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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 07 June 1999

Location PIETERMARITZBURG

Day 1

Names PRAVEEN RAMDAS: ANILRAJ SINGH

Case Number 6327/?

Matter PIETERMARITZBURG HIT SQUAD

CHAIRPERSON: On the roll this session of hearing, and

we'll be starting with the matter involving the applicants, Messrs A Singh and P Ramdas. Before we start, I'd just like to introduce the Panel to you. On my right is Mr Wynand Malan, he is a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is from Johannesburg. On my left is Judge Ronnie Pillay, he's a Judge of the High Court from the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth. And I am Selwyn Miller, also a Judge of the High Court, also from the Eastern Cape, but from Umtata. I'd also at this stage request the legal representatives kindly to place themselves on record.

MS LOONAT: Good morning, Mr Chairperson, I'm Sureena Loonat and I am here for the applicants, Mr Ramdas and Mr Singh.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS JALEEL: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, my name is Shireen Jaleel, I'm an attorney from Shireen Jaleel and Associates, I represent the families of the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS LOCKHAT: My name is Lyn Lockhat and I appear on behalf of the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON EXPLAINS INTERPRETATION EQUIPMENT

MS LOCKHAT: Chair, we'll commence with the applicant, Praveen Ramdas.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Ms Loonat.

PRAVEEN RAMDAS:: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, how old are you?

MR RAMDAS: 41 years old.

MS LOONAT: Are you married?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, married, but my wife passed away.

MS LOONAT: When was this?

MR RAMDAS: In February last year.

MS LOONAT: Whilst you were in prison. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Whilst I was in prison, that's right.

MS LOONAT: Please tell the Committee Members how you were employed before your trial.

MR RAMDAS: I was a policeman and had 17 years service.

MS LOONAT: Where were you stationed?

MR RAMDAS: I was stationed at Mountain Rise.

MS LOONAT: Which is in Pietermaritzburg?

MR RAMDAS: That's correct, in Pietermaritzburg.

MS LOONAT: Did you testify at your trial?

MR RAMDAS: No, I did not testify.

MS LOONAT: So a lot has not been said from your side, is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS LOONAT: Did you make any statements?

MR RAMDAS: No statements.

MS LOONAT: What can you tell the Members of the Committee about your activity leading to your being here today?

MR RAMDAS: Okay. During 1991, 1992, I was made Unit Commander of the Special Constables at Mountain Rise Police Unit. Later I was transferred to Imbali as a Station Head at a Sub-Station. In 1978, way back in 1978, when I joined the Police Force I was sent on border duties and other courses, that is the vehicle course, the border training, riot control course."

MS LOONAT: I'm sorry, Mr Ramdas, is this going to lead us to how you became, how you formed the hit squad? Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson. Okay. Here we were told that the ANC was the enemy of the country and they were the terrorists and that they were very aggressive and also we should be very wary of the ANC.

MS LOONAT: Who's we that you talk about, please?

MR RAMDAS: People on the course.

MS LOONAT: Who were the people on the course?

MR RAMDAS: The people who attended the courses, they were policemen who attended.

MS LOONAT: Yes, but who told you?

MR RAMDAS: The instructors at the course.

MS LOONAT: Please continue.

MR RAMDAS: This was the teaching from the force way back when I joined and this teaching got passed on from generation to generation. By older policemen to the new policemen. Those days the war was between the terrorists and the State. It was mostly limited to the borders. This was classed as bush warfare and during these times it was only our National Servicemen that was used to be shot and very seldom does a policeman get shot.

During 1991, I was sent on a highly specialised intensive course called a SWAT Course. It actually means specialised weapons, arms and tactics course. This course was not like any other course that I've been on. Other courses were mostly survival courses, crowd control, etc. But this course was purely an attack course. Beside the aspect of debussing and the use of handgrenades, etc, the major part of the course was the house penetration, which as I gathered is one of the most deadly attack in the world. It was created, designed and perfected by the United States Marine Corps, Navy SEALS Division. It was taught to, and used by, the Cape ...(indistinct) trainees, and at the same time it was being taught to the South African Police by members like example Captain O'Connell, who were stationed at Oribi Unit 8. Just for the record, I would like to say that this course would remove the use grenades etc, it's never used by normal policemen in the course of their duties, like with attending complaints or doing investigations. The SWAT, the senior person on SWAT Course was Captain O'Connell, who did the lectures and instructed, together with Warrant Officer Prinsloo.

We were told on course that the ANC had been unbanned in 1990 and that the terrorists, the ANC terrorists would be able to move freely in our towns and cities, without being easily detected. They further stated ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Ramdas, tell me, do you know why you were chosen to go on this course?

MR RAMDAS: Why I was chosen? There were members from the station, they pick at random. They did pick and send me to course.

JUDGE PILLAY: That's what I was trying to find, if it was just random choices?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, the Station Commander makes the decision, sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And the trainees on that course came from various stations around the area.

MR RAMDAS: Various stations. That is right. Various stations and throughout the province as well.

CHAIRPERSON: And it was all SAP or were there any KZP trainees?

MR RAMDAS: They were all policemen, South African Police.

CHAIRPERSON: South African, not KwaZulu Police?

MR RAMDAS: No, no. They were just South African Policemen.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: He further stated on course, that's the Captain, that the old system of bush warfare is over and a new era of urban terrorism is on the brink. The terrorism in the cities has started and the targets are no longer National Service policemen, National Servicemen, but the targets are now policemen. The Captain warned us of policemen that play a dual role in the sense that they are employed by the police and they're also active members of the ANC.

The Captain also told us that this type of policeman are dangerous to the police and the nation as a whole. And that their actions by passing on information will cost the lives of innocent people. He further showed us a video tape of all police killings in the country and explained to us not only are policemen being killed but they were being robbed of their firearms as well.

I was very disturbed by the tape that I saw. I was not impressed with the new system of urban bush war, urban warfare, and I was terrified by the fact that policemen were being targeted, for the sole reason that he was a lawman, that is, lawman, a law-abiding citizen wanting to implement safety and security for his family and fellow countrymen.

The Captain put it to us that the police killing will still go on and we are all targets of the ANC. As policemen we are being killed and then ...(indistinct) choosing the race or age, all these things, and these were proof were on the videos that I have seen. Further, our policemen don't have a fighting chance as they are unsuspecting of the fact that they have been lured into an ambush and killed. He said in a lecture that it will take a force beyond a force to stop the ANC from killing policemen.

After the video show there was a five minute smoke break and I approached the Captain and I asked what does he mean by this. And the Captain told me again that the ANC is out of control and that it will take a force beyond a force to stop the ANC. I asked him and he told me, "come now, Warrant, you're a senior policeman, you can figure it out and do the necessary." I told him, "Captain, if it's what I think you're saying, then policemen will get involved and lose their jobs and go to jail." He said if that's the cost, either lose your job or lose your life as the situation of police killings is getting "out of hand".

I also asked him, I mean he also told me that if I want to be a statistic together with other dead policemen ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry for interrupting, can you just say again, who was this individual you were talking to?

MR RAMDAS: That is Captain O'Connell.

MR MALAN: Captain O'Connell.

MR RAMDAS: I honestly and firmly believed what the Captain told me about losing my job and my lives. The people were back from the smoke break and we carried on with the lectures. Then the Captain went on to say that if the ANC takes over, our policemen could lose their jobs to MK, lose their medical aid, pension and the MK will fill in the top positions and we will be left out in the cold.

This also initiated a sense of fear in the Police Force as a whole. We felt insecure about our futures. This is ...(indistinct) after the lecture we met at the car park. The policemen at the lecture were discussing what the Captain had said. We were also lectured about the R5 rifle, how it was designed and it was only made, it was only made for police use only. They told us that the ANC terrorists had AK47s with a shooting rate of 650 rounds per minute. And that we with our 9 mm and our short guns had no chance against them. This is why the R5 was issued to the police and that it had a better shooting rate as the AK47. And the police could fight back the enemy of the government. That was, the government at that time was the National Party, and I was being paid by the government of the National Party because it was my job.

Based on this fact, we could see that the government and the Police Force wanted and expected the police to fight the ANC by the tactical knowledge that was imparted to us, by superior arms being provided, the change in content of information passed on from course to course over the years. That is from survival to attack, once the ANC was disbanded.

We were indoctrinated into believing that the ANC and MK were the terrorists and by the fear that was put into us by lectures, videos, etc, we knew that the police had to take a stand against the ANC.

MS LOONAT: Excuse me, Mr Ramdas, you keep saying "we". How many of you were present?

MR RAMDAS: There were on course about 20 or 30 of us, I think. I'm not too sure at this stage, but it was a big class that we had.

MS LOONAT: And did you all have the same feelings when you discussed this during your tea breaks?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, we had more or less generally the same feelings.

