehicle as well. When he came out we went ...
MR NOFOMELA: As I had said, Sir, we had a photo of him. The first time I saw him he was inside and I was outside near where he worked. I was standing outside where he worked. When he came out he went in the direction of the post office and I followed him because I could see him and Nzimande turned around and spoke to him because he had been told which one it was. While he was talking to him I arrived and I was interrupted by talking - I interrupted them by talking to Japie. He looked at me, I had a pocketbook inside which I had put my police appointment certificate and I showed it to him saying to him I was a policeman investigating fraud against him. He was surprised and I asked him to accompany us to the vehicle and to the police station. He did not refuse, came back and we got
into the car and he got into the back seat of the vehicle. I cannot remember correctly, but I think Mbele was driving. He knew where Krugersdorp Police Station was but he saw us driving in the direction of Pretoria and he wanted to know why were weren't going to the police station. I told him to shut up and took out a firearm and made him to lie flat in the car, on the floor of the car, and that is when we took him to Vlakplaas.
MR NOFOMELA: When we got to Vlakplaas we met Mr De Kock who was there and other whites. They questioned him intensively about his brother and he continuously denied his whereabouts. De Kock was angry and was shouting and assaulting him until he said to us he is not telling the truth, hit him. We assaulted him, all of us, myself, Johannes Mbelo, Moses Nzimande and other whites, whose names I cannot remember, who were also present there. They also assaulted him. At some stage he spoke about his relatives saying that some of his relatives lived at a certain place and at that stage De Kock said that I should start writing down what he was saying. He was speaking Afrikaans. When he was being assaulted he was speaking in Setswana and between Mbelo and myself one of us had to interpret what he was saying. I started interpreting and I was told to stop and start recording what was being said. De Kock said I must stop interpreting and start writing down and Mbelo started interpreting. At that stage he was being assaulted by De Kock and the other whites. While I was writing there came a time where De Kock wanted a canister of teargas. I think he went to fetch it from the back of his car and he brought it and he said that we should tie Japie Maponya
round his eyes and we blindfolded him, myself and Johannes Mbelo. I cannot remember too well if we tied his hands as well. There was a kombi similar to these that sell ice-cream which we called the A-team, because it didn't have any windows, which was also there. Mbelo was told to fetch it when we got there. He was instructed by De Kock. We then put him into this kombi and he took his canister of teargas and sprayed it on his nose and closed his nose and he remained inside coughing in the kombi. I cannot say how long that went on for, but it was quite a while. After a while he opened up the kombi and let him out, dragging him out and threw him on the ground. He was not talking at that stage while he was lying on the ground. There came a time where he asked me whether this person would be able to - Major De Kock asked me if this person would be able to recognise me at a future stage and I said yes, and he told me do not worry my China he won't see you again. He said that in Afrikaans. And then he said to us we should go, myself and Moses Nzimande and Johannes Mbelo, he said we should go and I then went with him and we left him there with those whites and Japie. After a while I heard from Willem Nortje that Japie was killed by De Kock and company in Swaziland.
MR NOFOMELA: I even said at the Eugene de Kock trial that the evidence which I gave was because De Kock promised me that he would assist me in the case with which I was charged if I should - if I lied about him it was because I was angry about everything he had done to me because he had not fulfilled his promises to me and that was where I lied about him having killed Japie because I knew that he would never have survived, because of the way he said to me I would never see him again.
MR MPSHE: But what is funny is that when you approached this man in Krugersdorp outside his workplace he did exactly what you wanted him to do without producing a gun. Now why the need for a gun later?
MR NOFOMELA: As I said, Sir, he eventually questioned where we were going because he saw that we weren't going to the police station where I had originally said we were going. When he asked where we were going, having seen that we weren't going to the police station, I decided to take out the firearm.
MR NOFOMELA: He was lying there. When we left him his face was still covered and he was lying on the floor there after having been teargassed. We left him lying there and his face was bloodied and all messed up.
MR MPSHE: Your evidence is to the effect that you were told that Maponya was subsequently killed in Swaziland but I am going to refer you to your application on page 12, the contents of your application, paragraph (iv), the last sentence
MR MARAIS: Yes, Mr Chairman. That is part of the explanation I will get to later. The copy Mr Mpshe has is a copy that was unsigned and faxed to him on a Monday night before the applicant could be consulted and before he could sign his application and during the consultation where I was not present apparently this was added and those must be the copies that you have as Committee members.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, I submit that this line of questioning will not take the matter further and that it is the same as the questioning yesterday of applicant Dirk Coetzee about the Lindley shooting and the diamond dealer. It is a question of legal argument, whether concealing and hiding the identity of Vlakplaas and the members of the
JUDGE NGOEPE: That may be so, but what concerns me though, and I was about to point that out to you, is whether you should not reconsider the amendment that you introduced this morning. You deleted "murder" and I don't know whether you shouldn't reconsider that, possibly to add "abduction and murder" because the paragraph (d) that Mr Mpshe is dealing with I think he is wanting to show eventually that when he abducted this person he foresaw the possibility that he was going to be killed eventually.
MR MARAIS: Yes, Mr Chairman, I actually made a note of it for re-examination after the questions by the Chairman to make an application to amend again and bring back the murder or accessory to murder.
MR MPSHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, can I proceed with my line of questioning based on the objection by my learned. A ruling has not been made on that. But I was going to respond to what he has said.
MR MPSHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Earlier on you stated in response to one of my questions that you were doing what you were told by your superiors. That may well be so, but I am referring to what you have submitted to the Committee under paragraph (d) which I will read for completeness sake. You state
"To obtain information on a suspected ANC member, thereafter to eliminate the detainee in order to keep the identity of the members of Vlakplaas and the location of the farm a secret".
CHAIRMAN: Mr Nofomela, it was quite clear to you, from all the experience in the past at Vlakplaas, that whenever anybody was abducted for interrogation he was almost inevitably eliminated after the interrogation for the same reason that you give in order so that your identity may not be disclosed or the secrets of Vlakplaas may not become known, is that not so?
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, before my colleague proceeds to the next incident pertaining to the Maponya one, the brother to Japie Maponya is here in person and I've consulted with him this morning and he has indicated to me that he wants to say something. He is going to make a request to this Committee that he be allowed before we move to the next matter.
MR MAPONYA: I thank you honourable people of this Committee. What I want to say being Maponya, the elder brother to Japie, as a family there is one concern we have. We have this reconciliation and forgiveness matter because we are Christians. What does not satisfy us is that we are going to forgive this man who did this brutal thing about my brother. My mother even had a heart attack, she has since died because of that. We must forgive them now. But they
But then don't want to point out where they disposed of him. We don't know that place, they are the only people who know. Our request is this, so long as the TRC is still in process they must ask these people to give us the remains of Japie Maponya so that we can prepare a proper funeral for him. It is then that we can forgive them like God would forgive us. That is what I have to say. I thank you.
MR MAPONYA: They said they wanted my eldest brother Odirile. After we knew about Japie's murder. When we followed Japie trying to find him, even the time they abducted Japie from work, a day before that, they all arrested us together with our family. We were gaoled in different prisons. After that we came back the same day. In the afternoon we looked for Japie at his girlfriend's place but he had not yet arrived. That is when I started searching for him. That is when they arrested myself and my family. They asked us about Odirile, but we told them that we are looking for Japie.
MR MAPONYA: I used to have them. The problem is that when policemen started harassing us we threw away all the (indistinct) because they came like wild animals to us. Then we tore everything. I had a file containing all the
JUDGE NGOEPE: Amongst the police, I assume it was Security Police, whom you say harassed you. Is there anybody in particular that you recall either as the person who was in apparent charge of the situation or who was most prominent?
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, there are no questions, but just to help the member of the Committee about the newspaper reportings. I am told by the other brother who is sitting behind me that it was on 17 April 1988 and this appeared in the newspaper Beeld or Vaderland and Kleinhans was a Captain by then. That is all.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mr Mpshe, his desire for his family to be told where the remains of Japie could be might be something that might be referred to the R&R Committee or the investigators, if it is at all possible to find out.
MR MPSHE: Yes, Mr Chairman, I have indicated this to him and to the briefer this morning. Just for completeness sake. The other brother, who was (indistinct) did testify in the HRV hearings about this very same incident, so they are aware of it.
MR NOFOMELA: After the case I went to tell Captain Eugene de Kock at the time, my commander, and he said that if you should be arrested you should deny everything with regards to this matter. I will assist you and I will speak to my superiors about this matter as well.
MR MARAIS: Then on the 19th October 1989, the evening before you were due to be executed, you made a statement regarding your involvement in the activities that you are now seeking amnesty for, correct?
MR NOFOMELA: It was on 11 September. I remember it was during the day, I cannot remember what time it was, I was with Johnny Mohani, who came to me and told me where - I knew where Lourens and them stayed - but he said to me that Lourens and them have money, lots and lots of money in their house which we can go and steal. So I did not have money at the time and I had a large family to take care of at home and the money which I obtained by going out to work in places like Durban and Rustenberg was money which I used to claim for travelling at Vlakplaas, and when De Kock came he said that I should not be sent out any more, that I should remain at Vlakplaas and I found that by staying at Vlakplaas I did not receive this extra money any more, and I had somewhat adjusted my budget to accommodate that and I had just bought a house and furniture and my car was at the garage and I had a lot of expenses and I found that what
Johnny Mohani was saying to me about this money that we were going to go and steal there seemed like a good idea and I agreed because of my financial problems. When we got to Mr Lourens's house we found him there and when he appeared he said to me, what are you kaffirs doing on my farm? And he was carrying a firearm and there was no chance for me to run away. That annoyed me, the fact that he called me a kaffir, especially when I thought of the way which I worked at Vlakplaas because quite often I worked for whites who were oppressing blacks and today here a white man is calling me a kaffir. This term that I absolutely resented. I was angry and he grabbed me and we wrestled for the firearm he had. I had a knife and firearm in my possession. While we were wrestling I took out the knife and I stabbed him with it. He fell with the firearm. From there onwards I found that Johnny had already gone inside and I called him, not knowing what he had found inside the house. I lit a candle which I had found and put it under the curtain to set the curtain alight so that whoever arrived there would think that the house had burnt down to eliminate any traces of even Johnny's fingerprints if police were to arrive. We did not proceed to do what we had set out to do because of what then happened between Mr Lourens and myself.