MS LOONAT: For the record, are you a member of the IFP?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: And all those that were present at the lectures, do you know what their political affiliations?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't, I didn't ask.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, when you say you're a member of the IFP, were you a card carrying member? Had you actually formally gone and joined and became a member of the IFP or were you, by saying you're a member are you saying that you were a supporter?

MR RAMDAS: I was a supporter of the IFP. Now I'm a card carrying member. At that stage when we were in the Police Force we don't have to have a card because our appointment certificate would serve as a card. Because we were fighting with the IFP. Can I carry on, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly, but is it not the position that at that time, well, sorry, at that time were you allowed to become members of political parties, as a policeman?

MR RAMDAS: After '78, '79, no, '88, '89, most of the policemen they took sides as to who to who was ANC, who was IFP.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, we're not talking about those who supported various parties. Was it not the position that members of the Police Force were not allowed to become members of political parties?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was that the situation during this period?

MR RAMDAS: I could not say ...

JUDGE PILLAY: In your case?

MR RAMDAS: When I joined in 1978, we were told that we could not join any political organisation.

JUDGE PILLAY: But you joined.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I joined.

JUDGE PILLAY: That time.

MR RAMDAS: In 19, no, no, not in 1978 no. I joined about '89, '90.

MS LOONAT: Were you advised that you ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Sorry, when you say you joined in '89, '90 ...

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you receive a membership card of IFP? Is that what ...

MR RAMDAS: No, not then.

JUDGE PILLAY: So you didn't formally join them?

MR RAMDAS: No, not formally join them, no.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, can we get this straight. Were you a member of the IFP at that stage or were you a supporter?

MR RAMDAS: I was a supporter at the time.

JUDGE PILLAY: Okay. Thank you. When did you become a member?

MR RAMDAS: In 1993. 1993, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: How did you become a member in 1993?

MR RAMDAS: I asked my family to go to the IFP office and get a card because at that stage, I found it necessary to have a card.

MS LOONAT: Were you not advised that because you were a member of the police, and you were allowed to go freely in uniform in the IFP areas, you would be known to be a supporter? Was that your advice when you applied for membership?

MR RAMDAS: For membership card. Because we should use our appointment certificates and we shouldn't get attacked. But if we went to a ANC area, we, our vehicles got damaged, we would have been attacked or ambushed.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may continue, Mr Ramdas.

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: You may continue.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you. The lectures also stated that the IFP, although they were also black people, that they are no threat to the government or to the police. They in KwaZulu-Natal have their own Police Force called the KwaZulu Police and they have the same common enemy as the police and this was the ANC. We were told that policemen were able to go into IFP areas without being harmed, but we were warned against going to ANC strongholds, example ...(indistinct), as we might be ambushed and killed. The Police Force which is the highest force in the country had to be subjected to no-go areas demarcated by the ANC.

It was quite evident that the IFP was the friend of the police and that the ANC was the terrorist. The leader of the ANC, that is Mr Mandela, he was a criminal who had just been out of jail. He was also a former Commander of the MK, whilst the leader of the IFP was a royal prince, that is, Mr Buthelezi. So as a policeman employed by the government, we had to take orders and that my heart would fit the cause.

On SWAT Course, the Captain told us ....(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Which course?

MR RAMDAS: That fighting the ANC. On SWAT Course, the Captain told us that he has received information from the Security Branch that the ANC Youths were under instruction from the leadership, Peter Mokaba, who stated they must continue the armed struggle and if they don't have the guns they must take it from the police. This is quite evident that the ANC had its heart to set out to kill policemen and rob them of the firearms.

What can be seen from all this is that the top brass of the ANC to the Youth, it was a constitution to destroy the Police Force and take their arms. This was a tip to the police for sure and the police was not going to take it sitting down.

I was personally so motivated to go and take the Captain's advice and create my own force beyond a force, especially now that I have tactical knowledge, the right information as to who was killing our policemen and why, and knowing that I had, or I did, in knowing that I could be next if I didn't take a positive stand in the issue. I was just one man and there was no possible way that I could take on a giant like the ANC alone. So I just let this point lie, in time lie in my head. I didn't act on it.

Then once working, I attended the shooting of Constable Blom. He was shot at the corner of Retief and Boom Street. On arrival there, there was Constable Singh, Constable Peters, Warrant Officer Otto and myself. I spoke to Constable Ali who was, who was the van driver. He said the MK soldiers had shot Constable Blom. Constable Blom complained of pain to his right leg, but when on closer inspection, found that he had a bullet wound to his chest. He stated to me that MK has shot him and that they were dressed in uniform. The firearm that was used to kill Blom was stolen from a policeman in Pinetown. That we later established when we arrested the MK soldiers.

Seeing the videos of dead policemen on the SWAT Course had an effect on me, but also, but when a colleague dies in front of me, had a serious impact on me. It's something, something that I cannot explain, but nearly blows your mind away.

Some time later, at Mountain Rise Police Station I saw the special constables changing their, changing to their private uniform. This seemed strange to me and I enquired from them why they were changing. They said they were not safe in uniform because ANC supporters will kill them if they go to the locations dressed like that. They were classed as sell-outs and the white man's dogs. Seeing the specials, seeing that the specials were scared of the ANC supporters, I asked them which party they belonged to, and they told me that they belonged to the IFP and that they lived in Sweetwaters, Elandskop, etc.

In the back of my mind I had the intention to form the hit squad. So I needed more members. So I just put a feeler to them, to the specials to see what reaction I get. I told them that the ANC is full of shit and we should take a stand and fight against them. To my surprise, I got a positive response. That was, there were about 15 specials there ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, why do you say you were surprised? Didn't you say that they were all, that they already said they were all IFP members?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I didn't expect them to give me a positive response, because although they were policemen, some of them are frightened to do anything like this, to do killings and whatever.

MR MALAN: No, but you asked them about their attitude towards the ANC and you were surprised, you said.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I told them that the ANC is full of shit and we should take a stand and fight against them. And to my surprise, I got, because they wanted, how can I put it to you, Chairperson, I didn't expect them to say, ja, okay, listen Warrant, let's form a hit squad, let's go ...

MR MALAN: No. But you didn't suggest a hit squad, did you?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, I didn't suggest it.

MR MALAN: So why were you surprised when they said we need to fight the ANC. Wasn't that the policy of the government at the time?

MR RAMDAS: Not really the policy, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: But was it not the policy of the government, as you understood it, to fight the ANC or the Police Force?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, to fight the ANC.

MR MALAN: You were told at this course that there was already a change in the strategy, that it wasn't a bush war any more, it was urban.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So why were you surprised?

MR RAMDAS: Because of the reaction. I hadn't expected so many of them to say, to say yes. They were just, I expected one or two of them.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, if I may assist. Had you put to them that you were now going to form your own hit squad? Is that what you were surprised at that they were prepared to join your own hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: And you didn't expect this reaction, why?

MR RAMDAS: This reaction. Because it was something illegal.

MR MALAN: No, sorry, Mr Ramdas, you're confusing me now. I put it to you that on your version you said that you must fight the ANC, that you did not tell them about a hit squad, simply the fighting.

MR RAMDAS: Just the fighting only.

MR MALAN: Now, your legal representative put it to you that you told them that you wanted to form a hit squad. And you answered in the positive thereto. What is the story?

MR RAMDAS: At that stage, Chairperson, is this correct, it's a slight correction. At that stage, I didn't talk to them about a hit squad. At a later stage, I did. Which I'm coming to now, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: All right. So at that stage you did not talk about a hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: No, it was at a police station and I told the special constables that was not a place to talk about and I will see them later.

MR MALAN: Sorry, you told them what?

MR RAMDAS: This is not a safe place to talk about things like this.

JUDGE PILLAY: Like what, Mr Ramdas?

MR RAMDAS: About talking about fighting the ANC.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.

MR RAMDAS: After speaking to, I told them that I will speak to the, Constable Singh who was in charge of them. I was overall in charge. Constable Singh was second in charge.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, were you at this stage a Warrant Officer?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson. I proceeded to Constable Singh's house with intentions of talking to Singh about forming a hit squad. He agreed and he said that some of the specials that are working under him are good people and that they will join in. And when I mean good people that they will agree.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, before you continue. I understand your evidence you were busy now preparing the establishment of a hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: As illegal as it may have been.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: As a Warrant Officer you were doing that. Who did you answer to? Who was handling you?

MR RAMDAS: Who was handling my?

JUDGE PILLAY: You.

MR RAMDAS: Who was handling me? I was working under the Station Commander.

JUDGE PILLAY: Who, who was that?

MR RAMDAS: It was Colonel Buttle.

JUDGE PILLAY: In forming this hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, that's what I was talking about. In forming the hit squad who would you have to take orders from?

MR RAMDAS: No, I on my own, I formed this hit squad.

JUDGE PILLAY: A private hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: So you didn't get instructions to form this hit squad. You took it on your own, being influenced by this course ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: By the SWAT Course and what the Captain had told me about it.

JUDGE PILLAY: So when you committed any offence in your capacity as a member of this hit squad, you'd not have to report to anybody.

MR RAMDAS: No.

JUDGE PILLAY: Do I understand that correctly?

MR RAMDAS: No.

JUDGE PILLAY: Not even Captain O'Connell?

MR RAMDAS: No, I wouldn't have reported to him. While speaking to Constable Singh, he stated to me that three or four of the specials are staying with him in the same flat. Singh called them and we had a small meeting in his house. It was Constable Indaba, Constable Norman, Constable Singh and myself were present.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, if you could just please repeat those names.

MR RAMDAS: Constable Indaba, Constable Norman Nkono, Constable Anilraj Singh and myself. Okay? Constable Norman told me that if you want to form a hit squad, he has two civilians, IFP members, who might be keen to join. I told Norman that it's okay. We'd meet here tomorrow, you bring your two friends, we'll have another meeting.

The next day, I went to Singh's house and was introduced to Joe and Isaacs. They were civilians. At this meeting, I was introduced to them. I explained to them why I wanted to form this hit squad, and some of them even put a positive input towards the discussions. Joe stated that his leader in chief, leader and chief, would be happy to hear this. His name was Skiza Zuma, Skiza Zuma. That was his chief. He stated that Skiza was attacked several times by the ANC, and that he might help us to further this cause. Indaba stated that this was also his chief and that he did know him well, and that he was his neighbour.

I nominated Constable Indaba as a spokesman and a middleman. He was to go tell Zuma of our intentions and ask Zuma for arms or possible names of ANC targets or trouble- causers.

A few days later, I met Indaba. Indaba said, "I met Skiza Zuma and Zuma gave me two firearms, one a 7.65 and a 9 mm, and that Zuma wants to meet us." He also said that Zuma gave one name and Indaba went on to explain this name and also to explain this was the first hit.

Constable Williams who worked under me, I asked him if he wants to join the hit squad and he said and he agreed. Whilst working in Imbali Police Station, Constable Singh came with the casspir and we wanted to go and see Mr Zuma. So it was Constable Singh, Constable Indaba, Williams and myself, proceeded to Zuma's house.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, can you remember roughly when this was that you went to Mr Zuma's house?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. I don't know around the date.

MS LOONAT: Was it after the SWAT Course was completed?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson. Constable Indaba, he showed us the way to Zuma's house. When we reached Zuma's house, Williams stayed in the vehicle to listen to the radio, the police radio. Indaba, Constable Singh and myself jumped off the vehicle. There I was introduced to Skiza Zuma. He told me that he got a message from Indaba and that he had sent two firearms and also one name. Zuma said that he was expecting some other policemen ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: What name did he give you?

MR RAMDAS: That was of Sipho Ndlovu, that was a person I will come to now. Zuma said that he was expecting some policeman and he doesn't want us to be seen with him. He said that we should leave. He said that Indaba would be used as a middleman and that he will send some more names later on.

Zuma also showed us his LDV van which was bullet-ridden and said that he was shot by ANC. I could see that Zuma was a target of the ANC and that, in my opinion, he was a target. He was willing to assist us in our fight, in our plight and attempts to stop the ANC from furthering their cause.

Zuma stated that he was glad that we had formed a squad and that we were working together now with the IFP and that was the first and last meeting at his house.

This meeting was held, I think it was about October 91, I think it's around there.

I also attended a few meetings at the Ranch Hall, that is at Oribi, as well, and also at Marawa House in Edendale. Whilst at a meeting at Marawa House, I saw high-ranking officers of the army present, members of the IFP, high-ranking officers of the police, namely Colonel Vorster, Captain Brian Mitchell, Captain O'Connell and other Station Commanders, and officers of the KwaZulu Police were present at these meetings.

Colonel Vorster in this meeting stated that he issued the self-defence units with firearms. They were called SDUs. He stated he also issued firearms to the indunas. He stated that when he issued the firearms he issued letters of authorisation from his office. Colonel Vorster said that the IFP SDUs must work closely with the police. Colonel Vorster stated to me that he will transfer me to Imbali Police Station.

After seeing such actions, after seeing the actions and attitudes of such high-ranking policemen, this again reinforced my belief that if I sided with the IFP it's the right thing to do. And we have a common enemy, that is the ANC.

Chairperson, I now come to the first hit that I have. My first hit, I called it the hit at Sweetwaters Location, namely Ghanda-Ghanda Location. It was around ....(intervention)

MR MALAN: Spell that, please.

CHAIRPERSON: What location?

MR RAMDAS: Ghanda-Ghanda

CHAIRPERSON: Ghanda hyphen same again.

MR RAMDAS: Same name. Ghanda-Ghanda Location. This was around the 11th to 12th month in '91.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, is this close to Maritzburg?

MR RAMDAS: It's at, near, just before Hilton, yes, it's in Maritzburg. This location is one of the several ANC strongholds near Pietermaritzburg area. Indaba came back after meeting Zuma and said that Skiza Zuma gave him the name of the possible ANC target in the said area. We were further told that Ndlovu was some sort of financial leader, I mean he was some sort of leader in the area and that he was responsible for several attacks on the IFP homestead in the Sweetwaters region, and further, during March 1990, that one was the seven day war in Edendale, Ndlovu was one of the king pins who instigated attacks on IFP members and their homes.

In no uncertain terms, it was explained to us that Ndlovu was an ANC warlord. I immediately made up my mind to have him shot as I could see that he was a threat to the IFP people in Pietermaritzburg. And that he was a threat to my policemen who lived in the immediate vicinity of Sweetwaters Location, Edendale Location, Henley Dam and Elandskop area.

A meeting was convened at Anil's flat, that is Singh's flat, in Timlas Road that same night. And I gave the final instructions for Ndlovu to be killed. I instructed that Constable Indaba he wears a dress so that he could pass as a female. Constable Nkono would walk with him. We all jumped into the police van and proceeded to Hilton Road. The police van was parked at the corners of Sweetwaters Main Road and Hilton Road. There were five of us in the vehicle. Constable Indaba and Nkono left the van and walked towards Ndlovu's house.

Constable Singh and myself walked behind them but at a distance away, giving them cover. Constable Williams, he sat in the vehicle to listen to the radio. The reason why we were behind Constables Norman and Indaba is to give them cover and to see that they don't get attacked.

They went to the said house, to Ndlovu's house, and both Constable Norman and Constable Indaba shot Ndlovu at point blank range.

JUDGE PILLAY: This police van, was it marked?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, it was marked. But it was parked far away from there. It was parked at the corner of Hilton and Sweetwaters Road.

MR MALAN: Didn't you say Hilton and Main?

MR RAMDAS: Hilton Main Road and Sweetwaters Road. That's right. Both Constable Indaba and Norman ran past us and we followed. It is unknown what has become of this man since. But we know that he was struck by at least one round.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you hear whether he died or not? Or did you hear that he survived the attack?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know. I don't know. Because we ran away from there ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know, but I mean you don't have to be at the scene of the crime to know whether the victim survived or not, you can, you can, what I'm getting at is if you are a hit squad and you identify a specific target, Mr Ndlovu, because in your view he is a warlord causing a lot of strife and grief, and you go and make a fairly elaborate plan getting one of your hitmen dressed up as a woman, etc, and you go there and you shoot. Don't you make a follow-up to find out what happened, whether you shot him in the toe and there's no problem with him or whether he's dead?

MR RAMDAS: If you shoot a man at point blank range, you expect him to die.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but did you hear whether he had died or not?

MR RAMDAS: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you make any enquiries? Did you look in the Death Column in the Natal Witness, or anything like that? Did you establish whether he died ...

MR RAMDAS: I went to the Police Station and had a look at the CR register, where the crime register is and I found that there was no case opened, there was no, no one had been murdered or anything like that.

CHAIRPERSON: So, what did Indaba tell you?

MR RAMDAS: Indaba just told me that he shot the person at point blank range.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he say that he fell to the ground?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson. He said he fell to the ground, when he was on the floor, they ran away from there.

CHAIRPERSON: But you don't know whether, to this day, whether he's dead or alive as a result of that shooting?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I mean whether he's dead as a result of that shooting.

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was this incident one of the incidents upon which you were brought to trial?

MR RAMDAS: I was not charged for this case, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: On behalf of my client, I wish to say that he's just making a disclosure that he was responsible for this attack.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct. I was not charged on this count and I would like to apply for amnesty on this count. This Sipho Ndlovu, I had nothing personal against him. At this time, it was a state of war, we were there to kill him and to remove him as a political opponent.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, was anybody charged in respect of that shooting? Do you know? Mr Indaba or Mr Nkono?