MR NOFOMELA: As I said, Sir, the way in which I worked at Vlakplaas, I saw that the battle which we were fighting against the ANC was the side which I was on was that I was fighting black people, assisting white people to fight black people and what annoyed me was that he should have called me
MR NOFOMELA: The other reason was that while we were wrestling with this firearm there was a possibility that he would have shot me with it and I realised that if I could stab him it is possible that he could drop the firearm and when he dropped the firearm - by the time he dropped the firearm I had already stabbed him several times and I saw when he fell that he had already died.
MR NOFOMELA: I would start by saying that before I even got to Vlakplaas I was never involved in any violent activities and I have never been to gaol. All this violence is what I had learnt at Vlakplaas. When I got there I did not know anything about such violence.
MS KHAMPEPE: Mr Nofomela, on page 27 of your application you state that you committed the murder because you were motivated and caused by the political indoctrination that you had received as a Security Policeman. What was this indoctrination that you are referring to in your application?
MR NOFOMELA: In the sense that when someone did not agree with you it meant that that person, according to the indoctrination, was that that person could be dangerous to you and that you should regard that person as your enemy.
MS KHAMPEPE:: When you say the training and work that you did as at the Security Branch was aimed at fighting the enemies of the State, you in fact are referring to people who were hostile to the Government you were serving?
ANSWER:: It was a common word which I had heard quite often, specifically being used at Vlakplaas being used amongst the whites talking to each other but it had never been used, directed at me it was the first time.
MS KHAMPEPE:: ...as you've made reference to additional remuneration you received when you were working in places like Durban and you said that you had to get hooked into the suggestion to rob Lourens when the suggestion was made to you by Johnny Mohani. What were you referring to, I probably did not understand your evidence properly, did you actually get rewards... (discussion aside between members)...thank you I now understand I've just been corrected.
ANSWER:: I was not expecting a confrontation and we were not going there to go and rob them, we were going to steal their money because we were not expecting to find them there we were going to go there and steal their money.
ANSWER:: Sir the person that used to frequent the place was Johnny and he said that there was no one there, that we should go so we approached the house from the back and when we came around we found this man.
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman I did so but some of the things I want to ask I was not sure about have been covered by the members of the Committee. I abandon that request and I'll proceed to put only two questions to the applicant.
ANSWER:: We were already in the front of the house by this stage, by the time we got to the front of the house he had seen us and he had already got up and was coming towards us with his gun and that is why I stood until he came to me.
MS KHAMPEPE:: Mr Nofomela after your arrest you consulted Mr De Kock who was your commander who advised you that he would assist you in trying to take you out of the quagmire in which you found yourself in. Did he explain to you how he was going to assist you?
ANSWER:: Sir this took place in a very short space of time, stabbing him, by the time he fell I looked around for Johnny Mohani and I found, I didn't find him next to me and I found him inside the house because this incident took place in front of the house. I called him and saw that he was already inside the house.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman I have no re-examination but before this witness stands down I want to place certain matters on record with regard to the drafting of his affidavit, since there has appeared contradictions between the evidence of this witness and the contents of his affidavit and it could be necessary for him to confirm certain of the matters that I place on record inasfar as they fall within his knowledge. Mr Chairman since August
1996, my instructing attorney Mr Knight has endeavoured to get instructions and funding for this matter through the police where Nofomela was employed at that stage. He could not do so and when the dates were set for the hearings in Durban of this Committee, he still had not obtained instructions to instruct counsel. After the dates were received, I went to the Legal Aid Board with Mr Jansen to convince them that Mr Nofomela is entitled to legal aid and that we should carry on with drafting the affidavit. Until today we have not received formal notification from the Legal Aid Board with regard to this application. Our attorney was also in contact with Mr Mpshe's office during that time and submitted affidavits for Mr Coetzee and Mr Tshikalanga. Mr Mpshe's office urgently wanted an affidavit from Mr Nofomela and I and Mr Jansen drafted this affidavit on a Sunday afternoon from my consultation notes with Mr Nofomela from seven years ago, during the Harms Commission and from the affidavits of Mr Coetzee and Mr Tshikalanga. The next day, the Monday, I went to prison to consult with Mr Nofomela in order to get him to sign the affidavit and to correct whatever needed to be corrected. When I arrived at the prison I was informed that, which was quite surprising for a prisoner serving a life sentence, that a computer said that he was "temporarily out". Apparently he was at the De Kock trial where the judge in the trial summoned all witnesses to attend the sentencing of De Kock and we could not consult and we could not change anything in the affidavit at that stage. That night we faxed an unsigned copy of the affidavit to Mr Mpshe's office since they insisted that they needed it urgently in order to try and get the witnesses and victims together for the
hearing which was due to start the next Tuesday in Durban. I was not available the rest of that week and Mr Jansen on the Wednesday assisted us and went to prison and got the affidavit signed after Mr Nofomela browsed through it and corrected the one glaring mistake where he at the Harms Commission gave the false evidence with regard to De Kock shooting Mponja in his presence. We arrived in Durban for the hearing which, as you will know, the Committee wanted to start with as soon as possible since there was a criminal trial set down in the matter of Mr Mkenge's murder for 2 December. We consulted on the Mkenge matter that morning before the hearing started in Durban and that is how the evidence was led there. After the hearings in Durban you will also remember that I withdrew then since we still had no instructions from the Legal Aid Board and it was not sure what our situation was. Mr Nofomela was also not happy with the way things went in Durban since we could not have proper preparation and proper consultation due to the time pressures at that stage. I was only re-instructed last week Wednesday to continue with the matter. During the December recess or just before the recess there was an application in the Supreme Court in Pretoria brought by Generals in the Defence Force to get a court order that the State Departments where they were employed during the times they committed the acts for which they now seek amnesty, that they should be ordered to pay for their amnesty applications and this has still not been sorted out. However, we consulted last Thursday and Friday on the five matters that we prepared for Monday's hearing and those were, according to Mr Mpshe's instructions, that we could decide which matters we wanted to call first. None of
those matters included any of the matters that the applicant confirmed in his evidence yesterday. Yesterday we did not expect to do the confirmations before all the evidence on all the incidents had been finalised and therefore when we were asked by Mr Mpshe whether we would do the confirmations yesterday after lunch, we did not consult on those incidents, it would have necessitated a further adjournment in order to do that and the applicant has rectified the shortcomings in his affidavit during his evidence. His evidence before this Committee should therefore be regarded as his evidence on these matters, correcting the shortcomings in his affidavits. None of this was due to any negligence or lack of interest on the part of the applicant and it is my submission that he should not be in any way blamed for it. Thank you.
MR MPSHE:: Yes Mr Chairman I want to respond to the effect of the matters that were confirmed. My learned friend states that I indicated to the - which is correct- that we do the confirmation after lunch and that is very correct, but it would seem unless if I did not understand him well, it would seem the fact that there were mistakes and certain things from the applicant when giving evidence on these confirmatories, it would seem this fact has been alluded to my having said that this be done after lunch, if I interpret him correctly. If my interpretation is correct then I would say that really to me does not hold water at all
because he is defending his client, he should have known that I cannot confirm matter No this, this and this, I need to consult first, that is if my interpretation of what my learned friend is saying is correct. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN:: Be that as it may, Mr Marais and Mr Jansen when we resume after the short adjournment I would like you to consider whether it is possible for you to draw our attention to the relevant pages and passages in the document which has been compiled by Mr De Kock, concerning those items which we merely confirmed, in which evidence was not directly led. There were several items on which we had agreed, because of the modus operandi being the same in all those matters, so if you could refer us in respect of those matters to the relevant pages in the manuscript which has been prepared, we would be pleased, in respect of all these matters on which we agreed yesterday. If there is any amendment that you would like to make in that regard in respect of those matters which we confirmed yesterday, Mr Marais, you would be at liberty to do so. If it is convenient we should do that shortly after the adjournment.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Yes thank you Mr Chairman we shall do so. Yes Mr Chairman we are in possession of his evidence before the Harms Commission, I will discuss it with my instructing attorney to determine in which way it can be made available to the Commission.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman the references in the Harms Commission to the Lourens case, paragraph 16 in the amnesty application, you will find on page 200, lines 17-19 and on page 655 from line 8-28 and on page 656 from line 13 through page 657 to line 2. There may be further references that I couldn't find now, I don't have my notes of the Harms Commission, if I find that I will include it in the submissions.
CHAIRMAN:: Before you commence it has come to our attention that there have been reports in the press that Eugene De Kock has been subpoenaed to appear before this Committee to give evidence. This was on the radio yesterday and again some reference was made to it this morning. My enquiries have revealed that there is no such thing, no subpoena has been issued by this Committee to Eugene De Kock to appear before us. What has happened, I am given to understand, is that Mr Mpshe has drawn the attention of Mr Eugene De Kock that he has been implicated in the evidence that has been given before us and that because he is implicated, his
attention is drawn to it and he is afforded an opportunity to react to it in whichever way he may consider appropriate. I think that there has been a misrepresentation in the media that there was in fact a subpoena issued to De Kock. I am hoping that this kind of mis-reporting does not occur again, a little bit of care on the part of the media will eliminate this kind of difficulty because it leads to other problems and telephone calls are being directed to members of the Committee from all sorts of people and at all times of the day and one wants to try and avoid that. Thank you.