MR RAMDAS: No, they were not charged. I've come to another similar incident.

JUDGE PILLAY: Where did you get Ndlovu's address from?

MR RAMDAS: That was given to me by Skiza Zuma.

JUDGE PILLAY: What was the address?

MR RAMDAS: He stated that he will be staying near, when you're going up, he just gave directions there and where to find this man.

JUDGE PILLAY: I'm asking you about those directions. Can you share that with us?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson. If you're going, I don't know the name of the, if you turn right off Sweetwaters Road, you've got 100 or 150 metres to your right, the first lot of houses, it's the first house on the right. That's what he mentioned. That is the directions that we got.

JUDGE PILLAY: Please be more specific, so I can try and understand that. You say ...

MR RAMDAS: About 150 metres from the road ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Which road, how do you travel now to Sweetwaters?

MR RAMDAS: Okay, Hilton Road runs this way, Sweetwaters Road went up. On the right hand side, about 100 metres up from Sweetwaters Road, the first house on the right.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is that the first house on Sweetwaters Road?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is right.

JUDGE PILLAY: Are there other houses?

MR RAMDAS: There were other houses behind.

JUDGE PILLAY: But nothing closer to Hilton Road?

MR RAMDAS: No, it was like a secluded spot. That only house and then there were other houses behind that one. It was like one hut there and there were other huts behind. A distance away.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it, is it in the countryside or is it ...

MR RAMDAS: In the countryside. There's no tarred roads and all that.

CHAIRPERSON: That, that area, which police station did it fall under?

MR RAMDAS: Hilton Police Station.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you make enquiries at Hilton whether ...

MR RAMDAS: ...(indistinct). I just went to visit the station.

CHAIRPERSON: And there was no report of the shooting, no complainant in other words?

MR RAMDAS: No, nothing, Chairperson. Our second hit was at Jesmondene, which is another ANC stronghold in the Northdale area. The camp, together with the Swapo camp, ANC camp, were actually camps filled with ANC members who fled the Edendale area during and after the seven day war in the 1990s. This area was a no-go area for the IFP. They left the Edendale Location and relocated in the Northdale area close to us.

The two civilians that I spoke about, they were attacked at Diesel Centre. And once the ANC members recognised them as, recognised Joe and Isaacs as IFP members, they attacked them with sticks, iron pipes, bush knives on Allandale Drive. That is near Diesel Centre, Chairperson. It was their luck that Constable Singh, Constable Norman Nkono, Indaba and Constable Mohammed were travelling past and they intervened, and they stopped to assist. The men fled into the squatter camp, Jesmondene squatter camp.

Later that night, Constable Singh reported to me what had happened. And I told Constable Singh that they should have attacked and killed them immediately, but he said that he will only act on my instructions as he is working under me. That night of the second hit, I briefed him as to what was going to be done and who was going to do the shooting, etc. But Indaba, he volunteered to do the shooting.

There were seven of us. We proceeded to the Jesmondene squatter camp near the Diesel Centre. On arrival, we saw a group of men sitting around the burning fire. Constable Indaba and Norman went to one side, Constable Mohammed and Williams stood near the river to block off anyone running away. Constable Singh and myself covered the area of Diesel Centre. Constable Indaba fired about plus minus three shots at the men who were standing around the fire. The men fled in all directions. From the point where I stood, I could not see how many men were hit, up to now, even at this stage.

I was not charged for this count and would also like to apply for amnesty in this count.

In a spirit of reconciliation I feel that the shooting must be revealed and that let the families of the dead or injured know what has been done ...(indistinct)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, was Constable Indaba the only person who fired shots?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say there were about three shots, two or three shots?

MR RAMDAS: Two or three shots fired.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you see anybody fall to the ground? Did it appear as if somebody might have been injured to you, or can't you say?

MR RAMDAS: No one fell to the ground, because I would have seen. But they ran in all directions. It is possible that someone could have been shot. But I checked the CR Register at Mountain Rise Police Station because I worked there and I found that there was no case opened or anything of that sort.

JUDGE PILLAY: About how many people were there then? Shot at?

MR RAMDAS: There were about seven or eight of them around the fire.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just to give us a clearer picture, Mr Ramdas. When Constable Indaba shot at them, could you indicate the approximate distance he was standing from them when he fired the shots. Was it close up, or was it some distance away?

MR RAMDAS: It was a distance. From here to where this female is standing, I mean in the box there.

CHAIRPERSON: In the box. So that's probably about 15 paces, and was it a hand gun or R5 or what?

MR RAMDAS: It was a 7.65. It was a small pistol. That's right.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, what was the purpose of you attacking this camp, specifically?

MR RAMDAS: This was an ANC camp and these are the people that attacked the two IFP people that were in my squad.

MS LOONAT: What point were you making in doing, in committing this act?

MR RAMDAS: They were our political opponents and we attacked them.

MS LOONAT: So there was nobody in particular that you were shooting at? Is that so?

MR RAMDAS: No. There was no particular person.

MS LOONAT: You actually were just trying to get a message across to the ANC.

MR RAMDAS: Across to them, to the ANC.

MS LOONAT: What message was this?

MR RAMDAS: Our policy was to try and shoot, shoot at the ANC, to try and disperse them, or even from them joining the ANC, or people who even had this in mind, or even to free the area, and we wanted to make KwaZulu Natal the IFP area.

MR MALAN: How would they have known that the message comes from the IFP or from your hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: Can you please repeat, Chairperson?

MR MALAN: How would they have known where this supposed message were from?

MR RAMDAS: The people attacked Joe and Isaacs, they were ANC, they were from the camp. They knew Joe and Isaacs, they recognised them from ...(indistinct) the location. They know Joe and Isaacs are IFP. That is how, Chairperson. They knew, they would have got the message that they would have attacked IFP, there was also retaliation back.

MR MALAN: Yes, but the shooting wasn't by Joe and Isaacs. The shooting according to you, was by Indaba.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And the shooting was at seven individuals, not at the whole of the squatter camp.

MR RAMDAS: No. Just at the people who were in the squatter camp. The place that they were sitting in was in the squatter camp. The fire was in the squatter camp. We went into the squatter camp.

MR MALAN: How big is that squatter camp? How many people would have lived there at that stage?

MR RAMDAS: About two, three hundred. There were quite a few shacks and houses.

MR MALAN: Seven people sitting around the fire, the squatter camp would have known that it is in retaliation for the shooting on the two IFP members.

MR RAMDAS: No, they wouldn't have known that those two were IFP people, but they would have got the message that they attack two IFP people, and this is what happened.

MR MALAN: How would they have had that message? I don't follow the argument. Can you make it clear to me? Seven people sit around a fire, three shots are being fired at them by people, by a person they can't identify, it's in the dark of night, and they receive some message. And the message is that they will be driven from the squatter camp which is ANC squatter camp according to you.

MR RAMDAS: Correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: And that it will be an IFP area?

MR RAMDAS: No, we were saying, I'm not saying that is IFP area. We wanted to make Pietermaritzburg the IFP stronghold.

MR MALAN: Okay. You also said that you're applying for this incident in the spirit of reconciliation so that families of these people should know what happened.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, towards anybody injured.

MR MALAN: Yes. How are they to identify the incident?

MR RAMDAS: There was no case opened.

MR MALAN: How would they, which family do you have in mind?

MR RAMDAS: If there was anybody injured or if they, if they, if like the shooting they know about, but they don't know who shot. So that is why I am revealing it. I was not charged in this case.

MR MALAN: Why would they know of the shooting?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

MR MALAN: Why would the family know of this shooting?

MR RAMDAS: If you get shot at and if you don't know who shot at you, so maybe ...

MR MALAN: What was the date of this incident? You didn't give us a date.

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. There's no date, ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: You don't know the date?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know the date.

MR MALAN: So how will the family be able to identify this incident, if you don't even know the date?

MR RAMDAS: I am just, when I made my, when I say this here, I'm just saying this to bring this up, so I don't have any bad feelings or anything. I want reveal everything.

MR MALAN: Mr Ramdas, if you want to reveal anything, you should be able to get the message through to me at least and I'm speaking for myself, but I fail to understand how you can disclose information to victims or families of would-be victims if you can't give a specific address, you can't give a specific date, nobody is seen, the people shot at you can't identify?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Are you being serious about what you're telling us? That this is a spirit of reconciliation and you want the families to know what happened.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Okay. Continue.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just one little thing. You say you weren't charged. Was anybody charged or was it like the previous one? No one was charged.

MR RAMDAS: It was like the previous one, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And no one at all was charged.

MR RAMDAS: No one at all, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, may I just ask this question? How are we to identify these incidents if there's no ... (intervention)

MR RAMDAS: It's only two incidents.

MR MALAN: Yes, these are two incidents. But you have no exterior information or evidence that could help us identify any of these incidents.

MR RAMDAS: No. Those people that were sitting round the fire, they were unknown to me. They were just sitting round there.

MR MALAN: And the same goes for the ...

MR RAMDAS: The first incident.

MR MALAN: The first incident. You don't know of any family of the person that was hit?

MR RAMDAS: No. Apparently the lady from the TRC ...(indistinct) she has been out there, I think. I'm not too sure.

MR MALAN: But couldn't trace anyone?

MR RAMDAS: No, apparently he died of some other injuries, apparently. Or other illness, something like that. She can give you more light on the matter, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: But you have no information which you can offer?

MR RAMDAS: No. No information.

MS LOCKHAT: Chairperson, I just want to give some information regarding Sipho Ndlovu. It was said that he was living with his grandmother, just the previous incident at Sweetwaters. And he was living with his grandmother and there's no other family relatives. I think he was the only child. And his grandmother also passed away. So just to inform you regarding the Sweetwaters incident.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Ndlovu himself?

MS LOCKHAT: Sipho Ndlovu is also deceased. 1996, 1997.

CHAIRPERSON: So, in other words, now you know, Mr Ramdas, that he wasn't killed by the shot fired by Indaba.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: If he died as a result of that shot, he died many years later as a result of the shot. He wasn't killed instantly.

MS LOONAT: Just to go back on Mr Malan's question. Mr Ramdas, what Mr Malan is perhaps, is trying to ask you is you shot at the squatter camp, the people sitting around at the squatter camp, to send a message through to them that if they attack your policemen, IFP members, you are going to make life difficult for them.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is correct.

MS LOONAT: What Mr Malan is trying to establish is how were they to know that that attack was from IFP members? Did you have any way of informing them that this was from your side? Is that correct, Mr Malan?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why would they have thought that was a political attack as opposed to an ordinary criminal attack?

MR RAMDAS: It works like this. See, if you attack, if the ANC attacked IFP, the IFP will retaliate and attack back.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is that what you thought at the time?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Would, would the whole of the squatter camp, would they have known of the attack on the two IFP members?

MR RAMDAS: No. Yes, that is correct.

MR MALAN: The whole squatter camp knew that two IFP members were attacked?

MR RAMDAS: They, they should have known. Why we should have known, it's the same incident where all the people in the squatter camp, they have meetings, they get together and they say, listen, someone attacked me and this ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Was this retaliation not on the same day?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

MR MALAN: The retaliation, yes.

MR RAMDAS: The same night.

MR MALAN: It was on the same night.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So when would they have had these meetings to share the information that they had attacked?

MR RAMDAS: I'm not saying they had the meetings. I've said this is how they operate.

MR MALAN: No, but my question is, how would they have known? You have said they have meetings.

MR RAMDAS: The people who were at the fire would have discussed it or would have spoke to the people there and say, listen ...

MR MALAN: Please prompt him.

MS LOONAT: Sorry, I think Mr Ramdas is trying to say that they would have established that having attacked Joe and Isaacs, and soon after, almost the same night, they were attacked, he assumes that they would come to the conclusion that this was in retaliation, Mr Malan.

MR MALAN: No, please, that was not his answer. I asked him the question and he did answer. He first said about meetings and he said he assumed and they talk and they would have discussed it around the fire. I asked him about the attack on the two IFP people. How would they have known of the attack? Not that the, I didn't ask him about the retaliation. I firstly asked, would the whole squatter camp have known about the attack on Joe and Isaacs?

MR RAMDAS: The whole squatter camp, I wouldn't have known.

MR MALAN: You said, no.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

MR MALAN: So, the seven around the fire would not necessarily have known of that attack on Joe and Isaac.

MR RAMDAS: It could be possible that they did know.

MR MALAN: Yes, but they would not necessarily have known.

MR RAMDAS: No, not necessarily.

MR MALAN: So when they were shot at, they would not necessarily have linked it to the attack on Joe and Isaac.

MR RAMDAS: It could be so.

MR MALAN: Okay? Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.

MR RAMDAS: We're talking about the arson case. I was not involved in this matter, no one the rest of the squad except for Singh and Norman.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just repeat.

MR RAMDAS: This arson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: I was not involved this matter, nor was the rest of the squad. It was just Constable Singh and Constable Norman that were involved in this. No instructions came from me. Nor was it politically motivated. What I later heard that Constable Singh ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Mr Ramdas, you did not apply for that, so you don't have to tell us.

MR RAMDAS: No, but I see that, I see ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I mean if you're not involved, and you didn't give instructions and you weren't there, then all you can tell us is hearsay evidence.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Singh might speak to it later, but, I mean...

MR RAMDAS: Okay, I agree with you. We're talking about the killing of Solomon Dlamini. This incident happened on 92/11/19. He was murdered at Shongweni Bridge. Solomon Dlamini was an ANC activist and became known to us as a trained MK soldier. During the 1991 taxi violence in Retief Street, the dates are Friday 91/10/11 and Saturday 91/10/12. The deceased was present. I noticed the deceased was using a loud hailer and addressing the crowd in Retief Street. The trouble had started because the ANC owners did not want the kombis owned by the IFP members to load in the same rank as them. Nor did they want them to load the IFP passengers in the Kombis owned by the ANC members.

When I arrived there, the roads were cordoned off and a large crowd had gathered. Whatever Dlamini spoke was translated from Zulu into English by one of the specials who was standing next to me. Dlamini stood on a box so that he could see over the other people. He spoke in a loud hailer and he chanted ANC slogans and threatened the IFP supporters with death if they were found in the area. Dlamini, he claimed to be a trained soldier of the resistance movement, and said that his two friends who were also trained MK, who were also trained soldiers like him, and that they would shoot IFP supporters if they came to the ranks. He said that the police are dogs and the IFP are cowards.

The crowd became unruly and we teargassed them and the crowd dispersed. Dlamini left. I followed him and noted that he jumped into his kombi and he drove first to Krishnan Road and then later still to 533 Bombay Road. The reason why I followed him was just to make life hard for him, so if I see him or see his Kombi, I could always stop him, search him, just make life hard. The deceased declared the taxi rank a no-go area for IFP.

There was another march at the Freedom Square outside the ...(indistinct) Buildings. This was on 26th of June 1992. The ANC MK soldiers unmasted our national flag and set fire to it and also urinated on it. They mocked the flag and also the policemen that served under the flag. These MK soldiers shouted and jeered at us. Prior to the march, Captain Botha, he received a fax stating that no one should arrest the MK ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Did the fact that the flag was ... (intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Did this fact that the flag was ridiculed, you're talking about the old South African flag?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: How did that affect you?

MR RAMDAS: I served under it, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: You respected it?

MR RAMDAS: I respected it.

JUDGE PILLAY: And it affected to you to such an extent that you saw that as an attack on the IFP and policemen, etc?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct. They were degrading us. Captain Botha received a fax stating that no one should be arrested as MK will open fire on the police. The string holding the flag was tied to the building and not on a flag pole, because in the fax they stated that they will unmast our flag and they will hoist an ANC flag up. They climbed up the flag pole, brought down the flag, it was burnt, they urinated on it.

After this, I noticed that our Video Unit was also present. The Police Video Unit was also present. They were filming it. There were about plus minus eight soldiers, they were dressed in uniform, in their field dress, camouflaged uniform. One of the soldiers was the deceased, Mr Dlamini. He was present at this march. And I recognised him from the first march in Retief Street. I told Constable Singh at this march that Dlamini is a threat to us and a threat to the policemen, and that he must be killed. Other members of the squad, they were present, they agreed.

Several weeks later, Dlamini, that is the deceased, had a confrontation with Constable Maistry and Constable Boodram, who is now deceased, in a Kombi, resulting in the Kombi being damaged and a policeman being charged. Constable Maistry was charged, Chairperson. Constable Maistry, who worked under me, reported to me that, about the charge and the summons he had received. I looked at the summons and saw the deceased's name. I asked Constable Maistry if it's the same person that I saw at the march, and Constable Maistry said no, he's a taxi driver and he is not a MK soldier.

I put two and two together and realised that this was the same person on our list that I wanted them to kill.

JUDGE PILLAY: Which two and two did you put together? You were told it wasn't the same person?

MR RAMDAS: Constable Maistry was not on our hit squad, Chairperson. All he knows is that Solomon Dlamini charged him for assault, I mean for ...(indistinct) of property, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: You asked someone whether it was the same person, and that person responded that it wasn't the same person that was on your hit squad, hit list.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now you testify and say that you put two and two together. I'd like to know this mathematical equation worked to establish whether it was the same person.

MR RAMDAS: That was the name ... the name that I saw on the summons and the address that was given, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: The address?