MR JANSEN:: Thank you Mr Chairman, before I proceed I have drafted a short list of the incidents that we have dealt with by way of confirmations, which was done yesterday, as well as the two matters which we intend to deal by way of confirmation now. Mr Chairman I have an original handwritten one and four copies for the members. There are two columns, the first column refers to the application number as you would note, the application Annexure deals with the different incidents by number. That number is followed by the paginated number of the application, I've derived that merely by adding four page numbers to the typed page number and then the second column are references to the manuscript, firstly the paragraph of the manuscript and its page. As it pleases you Mr Chairman I then wish to call Mr Coetzee again to testify.
ANSWER:: Posing a threat, I don't think he was completely -with all respect - all there as far as mental capabilities were concerned, and secondly he wrote a letter to the Commissioner complaining about the things going on a Vlakplaas. I was then instructed by Brigadier Schoon to deal with him at the same time as when I dealt with Vusi, Selbe Mavuso who then at the time was detained at Brits Prison after being abducted from Mozambique on the Mtola raid in February 1990 by the army, in conjunction with some of the Vlakplaas askaris. Peter Nglamini, an ANC member who studied in Bulgaria if I have it right and then went to the South African authorities when he became disillusioned
with the ANC and was then brought back to South Africa by the South African Security Police. After debriefing by the debriefing team which was usually Col Jack Buchner, the later Commissioner of the KwaZulu police and Col (indistinct) Baker, retired as a Brigadier, they were the two people who were usually debriefing the ANC cadres.
Durban. It is matter No 3 on paginated page 10. If I could then refer you to the next incident, the incident of the attempted kidnapping of General, it is matter No 11, typed page 21 of the application and page 103 of the manuscript, paginated 25. 103, paragraph 18.104.22.168. Again you have had the opportunity to read the content of both documents as it relates to the person called General, is that correct?
QUESTION:: Just to clear up again, it is said that the intention was to kidnap him and to eliminate him afterwards. Was there a firm decision taken at that stage that he would be eliminated or was it merely a question of assuming that that would be a high probability of what would happen to him?
MR JANSEN:: Sorry Mr Chairman I am just reminded that there are a set of documents which come from the Harms Commission and the Neethling trial relating to Mr Selbe Mavuso, if I could just HAND THOSE DOCUMENTS up. In essence Mr Chairman these documents contain the release, the so-called release orders of Mr Mavuso as well as correspondence of his attorney, Ms Priscilla Jana, which shows that he was released I think it was 11 October 1981 and that he has never since been seen.
ANSWER:: Ja the drops that were apparently put into his liquor he ditched on the sly and we thought it would just be a question of going in with Lt Koos Van der Lit(?) who was (indistinct), picking up this paralytic man, putting him in the boot of the car and bring him back. We weren't armed at all, not prepared at all for what we bumped into and I might just explain that Mr Lockwood the source that would have, that was trying to get him drunk and the drops into his drinks, when he came out and told me the drops are not working, I asked him to open his bedroom window so that we can help have a, we can listen for ourselves to the speech of this guy whether he's drunk or not. He was completely sober and the next moment he just stood up and said I'm going to leave and on his way to the toilet, he had to pass through the room where we were standing in, and just bumped into us and we had to prevent him from switching on that light.
ANSWER:: No, but the ANC has related his name to me he's into business apparently at the stage whilst I was in exile, he left the organisation and did business in North Africa but he was the main money-man in Swaziland supplying money for all the missions of the cadres coming through from Mozambique on their way to South Africa on missions. But he's well-known and can be traced.
ANSWER:: The threat that he would blow the activities on Vlakplaas as he apparently did in his letter writing to the Commissioner of Police complaining about what's going on on the farm. I've never seen the letter but I, if I remember correctly it was handed in at the Harms Commission so it was a question of exposing the Vlakplaas, the Security Police activities which eventually resulted in the order.
ANSWER:: Well I think that would have been a second option if he, of him - and I'm only speculating - if he did not get a satisfactory answer from the Commissioner of Police or Coetzee, that his complaints were just ignored. That could have been his second option.
ANSWER:: No we did in fact use him and he went out with us on missions, he was just always a little bit late and delayed and sort of came into conflict with his fellow askaris, that happened, but the eventual decision by headquarters was as a result of his complaint to the Commissioner of Police.
ANSWER:: I did not know Mr Chairman, I can't remember seeing the letter personally, it was just relayed to me by Brigadier Schoon and I was instructed to make a plan with him at the same time as with, that I dealt with Vusi.
MR JANSEN:: Mr Chairman if I could add, just to repeat what I stated the other day, the B Series of documents, in other words the evidentiary documents that were presented to the Harms Commission comprises this series of documents referred to as the B Series. They have only come into our possession I think it was during the course of December and we haven't had a look at all of them but we will attempt tonight again to have a look at this specific document to see if we could find anything.
CHAIRMAN:: Mr Jansen we will not be concerned with all the documents that go to make up the file of the Harms Commission, but when you go through it and if there is this letter you will draw our attention to it?
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman in the context of the Security Police set-up and Vlakplaas set-up, no because I mean look at myself when I open my mouth, every attempt possible was made to silence me, while they police did everything to mislead the politicians. So it is very difficult, as soon as there was some reluctance on the part of some askari that pointed towards a possible revealing of the secrets or exposing the Security Police atrocities at all, a plan was made with him. He was killed.
ANSWER:: This specific incident was Brigadier Schoon, in Brigadier Schoon's office in the presence of Captain Vermeulen. No, no sorry I'm confusing Captain Vermeulen's presence with Mohema, Isaac Ace Mohema which we will still deal with, but by Brigadier Schoon. Of course Mr Chairman, as a result of the need to know (indistinct) I would not
know how high up, but I can have experience in my time link Brigadier Jan Du Preez, the second in charge under General Johan Coetzee to several incidents, as for instance the bounty money or the reward money that they received in the Mnenge case and in other incidents, an officer or two higher.
ANSWER:: No he did not say in the exact way, as I previously pointed out at one of the previous cases, there is a way of understanding and talking and when he said make a, Peter, Vusi had the attitude of charge me or shoot me and so shoot him, make a plan with him. In the same time take Peter with.
ANSWER:: Ja it was left over to me. I did arrange with Brigadier Schoon because General Löthar Neethling I think he said I don't know how many of those drops, it was very few, it costs R40 a drop, it was very expensive. General Löthar Neethling of the forensic laboratory won't supply me with
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman, one makes provision for any eventuality, I mean as clearly proved in the Botswana raid, power failure, we had no torches with us, rain helped us in getting to the premises but again handicapped us again. So you never know, I had everything in my boot I made provision for, as I say any eventuality, any possibility, any way of giving these guys these drops, or this poison. If they could get in this poison and eventually it was a heart attack and we were caught in the act before we could burn that body for instance, and a postmortem was done, it would have proved...(end of 2b)...I was supplied with a very limited one for each operation and at the most when we went to Swaziland for like in the case of abducting General, instead where four to eight drops can knock out from any slender man to any big man very easily, within 20-30 minutes, I was supplied with more than that because I had enough drops to hand to Lockwood and he did four drops - according to what he reported back to me - into General's first drink and his driver, so that was altogether eight drops. His driver got it in and passed out. When he saw that nothing happened to General, he apparently doped him a second time and still nothing happened. So General must have ditched that drink, there's no ways that he could have got those drops in and stood up without falling down.
ANSWER:: No I think dope them and eventually what happened we gave them knock-out drops because the poison didn't work. We administered the poison on three occasions apparently after it was doubled and trebled, we went back to, I myself once picked it up from General Löthar Neethling the poison, the poison and knock-out drops. The poison didn't work. Koos Vermeulen went back the second day for a double dose and about two weeks later, it was just after the Lindley incident on the Sunday 25 October, Vusi was released on 11 October, the first poison administered on the 11th, the second dose on the 12th and the third one on the 25th the Sunday after, and on the second occasion Koos Vermeulen went back to General Neethling's office and the third one Koos accompanied me on the Sunday morning to his house where we picked him up and went to the forensic laboratory. He prepared again this poison, mixed it and he drew it up in two of my insulin syringes, 100 unit syringes, and said you must administer it. He couldn't understand why this poison was not working because he said apparently if you administer it to sheep within minutes the sheep just give one jump and fall down and the result would be a heart attack.
ANSWER:: Well that was exactly I think what happened because with the drops, knock-out drops that I gave Vusi in that night after we saw that the poison didn't work, I kept for Löthar Neethling's purpose a record of how long it takes
ANSWER:: Yes it is true but I did keep sort of a record for our own purposes for future references because that was the first occasion that knock-out drops were supplied to us and we made use of it. It was important for us to know if we might go into a neighbouring country and want to abduct someone like General how many drops to administer, what the reaction would be and how long before we could move in and in what way would, what reaction it would evoke from the victim.
ANSWER:: The only reaction, response was that he had to be killed, nothing disciplinary at all. I can't remember even Mr Chairman in my time ever of any slightest indication of any disciplinary action taken against any one of the askaris or any one of the policemen on Vlakplaas in my short stint on the farm.
ANSWER:: When the poison did not work, I left Koos Vermeulen and the two victims on the farm at Kopfontein gate, that same farm that Koos always used, Koos Vermeulen always used, because he said I can go back to Lesotho he
will deal with it now because the poison wasn't working and I left. When we were called up, the whole group on 24 October to Middelburg in the Eastern Transvaal area, Koos rocked up at Middelburg actually at Grobblersdal where we eventually went and slept in empty houses of smallholdings of war veterans, El Alamein and I think another name was allocated to this little smallholdings, where we occupied empty houses for the duration of our operation looking for this ANC cadre who was apparently responsible for the killing of the two victims in the Ogies caravan, the two men. Koos came up with them that Saturday, arrived when I arrived there here he was still with Peter and Vusi so on that Sunday Koos Vermeulen and myself, leading the rest of the group at Grobblersdal we departed for General Löthar Neethling's house to pick up, to find out what now, what's next, more poison from him. When we returned that was administered and well, it also didn't work. We then had to get to a deserted area of friendly branch commanders in the area which was Major Archer Flemmington at Komatipoort and in fact where Sizwe Kondile was burned, where Peter Mvusi was then burned, it was next to the Mozambique border and we decided to do it in that area with their help.