MR RAMDAS: That address and the deceased's it was the same, one and the same. This is how Constable Maistry got involved in this matter. Constable Maistry, ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, Mr Ramdas, if you had the address on both, why did you ask whether it was the same man?

MR RAMDAS: I just asked Constable Maistry out of curiosity, to see whether he knew anything about this person.

MR MALAN: No, but you had the, you knew it was the same person.

MR RAMDAS: I knew it was the same person, but Constable Maistry did not know, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: So what was the point?

MR RAMDAS: I wanted to see whether Constable Maistry knew this person or not.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why?

MR RAMDAS: As the MK soldier ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Why would you want to know that?

MR RAMDAS: The hit squad that we formed, Constable Maistry did not know. Although he worked under me, he did not know about the hit squad.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: So I wanted to see whether he knew about this hit squad. That is why I asked him.

JUDGE PILLAY: You don't make sense to me, you know. You gave, certainly I speak for myself, you gave me the impression that you had already chosen the identity of this person. And thereafter you drew inferences and made certain conclusions that it was the same person.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: All I need to know, all I want to know is why did you go through that exercise?

MR RAMDAS: I just asked him out of curiosity, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: So, curiosity has got nothing, got nothing to do with your inferences, has it?

MR RAMDAS: Okay, just repeat it?

JUDGE PILLAY: Curiosity would not have anything to do with your conclusions, because you didn't need, you needn't have made conclusions.

MR RAMDAS: Because his name and address was there ...

JUDGE PILLAY: You knew who it was.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I knew, Chairperson. That's correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Did I hear you correctly saying too, that you asked him because you wanted to find out whether he had knowledge of the hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: Hit squad, that is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So how would he have disclosed his knowledge of the hit squad through, in answer to that question?

MR RAMDAS: How did I know? Can you please repeat?

CHAIRPERSON: How could that, by asking that question, how could that indicate to him whether, or indicate to you, whether he knew about the hit squad or not?

MR RAMDAS: So that he would talk about it and say, "listen here, Constable Williams told me something" or "Constable Mais - I mean, Constable Indaba spoke to me something". This is why I, although we all worked together, but the hit squad when it was formed, I informed them that they will not talk to anybody else about this.

CHAIRPERSON: So, Maistry wasn't part of the hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: Constable Maistry was not part of the hit squad.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: Constable Maistry, just how Constable Maistry got involved with this thing. Constable Maistry, Williams and myself went to Singh's house. The reason why we went there is to get the two special constables or to get even the specials to go to this man's house just to talk to him. Constable Singh also came with me to 533 Bombay Road. When I reached there I explained to the two specials that they must ask him if he had laid a charge against the police and that he was wanted at the police station.

The van was parked under the street light. A short while later the deceased returned with the two specials. At this time, Constable Maistry was sitting with Constable Singh and myself in the front seat of the van. Constable Williams was standing at the rear door. Constable Maistry saw Dlamini and said, "this is the man" and I said, "yes, this is the man from the march" and that he was a MK soldier.

Constable Maistry told me that this is the man that had charged him. I told the two specials and Constable Williams to put the person into the van and they will also jump in with him. Constable Maistry ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Was it at that meeting that it was now decided that Dlamini was going to be assassinated?

MR RAMDAS: At the second march in ...(indistinct) Buildings where he'd broke the flag down, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, according to your documentation, you say this meeting at 9, is it Jimkas Road?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, Timlas Road.

JUDGE PILLAY: Timlas Road. It was decided that Dlamini should be killed.

MR RAMDAS: At the march, I told Constable Singh that Dlamini must be killed.

CHAIRPERSON: See, what Judge Pillay is referring to, Mr Ramdas, is on page 35 of the bundle, at the top, it says, and I read - this is your statement: "A meeting was convened at 9 Timlas Road and there it was decided that Solomon Dlamini must be killed."

MR RAMDAS: I see that, Chairperson. I will explain ...

CHAIRPERSON: Now, this is what Judge Pillay is asking you.

MR RAMDAS: I will explain that. My first initial instructions were given at the march. I proceeded to 9 Timlas Road. I spoke to Constable Singh, he was not with me at that time, I spoke to him and I told him, "listen, we have to proceed with this hit here. Tonight we must do it." That is why.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, who was at that meeting?

MR RAMDAS: It was just myself and Constable Singh.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, who?

MR RAMDAS: Constable Sing, myself. Indaba and Norman Nkono were there. I told them they must just go to this man's house and bring him out to the van. That is all. That was discussed at the meeting there.

JUDGE PILLAY: Williams?

MR RAMDAS: Williams was in the van at the time. He was with me, but he listened to the radio. I always kept him, one man to keep to listen to the radio.

JUDGE PILLAY: And did he volunteer to do the shooting?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: When would that have happened?

MR RAMDAS: When we were, when we were at, when we came back to the van. And I always give the instructions who's going to do what. Because Williams said that he will volunteer to do the shooting. But at a later stage, I will explain to you in detail what transpired.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just before you carry on, Mr Ramdas, the hit squad, it was yourself, ...

MR RAMDAS: Norman Nkono.

CHAIRPERSON: Singh.

MR RAMDAS: Singh.

CHAIRPERSON: Nkono, Indaba, Williams.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Five.

MR RAMDAS: Five of us.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Okay. Yes, you can continue. You were saying that you then, I think the last mentioned is that you instructed that Mr Dlamini be put in the van.

MR RAMDAS: Into the van, that is correct, Chairperson. Now I'm just waiting for you, I see you writing there, so that is why I stopped, Chairperson.

Okay, when he was put into the van, I told Constable Maistry that I was going to shoot him and Constable Maistry said ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Where was Maistry then?

MR RAMDAS: Maistry was sitting in the middle of the seat, I was driving, Constable Singh was sitting on the left of me.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now has, did Maistry graduate to the hit squad now?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Was Maistry part of the hit squad by then?

MR RAMDAS: No. He was not part of the hit squad.

JUDGE PILLAY: But then he would have known what was happening.

MR RAMDAS: He would have known what's happening. At that stage I told him I'm going to shoot ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. So you would have disclosed to him now what ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I didn't tell him anything about the hit squad. I just merely told him, "this man, I'm going to shoot him". And that's when Maistry said, "no, it's only a minor charge, don't shoot him, I will win this case." And I told Maistry, this is not what I'm going to shoot him for. The reason why I want to shoot, this man was a MK soldier and he is a threat to us. I will explain to you now, Chairperson.

Constable Maistry begged me not to shoot him and I told Constable Maistry that this man must die to stop him from furthering his cause, namely the shooting of policemen, creating no-go areas, threatening and/or killing IFP supporters and members. This I witnessed myself, there at the taxi rank.

MR MALAN: Sorry, where, did you have information that Dlamini had shot policemen, IFP members ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: The ANC, the ANC, ...(indistinct) they were fighting for a cause for the killing of policemen where they spoke about a armed struggle, kill policemen, steal their firearms.

MR MALAN: Yes, but Dlamini you only saw on the march?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: And you saw his name on the summons.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct. And he was a MK soldier, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Because he participated in the march.

MR RAMDAS: No, he was dressed in full camouflage uniform.

MR MALAN: No, it was a camouflage uniform, he had a uniform on which you identified him as an MK soldier. But you have no knowledge that he had ever shot at a policeman?

MR RAMDAS: No, no knowledge.

MR MALAN: But you told Maistry that he had shot policemen and IFP members, etc.

MR RAMDAS: I just said that. I told him that he must die because we must stop him from furthering his cause. Maybe it was shooting of policemen, creating of no-go areas, because that was what their objective is, that was what the MK soldiers did.

MR MALAN: But then everybody must be shot who was MK or ANC. Not only Dlamini.

MR RAMDAS: Not only Dlamini.

MR MALAN: But you saw a large number of people in uniform?

MR RAMDAS: But he was the one that was instigating most of the trouble there, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: How did you know that?

MR RAMDAS: It was at, at the first march, he was used a loud hailer and he was chanting all the slogans and what have you. Do you want me to say what he was chanting there, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: No, you have said he was chanting pro ...

MR RAMDAS: He said (in ZULU, not translated). Once in the van, I drove to Shongweni Bridge. I stopped the van and asked all of them to jump out. The deceased lay in the van and refused to come out. Constable Singh, Williams and myself jumped into the rear and tried to drag him out. The deceased, he resisted violently, and after some time, he was taken out. Whilst at the stage of this coming out, the deceased grabbed Constable Williams by his private parts. Constable Williams was not happy about this. He was in, he asked Constable Singh for the firearm. When he was outside, Constable Williams shot this man about plus minus 9 times, but I think about 5 shots caught the deceased.

At this stage, the deceased was trying to duck under the van. He was holding onto the springs of the van. After the shooting, he was dragged out from under the van. I could see that he was injured and he was bleeding. I instructed them, I instructed the rest of them to throw him over the bridge. Constable Williams, Indaba, Norman and Maistry grabbed the deceased and threw him over the bridge. Whilst all this was happening ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, at that stage he had been shot more or less nine times, you said.