ANSWER:: If they, if there was any indication that they do not wish to co-operate fully. Usually the way it worked if people were picked up, they were either handed over, or captured by the local Security Branch who would so-called "break them in" with all different third degree methods, and then after that if co-operating and if a case can be built
up against them and they are not of very big significant value or high up in the ANC they would be charged and go through a court case, otherwise if a case could not be built up they would be eliminated and if they then are of value and decided to co-operate they would be handed over to Section C and more specifically Colonel Jack Buchner and then Colonel Trevor Baker who would then go through the so-called "terrorist album" with all the photos and particulars of the ANC cadres who left the country for training and then they would get this guy to co-operate and they update the files of all his friends who have been with him in exile. On such and such a date this man was with me in Quatro Camp for hand grenade training for instance. In that way it was, and only then thereafter they would be placed and based at Vlakplaas, handed over to me.
ANSWER:: Askaris, that is correct. Askari is actually a Swahili, Arabic word meaning "black soldier". I don't know how exactly it came about that they called them askaris, that name was given to them before I arrived at the farm.
ANSWER:: No, Mr Mamasela was actually an awaiting trial prisoner in Krugersdorp prison when Major Kruger of West Rand Security went there as a result of an incident in jail. He was then still in South Africa as a member of student organisations in Soweto. He then approached Mr Kruger and said that he is part of this student organisation and he can be of a great help. He was there awaiting trial on robbery. Major Kruger then checked his background, later
involved Captain Jan Coetzee as an additional handler, and in August 1979 Joe Mamasela was released and then started with the South African Security Police. He only thereafter infiltrated the ANC in Botswana and when he was caught out by them he then worked with Jan Coetzee, I don't know for how long and exactly when he was called out, but he permanently came to Vlakplaas in February 1982. That is how he became an askari.
ANSWER:: At some stage I believe so yes Mr Chairman, but as I say it was not my, it was not part of my duty and I can't give you exact particulars. I just know that he was awaiting trial, according to documents coming from the Umhlazi docket which was made available to us, there's police memorandums in which states that he was an awaiting trial prisoner, he was recruited and then voluntarily without any force and then he infiltrated the ANC in Botswana only thereafter.
ANSWER:: I'm sure Mr Chairman, I don't know whether exactly at that stage but I know whilst Koos Vermeulen prepared the drinks on the farm at Kopfontein he once spoke and says he's now prepared to co-operate and will help. It was not in my hands, as soon as you are handed over to us there's a point of non-return and it could have only been used by him for the opportunity to convince us to set him free - that is how we saw it - and so his, his beggings if you can put it that way, fell on deaf ears Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: The poisoning as I said happened on the 11th and the 12th and then the third lot of poison on the 25th on the Sunday after we came back from General Löthar Neethling's house and they were eventually killed on the Monday the 26th by giving them knock-out drops and shooting them down at Komatipoort next to the river where they were burned Mr Chairman.
ANSWER:: No I would say Peter we brought under the impression, we handcuffed Vusi to Peter, onto Peter on their arms, telling Peter that he's got to guard Vusi and there is a possibility that after the 12th, I don't know exactly where Koos Vermeulen kept them, whether he, what place, it is possible that in that two weeks he might have thought well there might be a turn of events. I don't know I'm only speculating Mr Chairman. I must say yes it's possible as to that.
"We opened drinks, Koos offered Vusi a beer but he said he would rather like a soft drink. I let Vusi sign three blank receipts of the kind that were used for payments to informers. I let him use two different pens. He wanted to know why but I said that he should just sign and not ask questions. He offered to co-operate but we ignored him.
ANSWER:: Well it was, he wasn't poisoned he was given those knock-out drops Mr Chairman which made him then fell over like a person that had taken in excessive alcohol. I don't know what the exact results, feeling is of a person thereafter...
ANSWER:: Mr Chairman I know there, there can be placed many why's that's true, why didn't we just put a bullet through his head, why didn't, why does one commander hit his victim with a spade on the head and the next one poisons his victims? I can't explain that is just how it happened.
ANSWER:: No I can tell you Mr Chairman the reason why our victims were doped and you can go to Sizwe Kondile, to Vusi and Peter in the end, was that I don't think there's any human being even in the Security Police that could look a human in the eyes who is sober and just put a gun to his head and shoot him at point blank, looking him in the eye. Well I couldn't do it and none of my men could do that.
ANSWER:: Well we were opting for the poison again, I can't explain that unfortunately. If Koos Vermeulen comes forward Mr Chairman you'll see that is exactly the way it happens, the, whether there is method in the madness or madness in the method that's difficult to explain.
"After Vusi carried on like this all night, scratching and what have you we then decided Koos would report to Neethling to find out what was going on. He returned that afternoon with the doses doubled. He said Neethling could simply not understand this and said it was impossible."
JUDGE NGOEPE:: Another thing, I'm not sure I heard you correctly did you say that if a person were to die of that particular poisoning the autopsy would show as if he had died of excessive alcohol intake. Is that what you said or did I mishear you?
ANSWER:: The two Monise brothers, Johannes and Chris Monise defected back to the ANC in Zambia where I met up with them in, whilst in exile. Ben Lucky Zwane was killed after defecting from Vlakplaas and then a few years later coming back for an operation into South Africa he was killed in Soweto township somewhere.
ANSWER:: Absolutely about the whole Vlakplaas set-up, who was on the farm, how the teams operated, for how many days we were out per month, names, force numbers, photos. I ended up seeing my own photo on an ANC file in Lusaka
MR JANSEN:: No, Mr Chairman that deals with all the incidents in his application except for the matter of Mohema and as indicated by my learned friend at the beginning of the week, the Mohema family would be present tomorrow. So I would imagine that this would then be a convenient time to take the adjournment.
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: Mr Chairman then as far as the imminent adjournment is concerned, as conveyed to you by myself in chambers earlier today, I just seek a small indulgence as far as tomorrow is concerned. I explained to you that I
have a commitment in Pretoria tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock that won't take me long, it should not take me further than 10 o'clock tomorrow morning. If I can then just seek the indulgence for the adjournment to be until 11:30 tomorrow morning. I don't think the Mohema matter could take more than an hour or an hour and a half so we should be finished before lunch. If it would please you Mr Chairman?
MR DE WET-MARAIS:: No Mr Chairman, the applicant Mr Nofomela has dealt with all the incidents in his application but I understand there may be, not evidence tomorrow but a statement read into the record of these proceedings by the attorney for Mr De Kock and for that purpose I would like to have Mr Nofomela available tomorrow if we want to put questions about that.
CHAIRMAN:: Mr Jansen if there are things that might have to be just read into the record that do not directly concern either Mr Tshikalanga or Mr Coetzee, is there any reason why you think we could not dispose of that matter before you come?
MR MPSHE:: Mr Chairman pertaining to Mr Jansen's request I have no problem, I shall not be inconvenienced at all, but with due respect to the Chair the question of Mr Jansen not being present tomorrow when the submissions will be heard, I think it would maybe be prejudicial to him and his client because the two gentlemen who are coming here tomorrow are going to touch on matters upon which they have applied for amnesty. So I think he has to be present when this will be done. Mr Chairman in conclusion this takes care of today's work. Tomorrow it would be the Ace Mohema incident plus the submissions on behalf of Brigadier Willem Schoon and Major Eugene De Kock. That is all that is left for tomorrow.
MR MPSHE: Mr Chairman, today is the 23rd. We continue with the application of applicant Dirk Coetzee and others. Mr Chairman, as I indicated yesterday, we are going to deal with the submissions on behalf of Eugene de Kock as well as Brigadier Willem Schoon. The two lawyers are here with us. Copies are here with us. Copies are on the desk to each and every member of the Committee. I am told that we shall commence with the submissions on behalf of Mr Willem Schoon.
MR WAGNER: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I appear again on behalf of Brigadier Willem Schoon. As indicated in a letter to you last Friday, I will make short submissions on his behalf. I had the submissions typed in memo form. I understand copies have been made; it is before you as members.
My client Brig Schoon received notice on the 15th January this year in terms of section 19(4) of Act 34 of 1995 informing him of these proceedings as a person implicated or having an interest herein. I have requested Adv Mpshe to provide me with a copy of the applications, which was granted, and for which I thank him. I was given the applications of Mr Coetzee and Mr Chikalanga, so we assume that my client is not implicated in the application of Mr Nofomela. This enabled me to take instructions from client regarding all the allegations therein implicating him.
I have had the opportunity of consulting with Brig Schoon and it is apparent that he is implicated by Mr Coetzee in his written application in no less than 10 separate incidents for which amnesty is now being sought.
However, for my client to prove this, Mr Coetzee will have to be cross-examined in detail on each and every incident and allegation and in view of the many occasions where Mr Coetzee has testified in the past and all the different versions given by him to date, proper cross-examination in this regard could last a couple of weeks in my estimate.
This, the Committee has indicated to me, is quite impossible inter alia in view of time constraints applicable to this forum. So it was decided that a largely limited cross-examination of Mr Coetzee will serve no constructive purpose whatsoever and that I should merely put on record on behalf of my client the issues disputed by him. So I will deal with them one by one.
The first incident where my client is implicated is the murder of Peter Dlamini and Selby Mavuso which you will find on page 7 of the papers. In this regard Mr Coetzee alleges that Brig Schoon gave the order for the elimination of these two victims. I wish to put on record this is denied by Brig Schoon as a blatant lie. He has no knowledge of this; it is simply denied.
The next allegation is the incident on page 10 of your papers, the murder of Gonisiswe Kondile. It is alleged by Mr Coetzee that Brig Schoon was involved in this matter and in the process gave him certain instructions. This is also denied by my client. My instructions are that he was not involved in this matter and that he never gave any instructions in this regard, as alleged or otherwise.
on page 12 of the papers. I have consulted with my client and my instructions at present are that he cannot remember this incident and due to a lack of time we were unable to investigate this matter fully and at present we are in no position to comment thereon. If necessary, and if allowed, we can deal with this at a later stage.
The next incident is the conspiracy to murder Mr Marius Schoon, that is on page 19 of the papers before you. My instructions are that my client has knowledge of this incident. But, as far as he can remember, this was an incident initiated by Mr Coetzee himself. Therefore my client denies the particulars of this incident as set out by Mr Coetzee in his papers.
The next implication is found on page 21 of the papers, namely the attack on Joyce Depalis house in Gaberone. Brig Schoon denies that he had any involvement in this matter whatsoever and specifically denies that he gave any orders to Mr Coetzee as alleged by him.
The next incident is the kidnapping of one Joe Pillay, the incident described on page 23 of the papers. In this regard my instructions are clear. Brig Schoon admits his involvement in this matter and I am allowed to tell you that he has already applied for amnesty in this regard.
The next incident is the attempted kidnapping of an ANC member called General. This is the incident on page 25 of the application papers. It is alleged by Mr Coetzee that Brig Schoon gave the instructions to kidnap this person in Swaziland. My client specifically denies this allegation and bears no knowledge regarding who gave such instructions, if any.
up of the murder of a diamond dealer. It is alleged by Mr Coetzee that this person was murdered and that my client was informed regarding the particulars thereof. My instructions are that Brig Schoon has no knowledge of this incident and that the allegations of Mr Coetzee in this regard is denied by him.
Then we have the cover-up of a shooting incident at Lindley on page 31 of the papers. Mr Coetzee alleges that my client was informed of this incident and that he was part of the subsequent cover-up. My instructions are that Brig Schoon was in fact informed of a shooting incident, but that it was dealt with by other officials. He denies that he was part of any cover-up whatsoever, or that it was done with his approval.
The last incident where my client is implicated is the one on page 44 of the papers, the theft of a labour union vehicle. My client remembers that he received money from Mr Coetzee to be handed over to Colonel Van Rensburg, but my instructions are that he was brought under the impression that this was a private transaction. He therefore denies any knowledge of or involvement in the unlawful actions as alleged by Mr Coetzee.
If I am allowed, Sir, I have two further points which I would like to put on record. It is on page 4 of the document before you. I would like to put on record that three further clients of mine are implicated in the application of Mr Coetzee, they are General J J Viktor, Colonel J C Coetzee and Colonel R Krause. They have not properly been notified in terms of section 19(4) of your Act. Although Mr Mpshe faxed copies of notices in this regard to my offices the day before yesterday, it is
I have not been able to take instructions of these individuals in this regard, and therefore I have no option but to reserve all their rights. However, it is noted that this Committee is apparently conducting its procedures without complying with the explicit provisions of the said section, which will most certainly raise a question mark regarding the regularity of these proceedings. Thank you, Sir.
MR WAGNER: Sir, people are implicated in the papers, in the application papers. The way I read section 19(4) all such persons should be notified prior to the proceedings regarding the time, date etc. My clients, they are in South Africa, their addresses can be established. To me it seems as if no serious endeavour was made to contact these people before starting with these procedures.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Of course you are wrong. The Act does not say "prior to the proceeding". That is your view. The Act does not say prior to the proceedings. If it says so it does not (indistinct) proceedings. The Act is formulated in such a way that it accommodates even a situation where unexpectedly a person is implicated when nobody ever thought that such a person would be implicated. In such a situation proper steps are taken to accommodate such a
CHAIRMAN: I think you are required to be notified of the place where the hearing takes place and when and where that is possible that should be done. To that extent I think that you were right. But as my brother here has pointed out, contingencies arise where during proceedings names are mentioned which cannot be anticipated and it can't be said that because notice was not given prior to the hearing it nullifies or in any way diminishes the value of the work done by the Committee.
MR WAGNER: Sir, may I respond to judge Ngoepe's remarks. Of course he is perfectly correct. If it is a situation where someone's name comes up unexpectedly during the procedures. But with due respect the way I read this section, if the names are in the papers filed before the procedures. The way I read this subsection the officials of this Committee should comply therewith before the start of the procedures. But also, Sir, I merely say in my last remark, I think it raises a serious question mark. I don't take the matter further than that.
"To prove this Mr Coetzee will once again have to be cross-examined on each and every incident and allegation. In view of the many occasions where he has testified in the past and all the different versions given by him up to date, proper examination in this regard would last for a couple of weeks. This the Committee has indicated to me is quite impossible, inter alia, in view of the time constraints applicable to this forum".
Now, I am not so sure I understand what you are conveying, but let me tell you the impression - one of the possible impressions which may be conveyed by this what you have said which causes me problems. An impression may be gotten from what I have just read that you are saying that the Committee has told you that you would not be allowed to cross-examine Mr Coetzee, and if that is what you are saying I would be happy to know why you say that because as far as I know, people who so wish and people who have got interest in proceedings can have legal representation which entails that if they want to put questions to witnesses they are allowed to do so. But of course, like in all other tribunals, be it a court of law or not, cross-examination must know some limits. The Committee allows cross-examination, but like all other proceedings, no cross-examination can be limitless, but the point I am making to you is that the Committee has never barred anybody from cross-examining. Bearing in mind of course the fact that cross-examination must know limits
in all proceedings. We have never barred anybody from cross-examining witnesses. Neither did we, to the best of my recollection, and I want to make that point because you have been reading this thing into the record, you have raised it in the previous letter, let it be known that we did not bar anybody from cross-examining witnesses nor shall we do so. In fact, we have drawn some guidelines. This Committee has drawn some guidelines which advises practitioners and other interested parties as to how we intended to conduct our proceedings and it was in those guidelines that we indicated that people would be allowed to put questions. That included legal representatives of people in your client's position. We have circulated copies of those guidelines and I am sure Mr Mpshe would have given you a copy thereof. So to the extent therefore that you are conveying or giving the impression that your client has been denied the right to cross-examine Mr Coetzee, I must tell you that that has not been the attitude of the Committee.
CHAIRMAN: Just to add to that. The Act makes reference to the limited rights of cross-examination. If you have had an opportunity of looking through the Act. Subject to what the Act says nobody has ever been refused the right to cross-examine witnesses and in fact in a number of proceedings that has taken place. Witnesses have been cross-examined. Maybe you are not aware of that. What we are against is unlimited cross-examination. I mean the activities of your client span some years and the number of activities in which he was involved are multifarious perhaps. And cross-examination would be within limits in respect of what he is implicated in and nothing prevents him from coming forward if he is not allowed to cross-examine, nothing prevents him
The reason why this is said in my notes as well as in the letter of last Friday was simply this. When I and my client perused the application, we realised that Mr Coetzee, according to us, is not telling the truth in many incidents. So we had to decide how do we prove that. And I realised that the only sensible way would be proper cross-examination to attack this person's credibility. But I wasn't sure to what extent cross-examination will be allowed. Therefore I took the liberty of phoning you personally to discuss this matter with you, namely what would be our rights and you, I agree Sir, said there would be a limited right of rebuttal. Although I wasn't sure exactly what would mean in practice.
I also tried to phone your other brothers, I couldn't get hold of them, I tried on Friday, but I did get hold of Mr De Jager and I also raised the same problem with him, as to how are we going to deal with this evidence of Mr Coetzee. Because it seemed to me that it is either a full cross-examination or nothing. Because by merely putting a few simple questions to him would really amount to nothing.
MR WAGNER: Sir, our problem is merely that the allegations are made that in just about all these incidents that Brig Schoon gave instructions. Brig Schoon denies that. He has got no documents to prove that. He merely says he denies that. Therefore I raised this issue with Mr De Jager and the suggestion was made that well, then we rather come here
today and put the denials on record. And that is why I say in my notes before you that it seemed as if a largely limited cross-examination in regard to Mr Coetzee will serve no constructive purpose and that is why we approached you on this basis.
CHAIRMAN: I understand your client's attitude in this matter. I will just repeat that it is open for your client to make submissions to this Committee and put forward his version, he'd be at liberty to do so.
MR WAGNER: Sorry, Mr Chairman, do I hear you to say that what I have done here this morning has no evidential value and that I should rather get Brig Schoon here to say the same things that I have said today.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. I want to say that we are thankful to you at such short notice to make yourself available nevertheless to come and indicate to us what your client's attitude is in respect of the evidence given by Mr Coetzee. Thank you.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, if I could possibly just interrupt at this stage. The affidavit of Mr De Kock does not affect applicant Mr Coetzee's situation at all. I think it is appropriate that I possibly respond at this stage to the submissions handed in by Mr Wagner.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, again I will just place on record that it is regrettable that the submissions or the factual allegations contained therein wasn't at least made by way of affidavit, because clearly in the form it presently is it surely can have no probative value at all. Be that as it may, even if it does come by way of affidavit it is merely a matter of argument and we will deal with it in our argument.
Also if I may be permitted just to place another matter on record. In terms of section 39, more specifically subsection (c) thereof, these proceedings are regarded by the Act as being on the same footing as that of a court of law insofar as its rules of contempt is concerned, and that includes the rules relating to sub judice. It came to our attention that this morning on the media certain statements were made by another witness, a Mr Mamasela, in the same vein as is contained in these submissions. I would respectfully request you to remind the press and the media that although generally commissions, the rules relating to sub judice as not as strict, that they do apply to this Commission, and that they should be very circumspect in
CHAIRMAN: Whilst I would like to give a considered reply, if it is necessary, to the point you are raising, for your purpose at any rate and for those who are present, I think they should note that this Committee pays no attention whatsoever to what appears in the media by people who make comments about what is proceeding here. We have refrained from engaging in any debate in the press. We have refrained from refuting whatever is being said in the press or in the media on matters that we are seized with. So no matter what the media says or what others say about our proceedings, we pay no attention to them.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Wagner, could I ask you, what is the intention of appearing in terms of section 19(4). You've received a notice saying you are implicated. Is your intention to come and oppose the application of Mr Coetzee to prove him to be an untruthful witness, or is your intention to come and put - whilst you have applied for amnesty - to make a statement to protect your client's rights and say well, I don't agree with what he is saying and I want to make it known that I don't agree for purposes of my own application.