MR RAMDAS: About nine times.

CHAIRPERSON: He said he was shot five times.

MR MALAN: Oh, five times.

MR RAMDAS: Five times.

CHAIRPERSON: Shot at about nine times of which about five hit him.

MR RAMDAS: Had struck him.

MR MALAN: And, but he was still alive and still struggling?

MR RAMDAS: Still alive and struggling, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: This is a very high bridge, is it not?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: The bridge is high, is it?

MR RAMDAS: It's one of the highest bridges in Maritzburg.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think there was some mention here that it had been 1500 metres.

MR RAMDAS: If you look down there from the top, you can see the river a small streak there. Whilst all this was happening, the van lights were on and the blue light was on. I would like to apply for amnesty in this case, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Just, before you move on, Mr Ramdas, you've got a hit squad, you've told us the hit squad with its particular aims, etc. Now you carry out a hit against an identified target, a target which you had had in mind for some time. Why carry out the hit in the presence of a non-member, such as Constable Maistry? I mean, you know ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: He was present there.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know, but I mean ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: When I picked him up ...

CHAIRPERSON: You could have dropped him, you could have said, okay, we'll fetch him, we'll sort it out.

MR RAMDAS: The problem would have arrived later if when Maistry goes to court and he finds that, you know, that his complainant is not available and later on, maybe if his body is found, then they find it, they will come back to Maistry, and Maistry will come back eventually to me.

CHAIRPERSON: So you, do you, you killed him specifically with Maistry present to shut Maistry up as it were.

MR RAMDAS: To shut Maistry up, yes. And I gave him a part to play there, Chairperson, by throwing the body over, so that he knows that he was also involved in this attack and that he will keep quiet, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Continue.

MS LOONAT: Did Maistry not object to ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: To the deceased being shot? Yes. He objected, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: But to being thrown over the bridge?

MR RAMDAS: Can you repeat the question?

MS LOONAT: You said Maistry was present and you gave him a part to play besides shooting at him, you instructed him to throw Mr Dlamini over the bridge. What was his reaction to that?

MR RAMDAS: He did not want to do that. But eventually he did. The other hit, the deceased was Mr Padayachee.

INAUDIBLE INTERVENTION

JUDGE PILLAY: Just one question. I don't know how to refer to these tactics other than by tricks. This trick of getting Maistry involved in order to shut him up. Was that a tactic that you learned from these courses?

MR RAMDAS: It's from my past experience, my past, how can I say, being in the Police Force, you learn all those things, Chairperson. You pick it up from other policemen, when policemen talk, what have you.

JUDGE PILLAY: I see.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, were you charged in respect of the Dlamini killing?

MR RAMDAS: That's correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And were you convicted and sentenced?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And who else was convicted and sentenced in respect of that particular killing? Dlamini?

MR RAMDAS: It was Constable Singh, Constable Nkono, and I think it was Constable Maistry, Chairperson. That is correct. I think it's Maistry. Indaba was not charged.

CHAIRPERSON: How about Williams?

MR RAMDAS: Williams? I'm not too sure, Chairperson. Yes, I think he was also, I think so. I'm not too sure.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. You can continue.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was Maistry convicted?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I think he was convicted.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, my client says that he is feeling particularly cold, and it's affecting his thinking. May he possibly get a jersey? May the matter stand down?

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, we'll take a five minute adjournment and then reconvene.

COURT ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Ramdas, when we adjourned you were about to start with the incident involving Mr Padayachee.

PRAVEEN RAMDAS: (s.u.o.): That is correct, Chairperson. Chairperson I want to apologise ...

CHAIRPERSON: That's all right.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: Chairperson, I just want to clarify the issue that Judge Pillay asked as to who was charged and sentenced for the previous incident. Can I just inform the Committee? Devon Williams received 12 years' imprisonment, Mr Singh life imprisonment, Mr Ramdas life imprisonment, Mr Mokoena 5 years of which 3 years suspended, Mr Maistry 5 years of which 3 years suspended. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. And that was in respect of that incident, plus others.

MS LOCKHAT: Just the Dlamini.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, just the Dlamini one.

MS LOCKHAT: Just for that incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr Ramdas, you may proceed.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you, Chairperson. The fourth incident, it happened 92/11/30 and the deceased was Mr Padayachee.

CHAIRPERSON: When you say 11/30, you mean the 30th of November?

MR RAMDAS: 30th, that's right. Can I carry on, Chairperson? Thank you, Chairperson. Okay, this incident happened on the 30th November 1992, the deceased was Mr Padayachee of Culverwell Road, Northdale. Indaba came to Constable Singh and told him that he'd met Skiza Zuma and that Mr Zuma had given him three names of ANC activists. He stated that there were two Indians and one black female. He gave Singh 5 000 and said that it was from Mr Zuma for the work done.

Singh on his own accord decided ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: ...(indistinct) 5 000?

MR RAMDAS: 5 000, that's correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: For the work done or the work to be done?

MR RAMDAS: For work done.

CHAIRPERSON: Now which work would that be then?

MR RAMDAS: No that is what Constable Indaba told Singh.

JUDGE PILLAY: So in your statement you say R1 000 for work done, is that a mistake?

MR RAMDAS: No, no. It's 5 000. Singh on his own accord decided that seeing that there were 5 of us in the squad, he distributed the 5 000 amongst the four of them and he kept R1 000 for me. The day prior to this, I met Zuma and he told me that he had sent some money with Indaba and that it will cover the costs for the things I need. I met Skiza at a garage in town and he had some people with him, so he did not say much.

When I went to Singh's house, he had a broad smile on his face and he said that the boys are happy. I asked him why and he told me that Indaba had given him, what Indaba had told him, and he said what he had done with the money. I was so furious when I heard this and I shouted at Singh and I said, "are you fucking mad?" He asked me why and I said to Singh, that I asked Skiza Zuma for the money so that I could buy ammunition, guns and other items to make our squad perform at its best.

He just looked at me and said he was very sorry. He ran down the stairs to where the specials lived and brought the money back. I took the money from him, after explaining to him what I need the money for. I wanted more silencers, telescopes, two-two pistols, specialised ammunition, that is THP(?)(?) rounds, etc. I told him the next time that he must first consult with before doing anything. I could see that he was sorry because he apologised about five or six times, once I was through with him.

On the list of names was given to Indaba via Zuma I had the final say on the matter. Padayachee was an ANC, he was some sort of financial adviser to the ANC, members of the Pietermaritzburg area and also some sort of financial sponsor to the party, in the same way the second person on the hit list was. The deceased's name, his name was Banks, because of his knowledge and expertise in the field.

The second person on the list was Mr Khan of Sounds Ideal. He was the owner of Sounds Ideal, that is a PA system where, when you have marches, he provides the sound for them, for addressing the public. He was a staunch supporter of the ANC. His description was given to me by Indaba and also his address. He lived in Imram Road. On three occasions I went to his house, but he was not present, therefore he could not be killed.

JUDGE PILLAY: Who's this now?

MR RAMDAS: That's Mr Khan from Sounds Ideal. The third person to be shot was a black female called Zodwa. She was living at the Harewood Location, that's the IFP stronghold and Zuma was her chief. Apparently, she left the Harewood Location and stayed in Culverwell Road with Mr Padayachee. She apparently passed on all the IFP vital information to Padayachee who was ANC. According to Indaba, she also had a sexual relationship with Mr Padayachee. Seeing that both Padayachee and Zodwa lived in the same house, I decided that both of them should be killed at the same time.

I gave instructions to Norman and Indaba to kill Padayachee, to enter the house and to kill Zodwa who will also be there. The firearm, a 7.65, was handed to Norman Nkono. Constable Maistry who was present at the time, that is at Singh's house, he apparently wanted a lift home to his house. He was under the influence of alcohol. Seeing that we were leaving for this hit, I asked him to jump in, which he did. Maistry did not know what was happening because the state he was in.

We proceeded to Culverwell Road. There Constable Nkono and Indaba left the car after the house was shown to them. Constable Maistry was passed out in the vehicle. Constable Singh and myself stood down the road, outside the house. We stood in such a way that we could see the side of the house and all the way round at the same time, giving Constable Nkono and Indaba cover. From where I was I could see the front door of the deceased's house. A while later, I saw the veranda light come on and the door open ajar. I heard the two shots go off and I saw Constable Nkono and Indaba run away from the house.

I wondered why they ran away because they were supposed to go inside after the shooting into the house. We proceeded, I mean, we proceeded to the car and at the car, Constable Norman Nkono told me that he could not enter the house, because the safety chain was on. He also stated to me that he shot the deceased through the semi-closed door.