MR WAGNER: Thank you, Mr De Jager, I should have made this more clear. My client is not opposing the amnesty application of Mr Coetzee. But the fact is exactly the way Mr De Jager described it, my client, I've said this today here, he has applied for amnesty himself for certain incidents, but he can't apply for amnesty for something
which he was not involved with or has no knowledge of. So therefore, to protect his rights in that regard against possible future prosecutions etc. it was my instructions to appear here and to put his denials regarding certain allegations and nothing more.
Initially Mr De Kock's attitude was that he was not going to react since we are currently in the process of finalising his own application for amnesty. As time went by it became apparent that there are certain far-reaching allegations which are being made in Mr Nofomela's application and I was thus instructed to bring to the fore Mr De Kock's version and submit it to you by means of an affidavit. And I would now like to ask for leave and permission to read Mr De Kock's submission into the record.
CHAIRMAN: ... necessary for you to read the affidavit since it is a document on oath we will treat it as we have treated other affidavits we have received, but you may wish to elaborate on any points that are contained in this affidavit in your address to us. Perhaps for the purposes of record we will number this affidavit, EXHIBIT P. The document submitted on behalf of Brig Schoon will be EXHIBIT O, even though that is not an affidavit.
deal with the allegation of Mr Nofomela which he stipulates under the ... Swaziland in November 1983. Mr De Kock acknowledges that there has indeed been such an attack, that he was personally present at the time of the attack. He refers to other persons, white officers who were involved, Warrant Officer Freek Pienaar, Sergeant Chris Rorich, Warrant Officer James Van Ziel and Colonel Chris Deetlefs, although in his affidavit he says that he was not physically present at the time of this operation and that he merely monitored the operation in the sense that the informant who provided the information to initiate this operation was controlled by him.
Mr De Kock also says that in this operation which Mr Nofomela refers to, a certain Mr McFaddon and ... Zwalibanda Nyanda were killed by them. They killed them. A certain MK cadre known as Lawrence in this operation succeeded in escaping and Mr De Kock says that it came to his attention that this person during cross-examination later by the ANC, or by interrogation by the ANC's security branch in Angola was killed.
Mr Chairman, Mr De Kock refers to the other incidents which were mentioned in Mr Nofomela's application, the so-called ... persons in Swaziland and it was approximately, according to Mr Nofomela, November 1985. Mr De Kock says that he took note of this paragraph but he would like to point to the fact that at that stage he was the commander of Vlakplaas at C1. Mr Nofomela's allegation is that this operation took place under the command of Colonel Jack Cronje. If that was to be correct Colonel Jack Cronje was no longer in charge of Vlakplaas at that stage. Mr De Kock concedes that this attack might have taken place, but his
suspicion is that this attack probably took place in 1983 and at that stage Mr De Kock, to the best of my knowledge, was not yet in South Africa, and he was still affiliated to the Koevoet Unit in South West Africa. In Mr De Kock's submission he says that he is clearly being implicated here to an operation that happened in 1983 while he was not in South Africa.
Mr Chairman, as far as the incident described by Mr Nofomela as the murder of Japie Maponya, Mr De Kock says that Mr Nofomela was on a continuous basis in several forums where he gave evidence that Mr De Kock was responsible for the killing of Mr Japie Maponya and that he was present when Japie Maponya was shot in the head by Mr De Kock at Vlakplaas.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Hugo, you are probably not aware of the fact that the evidence was corrected there. Mr Nofomela did say that he was not present and that the killing of Mr Maponya did not take place at Vlakplaas but in Swaziland, in his evidence before this Committee.
MR HUGO: Mr Chairperson, Mr De Jager is correct, in the sense that I was not present here when he gave evidence yesterday but during the criminal trial of Mr De Kock Mr Nofomela for the first time conceded that up until now he had committed perjury in front of all the other forums where he had given evidence and that he was indeed not involved and he had not been present when Mr De Kock killed the other person.
In his statement here he says that he was responsible for the killing of Japie Maponya and that he and Willie Nortje were involved in the death of Japie Maponya but that it did take place in Swaziland at a plantation near the
Nasden border post. He also says in this paragraph that Mr Nofomela is incorrect when he says that this operation took place under the command of Mr De Kock. It is simply not true. This operation was already ordered at the stage where Mr De Kock became involved in this operation. This operation which gave rise to the unfortunate death of Japie Maponya was at an advanced stage when Mr De Kock arrived on the scene, and at that stage this operation was under the command of Warrant Officer Nortje who, according to Mr De Kock, in his affidavit was instructed by Colonel Johan le Roux who later became a general.
Mr Chairman, if we could just proceed to the so-called Lamontville killings or Chesterville killings. Here Mr De Kock says that there was a total misrepresentation of the true facts. He says that in actual fact he was asleep in a police barracks in Durban and that he was awoken early the morning by then Warrant Officer Willie Nortjie, Vermeulen and Makata(?) and informed that they had killed a group of people in a shooting incident.
Mr De Kock further states, which supports Mr Nofomela's allegation that before they left for Durban he arranged that an AK47 attack weapon should be drawn with the intention of using in the operation in Durban. He says that the acquisition of this AK47 was with official permission, it went through the right channels and he goes further to say that he went and acquired this AK47 at the Security Branch Headquarters in Pretoria and he further states that when he went to fetch this AK47 it was clear to him, and he realised, that there was a large quantity of AK47 guns and magazines at the Police Headquarters which was available to them. He says that he was not involved in the shootout and
Mr Chairperson, if you could just grant me the opportunity, I'd like to go to the so-called Amsterdam killings. Here Mr De Kock says that Mr Nofomela is correct and he is giving a true reflection of the incident. He further states under oath that the other person who was involved in this incident was Major Chris Deetlefs, Warrant Officer Labuschagne and a Warrant Officer Pienaar.
He also says that this incident took place after information had been obtained that the Piet Retief Security Branch and that branch was closely involved in this incident. He also says that this operation was launched against ANC members who were previously responsible for planting landmines in the Eastern Transvaal and he says that when this operation took place they found that the people who were killed were in possession of hand grenades and that they also had AK47 rifles and other military ammunition and weapons.
He proceeds to say as far as Mr Nofomela's allegation that Mr De Kock said that he did not believe in court procedure and that they should rather kill the people before the time, he says that he categorically denies that and he would not have said that they should proceed to just murder people at random.
Mr Chairperson, if I could also just go over to the next incident where Mr Nofomela referred to the abduction of Glory Sedibe or a certain September. Once again Mr De Kock says that Mr Nofomela is correct. There was such an operation planned.
you that this operation was planned and executed under the instruction of Brig Schoon and that Mr De Kock, acting on this instruction, proceeded in his turn to plan this operation and execute it. Once again he says that there were other people involved with him, Mr Chris Deetlefs and a Warrant Officer Pienaar. He then goes into detail to describe how there was a wrestling and Mr Sedibe resisted and how he was injured in the process. For example he had a scratch over his nose, a deep cut over his nose, and that it took four persons to control him.
What is so interesting, Mr Chairman, is that Mr De Kock says that the intention was never to eliminate Glory Sedibe, alias September. On the contrary he says in his submission that they wanted to retain him at all costs because they realised that he was going to be of such value to them and he was going to be able to provide them with valuable information. He also says as far as the other aspect, which I marked the day before yesterday which you addressed, that the allegation of Mr Nofomela ... (CHANGE OVER TO TAPE 1 SIDE B) ... On their arrival at the police station in Swaziland, it was necessary for them to break into the police station since it was under lock and key.
For interest's sake he proceeds to say that in this process he was confronted by a young Swaziland police officer who was armed with a G3A automatic weapon which he pointed at Mr De Kock. Mr De Kock in his turn drew his firearm and pointed it at this police officer and Mr De Kock succeeded in convincing the policeman to throw his weapon to the ground. Mr De Kock further states that he does not know what happened to this G32 weapon, but it could possibly have come back to South Africa.
brought back to South Africa and in terms of section 29 of the old Internal Act was detained for a while and that Mr Sedibe in this time was dealt with by a Warrant Officer Freek Pienaar and apparently Warrant Officer Freek Pienaar succeeded in convincing Mr Sedibe to work for the South African Police, more specifically the Security Police.
Mr De Kock was then informed that Mr Sedibe, as a matter of speaking, had changed loyalties in the meantime and he was no longer loyal to the ANC but that he had decided to pledge loyalty to the South African Police and when Mr De Kock heard that he personally went and arranged that Mr Sedibe's wife and child be brought down from Mozambique to South Africa and he further states that he arranged himself for the wife and children of Mr Sedibe, were given false identity documents so that their lives weren't in as much danger when they returned to South Africa.
He confirms that Mr Nofomela is correct in saying that Mr Glory Sedibe, alias September, was indeed the brother-in-law of the current Minister of Defence, Joe Modise, or the brother of Mr Modise's spouse. Mr De Kock also says in this sworn affidavit that Mr Glory Sedibe, in spite of the fact that Mr De Kock was aware of the fact that there were family ties between Mr Sedibe and Minister Modise that he never provided the Security Branch with any information about Mr Modise.
ADV DE JAGER: Are you not busy repeating the affidavit and it was conceded that if you want to say anything else over and above what was said in the affidavit you may do so, because we accepted your document as it is.
MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, in that regard I am totally satisfied in submitting this document. We have nothing further to add and think that the document is complete. It dealt with all the incidents in which he is alleged to have been involved and we have nothing further to add in this regard.
MR MARAIS: Although this is a statement under oath by Mr De Kock, it is not challenged in cross-examination and the value of the statement I will argue in the written heads that will be submitted at a later stage, suffice to say at this stage that it is interesting to note that Mr De Kock is making a point of the fact that Mr Nofomela lied under oath about the incident where Maponya was shot, which lie Mr Nofomela yesterday explained to the Committee. This point is made by the same person who under oath misled the Harms Commission with Mr Mamasela to the extent that no report of any value could be brought out at that stage which allowed the Security Forces to continue with what they were doing for another four years after the Harms Commission.
MR HUGO: As far as this incident is concerned, the allegation that Mr De Kock would have disputed the allegations in his criminal trial are devoid of any truth. He did not give a version with regard to the Maponya murder. There was no version put to him and he did not deny anything and as was his right the evidence which was led was tested.
MR JANSEN: Thank you, Mr Chairman, as indicated previously, evidence will be led in full on this matter. Mr Chairman, it is matter No 4 in the application. It starts in the application on paginated page 12, typed page 8. In the manuscript the incident is dealt with at page 107 paragraph 22.214.171.124, it is the matter of Ace Moema. If I could then recall Mr Coetzee to continue his evidence.
EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, I may at the outset just hand up two documents. These are again affidavits handed in at the Harms Commission. The first one is by Mr Jacob Zuma, member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, and the Chief of the Intelligence of the ANC at the time. This affidavit deals both with the cases of Mr Ace Moema and the case of Mr Siswe Kondile and what was known
And again just to assist, Mr Chairman, as EXHIBIT R, an affidavit by Mr Martin Tembisile Hani, generally known as Mr Chris Hani, the Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Siswe at the time, also an affidavit presented to the Harms Commission which deals with the matter of Siswe Kondile. This document was not available to us at the time dealing with Mr Kondile's matter. I would ask, Mr Chairman, with your permission, that it be seen in the light thereof. There is nothing I think contentious in the matter, something that would be of interest to the Kondile family. I think it is just for a matter of completeness at this stage, just to place before the Committee what was known by the ANC Intelligence Services at the time concerning Mr Kondile's disappearance.
MR COETZEE: It was the name of an ANC cadre who came to Vlakplaas in the late 1981s, towards the end of the year, as a person that had been debriefed already through all the relative channels and he was then placed in Vlakplaas with me under my control.
MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I should just say he was a very observant, quiet, if I remember right, non-smoker, non-drinker and asked a lot of questions, which concerned me and the rest of the policemen at Vlakplaas. At that stage I got the impression that there might be a hidden agenda. Captain Koos Vermeulen suggested that we should take him out ....(intervention).
MR COETZEE: He accompanied Mr Vermeulen into the Eastern Transvaal region towards, as I said late that year, it must have been November/December and after they had been operating in the area he came back with his group. Mr Moema was missing and he reported that the issue has been dealt with.
remember exactly, but it was the usual Western Transvaal group with whom he operated in the area, names of people mentioned in exile was upon others Chris Mnisi, who defected to the ANC later, and as I say one should check records, I cannot remember exactly.
MR COETZEE: Yes, that is true, and I know during the Harms Commission it was put to me that Mr Isaac Ace Moema only disappeared in February, three months later into 1982, after I have left the farm. Now to my knowledge that is not true. It happened during the end of 1981 whilst I was still on the farm and I can only speculate that the same method was used as I used with Peter for him to sign blank informant fees for a few months and that was then the version that was officially put over on enquiries, but as I say, I am speculating. I know for a fact that it happened during my time, late 1981, just before I left Vlakplaas.
MR COETZEE: Yes, in fact, I did. I may just mention that at the Harms Commission, if I can remember correctly, the version that was put to me was that Mr Moema and Captain Koos Vermeulen was on an observation post on the Mozambican border and Vermeulen dozed off and when he woke up Mr Isaac Ace Moema was just not there and he accepted that he has defected back into Mozambique.
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, these are, as far as I can remember, the findings of the Harms Commission and they deal with that affidavit, but that affidavit is - I know what affidavit is being referred to and I will attempt with your permission to at least give you the reference in the Harms Commission before time of argument.
Mr Chairman, I may also mention at this stage, after the Harms Commission evidence and its annexures had been sought by a great many parties all over the country and in different institutions, because nobody had an actual comprehensive record of it, it was finally realised that the entire record that was at one stage under the control of the National Library in Cape Town had in fact during the course
of last year been placed in the custody of the Truth Commission itself. So these documents at the moment, or the one comprehensive record thereof is actually in the custody of the Truth Commission in Cape Town.
MR COETZEE: He was extremely, as I say, he didn't mixed in with the rest of the Askaris in the usual manner. He was, as I say, nervous, he was not drinking, he was not smoking, he was observing, he was not joining in conversations, whilst with my group and Almond Nofomela - on the specific questions I think Mr Nofomela might throw more light - and then thereafter Captain Koos Vermeulen.
MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, as I say, his whole - all his actions did not - was abnormal. He wasn't like the normal Askari coming to Vlakplaas after being debriefed. He was a highly intelligent man, very reserved, as I say not at all a drinker and a smoker, the ones that you always got on Vlakplaas and you could see he was well-observing.
MR COETZEE: As I say it was discussed with Brig Schoon and then if questioned it should have been handed over to the people handling that and that was Colonel Jack Buchner and Colonel Trevor Baker who dealt with them before they passed them on to Vlakplaas. But I would suggest that would have been the right way out, with hindsight.
CHAIRMAN: When he was debriefed in the first place and brought into Vlakplaas, at that stage they must have discovered that this man is sober, he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, he is reserved, maybe intelligent. Those factors must have been noted at that stage?
MS KHAMPEPE: Why could you not cause such an investigation to be conducted? I mean you were able to ask Mr Nofomela to keep an eye on Mr Moema, why couldn't you have caused an investigation to be conducted?
MR COETZEE: That was not my job at all. I was just on the operational side executing orders, coming from my superior, Brig Schoon, and as long as I reported the matter to him it was for him to decide how forward on from there. I was a Captain at the time and Brig Schoon a Colonel or a Brigadier.
procedure to just make sure that there is no - for them to observe his behaviour when on weekends out with the rest of the Askaris, maybe in the evenings out with the rest of the Askaris, to just keep an eye on him and get his opinion as far as the behaviour of the relative Askari is concerned.
MS KHAMPEPE: If you had caused an investigation, a proper investigation to be conducted, to find out whether indeed Mr Moema was a security risk, do you think you could have found yourself facing a disciplinary inquiry?
MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, it didn't work that way in our culture. I can assure you that. My duty was to report to my superior and in the (indistinct) they will decide how forward on from here and that was it.
MS KHAMPEPE: And you still went along with that suggestion without in fact advising Brig Schoon who was not residing at Vlakplaas, who did not have the relevant facts about the operations of Vlakplaas.
MR COETZEE: We fell directly under Brig Schoon's command and we reported directly to him. I was not on a unit on my own in security headquarters, but fell under the Section C command of Brig Schoon through which I received my orders,
by whom I was briefed and debriefed, and who had to take decisions who was coming to the far. I couldn't decide which Askaris was to come to the farm. I just had to report back to him and he decided. I couldn't go against that.
MR COETZEE: As a Brigadier in charge of Section C I think it wasn't my duty to advise him. I think it was common knowledge by such a senior officer who was on that desk long after - I think for a period of eight years - several commanders after me served under him. He was an old Security man and I think it wasn't for me to sort of tell him or suggest to him what I should think he should do.
MR COETZEE: I did speak up and this fact I think worsened it because it more supported the fact that from their point of view and our point of view that he was a plant and not fitted in with the rest of the Askaris.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MPSHE: Mr Coetzee, perhaps the question I am going to ask you now has been covered by the Committee members, but I will ask it for completeness sake. In your application you state that although I personally indicated that I did not want to do the killing myself and then it goes on, why did you not want to do the killing yourself?
MR COETZEE: I can't give any specific reason. I was not 100% happy in the way it was dealt with but it was not in my hands. Koos Vermeulen volunteered and Brig Schoon gave him the go ahead and it was not for me to go against superiors. I wouldn't have been on Vlakplaas any longer. I would have been seen as posed - or being a security risk, with my knowledge of the farm being transferred from the farm as a result of that.
MR MPSHE: Can it have been that one of the reasons perhaps is because you felt this man was resourceful and intelligent you didn't want to have anything to do with his elimination? Is that not possible?
MR COETZEE: It is difficult to say what went through my mind, Mr Chairman, at the time. I could just make out when debriefed in exile by Mr Jacob Zuma that this was a very highly respected and highly trained ANC officer in the Intelligence. But at the time as I say, I just didn't see my way fit and open to do it.
MR COETZEE: There was always volunteers. I always said right through this hearings, Mr Chairman, that I am just as guilty, just as responsible as all the men under my command, but as all officers we were sitting on our backsides because there was enough non-commissioned officers who would volunteer to do the necessary work, whatever has to be done. And in a case where it comes to shooting and Koos Vermeulen is present, like in the P Dambusi(?) case, you never had to look for volunteers. Koos was there to do the job.
MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, it was always difficult for me as a result of the (indistinct) to know what exactly - I knew nothing about his debriefing, what he was involved in, by whom he was captured and what his debrief involved. And I was for sure not there to question superiors who did the necessary debriefing and go into detail. I was there to express my concern to my superior who was Brig Schoon.
MR COETZEE: If he in our language, I might just refer you again, Mr Chairman, if necessary, to our way of speaking and the way we understand things, as I put it in the Mxenge trial I think, if he says to Captain Koos Vermeulen, as he did, do as you seem fit, and that means nothing else but if you want to then kill him, you suggested that we assassinate him, go ahead with that. Koos Vermeulen couldn't have understood anything else from that meaning of words but only just that ....(intervention).
JUDGE NGOEPE: But that surely, Captain, that's stretching it a little bit too far out of the common sense. If a person says in ordinary life do as you see fit, surely we understand him as saying that well, the discretion is yours. If you feel that this man is a danger kill him. On the other hand, if you don't want to kill him, then don't. Surely that's what it means?
JUDGE NGOEPE: It troubles me because it seems to me that there was in fact no such order from Brig Schoon who was your senior and the discretion to kill or not to kill was left to somebody who was your junior and in the end really it comes back to you. You could have, without in any way offending Brig Schoon, have stopped Koos Vermeulen from killing that person.
way it worked in the culture, for sure not, and if the Chairman would allow me just to repeat this quote as I have done before about our way of speaking when it was explained by the notorious Craig Williamson to a presiding officer, exactly this same kind of conversation in the Security family which would have a complete different meaning in normal life. He says, and if you will allow me:
"I think for people in the profession, people who speak deviously to each other, and who have a very intimate rapport with each other, understand intimately, understand very well what is going on in this type of conversation".
And this was Craig Williamson at my internal trial on 10 June 1985, Volume 6 page 292 and 293. So if Brig Schoon gives the green light to - he overrules me. He is our boss. If we are there, I am not the boss, Brig Schoon is the boss and if Brig Schoon gives Koos Vermeulen the green light to say do as you think fit, that gives Koos the green light and he knew that Isaac Ace Moema will then be killed.
JUDGE NGOEPE: I know that people communicate with devious ways, but that's something different. It is one thing to give a definite order through devious ways, which is what you are reading from the paper, but the situation you are dealing with now is completely different. You yourself is saying - you are telling us that Brig Schoon said well, do as you see fit, what does that mean? What does the "do as you seem fit" mean, if simply to say well, if you want to kill him, kill him. If you don't want to kill him, don't
MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, if Koos indicated that Isaac Ace Moema must be assassinated, and Brig Schoon gives him an answer of "Do as you think fit", he would have very well known that Isaac Ace Moema are going to be killed, nothing else.
CHAIRMAN: Anyway, what is alarming in this whole thing is that without any proper investigation or even an attempt at investigating and testing this man to find out whether he was in fact a plant or not, a decision is taken so flippantly and a man's life is put to an end. I am alarmed by that.
MS KHAMPEPE: Are you saying therefore, Mr Coetzee, that your office, as a commander of Vlakplaas, prevented you to order an investigation to be conducted to verify information which had such catastrophic and fatal consequences of declaring someone to be a double agent, you couldn't have done that? You couldn't have ordered such an investigation to be conducted?
MR COETZEE: My duty on the operational side falling under Section C - Vlakplaas was not something on its own, it fell under Section C Security Headquarters, Brig Schoon, and as I say, my job was to report to him and it was for him as a very old, experienced - more experienced Security man than I was at that time, to decide how forth from here onwards.
MR COETZEE: Well, in theory I can assure you, Mr Chairman, in the Security set-up in that farm set-up, in that culture set-up, I wouldn't have last long and might be I might have ended up where some other of my black colleagues ended up after posing a threat to the Security Police as clearly proved when I left into exile.
MR COETZEE: Well, I think in my manuscript I said some of the other policemen, and I think it came from Almond Nofomela, and other policemen, who also expressed their concern, as a result of that I felt it my duty to accompany Koos and discuss it with Brig Schoon.
MR COETZEE: No, not as far as I can remember in explicit words, but by doping, getting knock-out drops from General Löthar Neethling, I can only assume shooting him at point blank and burning him, but that's only an assumption. He just said the problem has been taken care of.
MR MPSHE: My conclusion will then be correct that Ace Mohema is taken care of because of the reasons you have advanced, avoiding embarrassment to the Security and concealing the illegal operations then at Vlakplaas.
MR COETZEE: Yes and the more bigger one, that if he was a plant that he would defect back to the enemy and which would cause extreme danger to the Security Policemen on the farm if a counter attack was planned as a result of the information, he might have carried back if he was a plant.
MR COETZEE: The whole Security Police set-up was a political set-up. It was a set-up that kept the government of the day in the chair and everything surrounding that, exposing it, embarrassing the Security Police, embarrassing the apartheid government is all political. All our activities on the farm involved the political operations.
MR COETZEE: Brig Schoon's office was in Security Headquarters, as I explained he was the Officer Commanding Section C. I think there was five officers at the time in Section C, and I was the officer who dealt with the small section of Section C, which in fact was very small, and that was Vlakplaas.
other officers, Colonel Jack Buchner, Colonel Trevor Baker, Captain Willie Botha, Stan Hancock and from there the administration was done and on the farm the Askaris was only based on the farm. So I reported to Security Police Headquarters every morning to my desk there, had my morning meeting, debriefing and briefing with all the other officers and then departed for the farm.
I know he spent some time with Almond Nofomela and if I remember correctly, Joe Mamasela, when he went over to Koos Vermeulen's group, he spent some time with Joe Mamasela too and his men and his fellow colleagues.
MR MARAIS: Mr Chairman, as indicated, I have no clear instructions from Brig Schoon in this regard. I have listened to the evidence here just now by Mr Coetzee and on that evidence I most certainly have no questions to ask Mr Coetzee.
MR MPSHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman, in the Mohema matter I am calling the brother to Ace Mohema who is now in the witness stand. I may just mention that I made the application available to him and he studied it and thereafter he indicated to me that he would like to say something because of what he has read from the application, Mr Chairman.
MR MOEMA: Two things. In the course of the proceedings I was scribbling some notes but I decided probably to shelve the notes and just speak to impress upon the honourable Judge, Chairperson and every member of the proceedings how one feels about the case itself. And in the course of the
that Isaac Moema, my brother, was somebody who was very intelligent, very quiet, non-smoking person, non-drinking person. And what happened on the basis of that observation, on the basis that probably at the time of his capture and taken to Vlakplaas he did not fit within the mode of their culture and therefore he deserved to die, to be killed. I feel strongly about it. My mother is not here today, my father is (indistinct). When we left this morning from home she said, she cannot stand the pain of listening to the proceedings about how gruesome a death her son died. So she said go and listen and reflect on what the proceedings are and express her deepest I don't know what, but very, very painful for her and now she is waiting at home, she does not know what is happening, she expects us to get back to her and tell her something. I am not quite sure when I get back home what is it that I will tell her to ensure that - to find solace in whatever I am going to tell her. But if being intelligent, being quiet is a criteria for one to die then it really brings to light the kind of anarchy that reigned at the time at Vlakplaas. It caused for me to begin really questioning why is it that I have to explain something that is so obvious and the facts are there for everyone to see.
In 1991 I think, at the time of the Harms Commission, if I am not mistaken, 1991, I am sure, yes, I was called in to give evidence at the Harms Commission, and I went through this, I am going through this again. My mother wasn't there, I was in London, she was here, Dirk was in London, he couldn't give evidence to the Harms Commission because of his conditions of being in exile, I was in exile, I was called in to give evidence, I did give evidence. But what
was clear was the ineptitude, the obvious lack of sensitivity of the pain that one was going through, listening to what was going on and clearly from the word go the Harms Commission was a farce, and I am not trying to construe that the Truth Commission is a farce. But one would expect much more from the proceedings that are going on here. My mother would like to know where her son is, why was it that he had to die. If they felt he was a threat to the State, there was recourse to the legal proceedings, the criminal justice was available if he was a criminal, or if there was any case against him. If it was just felt that he was a threat to the State at the time, a charge should have been laid against him and he would have gone through the normal court proceedings and be sentenced like many others that got sentenced and went to Robben Island and many other prisons that we have in the country. So that by saying this one is not - I am not so much here to protest, to send any protestation against the applicants in the amnesty, that is not what I am here for. I am here to express the deepest - Your Honour, I left the country because of the pain I'd gone through. I've lived in exile, I've lived under very harsh conditions, but this is one of the worst moments for me to be sitting here to try to say how the family feels about what has happened and ... (witness distressed) ... can I round off by asking two questions and hopefully I will be able to let my mother who is at home probably sleep in peace. Just two questions. Can somebody go to her and say I have committed the murder, I am sorry. The second one is, can somebody take us or take her to say this is where your son is, this is where his last remains are, if there are any remains that are still available for one to see. I am not
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. We do not have before us the kind of information that would give answers to your question. We are still open to evidence that would throw light on who it was precisely that killed your brother. We have heard the evidence of Mr Dirk Coetzee about who desired the death of your brother. Precisely where he was killed, we have nobody here present who can tell us. And it unfortunately may remain one of the secrets that have been buried with your brother. But there is the Reparations Committee. It is possible that they may be able to go and visit your mother and perhaps give counselling to her if it can be of any assistance to her. At present I can think of nothing else that can be done to assist your family.
MR MOEMA: A bit of information. I have submitted, and that's something that was lacking, mention was made of the presence of Mr Chris Mnisi when he left with Captain Vermeulen. I have made a submission of the affidavit that
MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, as indicated initially, I thought that two weeks would be enough for me to prepare Mr Coetzee's written submissions and in those submissions I would include Mr Chikalanga's matter. I indicated the 7th February. I could be in a position to submit my Heads at that stage. I would possibly maybe just ask until that Monday. It would give me an extra weekend, it would give me three weekends basically, so if I could then submit my heads by the 10th February.
will serve on my learned friend and ensure that all the members have copies and I will ensure that Mr Mpshe has enough copies also to forward to the other interested parties that may want to have a look at them.
Mr Chairman, then just also to conclude. We still owe the Committee some answers in relation to Mr Chikalanga's application. I have arranged to see Mr Chikalanga over the weekend. I will ensure that those answers reach you first thing within the course of next week.
CHAIRMAN: Ladies and Gentlemen, this brings to an end these hearings and I thank all those who have assisted; the panel of interpreters who have so ably carried out their work in assisting us and I want to thank everybody else who made it possible for things to move smoothly during these hearings and thank you very much. My Committee appreciates all that has been done for us.