It was later established that the black female Zodwa lived at the rear of the house and not with Mr Padayachee. She left after the shooting and disappeared and could not be found. Constable Indaba denied knowing Zodwa but later admitted that it was his girlfriend. He was afraid that the association with Zodwa would link him directly to the killing of Padayachee.

I would like to apply for amnesty in this case, the killing of Padayachee and for the two counts of conspiracy to murder, that is for Mr Khan and the black woman Zodwa.

After the murder, the equipment that I needed for the firearms, I mean, the equipment that I needed, that is the firearms, telescopes, silencers, the THP(?)(?) rounds, etc. were bought. I was charged for this case, Chairperson, I was sentenced. Constable Nkono, I think the rest of the men, they were sentenced as well. That I think, I'll have to find out from ...

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you say later bought, you used that R5 000 to buy equipment. Where did you buy that equipment from?

MR RAMDAS: The telescopes and the silencers were bought from the gun shop, that they sell over the counter. The firearms, we bought it through a contact. The threading of the barrel ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: What do you mean, a contact?

MR RAMDAS: We made enquiries to find out who's selling illegal firearms, we send our informers out there, to buy the firearms for us, they come and give it back to us. The threading of the barrel was paid for. We had to pay high prices for this thing, because it was not done by anybody.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, with this killing of Mr Padayachee, why was Constable Maistry taken along?

MR RAMDAS: He was ...

CHAIRPERSON: Seeing that he was not a member of the hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: He was present there at Singh's house. He wanted a lift home. We were just about to leave Singh's house for this attack when Maistry pitched up there. He did not know anything.

CHAIRPERSON: But is that good reason to take a person on a hit just because he happens to pitch up wanting a lift?

MR RAMDAS: If I left him there, if I left him there, he would have wondered why we did not take him with where we were going to, maybe.

JUDGE PILLAY: Wasn't he then by that time part of the hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No he was not part of the hit ... (intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: He must have known enough of what your activities were by then?

MR RAMDAS: He only knew about the killing of Dlamini, that was all, Chairperson. He did not know anything else.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, exactly. It was bad enough to know that, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson. He only knew about that.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was he then not brought into the system of hit, of that hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So you're saying that he was taken along because he happened to arrive and you felt bad at saying, well sorry, we're going off somewhere. So instead of saying that you took him along and went off to kill somebody?

MR RAMDAS: He was in the vehicle.

CHAIRPERSON: And what happens if ...

MR RAMDAS: The vehicle was parked far away from the house. Very far from the house, Chairperson. So he'd not see anything. Or neither could he hear anything. He was in the vehicle.

CHAIRPERSON: So then he sat in the vehicle while these people went off, Indaba and the others, to go and execute Mr Padayachee. You sit in the vehicle and wait and wait.

MR RAMDAS: No, he was passed out in the vehicle, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: He was passed out?

MR RAMDAS: He was passed out, he was drunk.

CHAIRPERSON: He was drunk?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What, in a stupor? So he didn't know what was going on?

MR RAMDAS: He didn't know what was going on, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, if he was that drunk, why couldn't you have refused him a lift?

MR RAMDAS: Why we couldn't have refused him a lift? He was a policeman.

JUDGE PILLAY: He wasn't in a position to think, I wouldn't have thought. So what are you going to be worried about what he thinks of you if you refuse him a lift?

MR RAMDAS: No, he was a policeman, a friend of mine, a colleague of mine.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: So I just decided no, I'll help him. Give him a lift.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, he was so close a colleague that you didn't want to tell him what you're up to.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I didn't want to tell him.

JUDGE PILLAY: So, if there wasn't that great connection between the two of you, so why take him with?

MR RAMDAS: Because he wanted a lift.

JUDGE PILLAY: All the more reason you've got a drunken man in a drunken stupor who is likely to talk what he sees. Why take that risk?

MR RAMDAS: Can you just ...

JUDGE PILLAY: The fact that he was drunk ...

MR RAMDAS: The fact that he was drunk, yes ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Was all the more reason why you should not have taken him with. Isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, he was a colleague of mine, he was a friend of mine.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, I understand that. But despite that, you didn't have any faith in telling what you were up to.

MR RAMDAS: No, I did not tell him.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. Because you didn't trust him, isn't it? You wanted to keep this secret from him.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, it was a secret.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. Now, if that is so, then here he is, drunk. Wasn't it more of a risk to take him with? On such a hit?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, but he was not in a state, I mean, not in his right sense of mind, so he wouldn't have known what was happening.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. But wouldn't he then have spoken about what he had seen?

MR RAMDAS: Can you please repeat?

JUDGE PILLAY: Wouldn't he have spoken to other people about what he had seen?

MR RAMDAS: He was too drunk. He wouldn't have known. When we left Singh's house, we went to Culverwell Road, by the time we reached Culverwell Road, he was passed out in the vehicle. So you could see the man.

JUDGE PILLAY: But when you embarked on the trip, you weren't to know he was going to pass out.

MR RAMDAS: No, I did not know.

JUDGE PILLAY: Exactly.

MR RAMDAS: But he was heavily drunk.

JUDGE PILLAY: And that was the purpose of the question. Why take him with?

MR RAMDAS: If I left him there, maybe he would have been a danger to himself, maybe he would have been robbed or somebody ...(indistinct). Because he was friend, I didn't want to refuse him.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.

MR RAMDAS: I'm going on to the next one. That was Sipho Zulu, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Sorry, can you explain to us why you did not share this information about the R5 000 and the fact that you were upset in your application and your statement that went with the application?

MR RAMDAS: I sent two applications. This is the third one that I ...(indistinct). The first one was in detail.

MR MALAN: I'm talking about the full statement that you made, that's, I'm referring specifically to page 35, 36, where you deal with this incident.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, this is a shortened version. This is a shortened version, because ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: But isn't it crucial, the question of payment?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, it was crucial. It was, I'm not too sure which day it was. When we got a message through the Department, through the Prison Department, stating that our lawyer be there at the next day to hand in the application for the closing date. So we just wrote out short abbreviated ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: No, Mr Ramdas, please. Will you have a look at page 35 of the bundle. The last paragraph starts with "Our fourth hit" and you say, that you got a message from Skiza Zuma and Singh approached you on that day ...

MR RAMDAS: That is right.

MR MALAN: Conveying the message that you were to kill two Indian men and a black female. At that stage he gave you R1 000. This is your story here. And then you say nothing anywhere in the follow-up on this page about your being upset about him taking the money.

MR RAMDAS: That's what I'm trying to explain to you. The application I wrote here, was in a hurry. They were, this was the third application that I sent in, Chairperson. The other two were lost. I think Constable Singh's got proof of it, Chairperson. If you could look at it. My first application ...(indistinct), Chairperson. These are just things that I wrote in and I sent in ...(indistinct). Have you got this in there, sir. Can I show it to you?

CHAIRPERSON: Is this Mr Singh's statement? Yes, we have that.

MR MALAN: We have Mr Singh's statement.

MR RAMDAS: No, not the statement. We did, we did, the TRC has lost our statements, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, we don't ...

MR MALAN: How did you find out that we did not get your earlier applications?

MR RAMDAS: Because the closing date, we did not get any, they said the closing date, we did not get any response, nothing. ...(indistinct) each one when you send your applications in, they give you a reply or something back, saying we've received your application, we're discussing the matter or whatever. We contacted the lawyer to find out what is going on and we found, the second one it was lost. We eventually sent the third one in.

MR MALAN: You can hand that in to us some later stage. We don't have to have a look at that, but I'd like to see the application.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you.

MR MALAN: But you, even on the abbreviation, I mean, you deal with addresses, you deal with such a lot of detail, but the crucial issue of the payment and your being upset about payment, killing for hire, ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: As you can see, Chairperson ...

MR MALAN: You don't deal with.

MR RAMDAS: That was just a shortened version of everything, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Because you see, what Mr Singh says about it is that, and I'll quote, oh, it's from page 17 of the bundle, top passage, top paragraph. He says "Seeing that this was a big job and previous three attacks went on according to plan, Indaba brought back a sum of R5 000 to us and said that Zuma sent this to us as an incentive for good work. Warrant Officer Ramdas, Williams, Nkono, Indaba and I each took R1 000 for ourselves." And then that's the end of the R5 000. It doesn't talk about having to go and extract it back from the special constables and pay it back to you so that silencers and other equipment can be bought, and that you lost your temper.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I see that, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. In any event, I'm just pointing out that's what he's written.

MR MALAN: Can you, can you just also for my information tell me, what was the cost of these telescopes? How many telescopes did you buy?

MR RAMDAS: There were two telescopes, two silencers, a two-two pistol, specialised ammunition, the threading of the barrel, I wrote it down here somewhere.

MR MALAN: What did it cost you?

MR RAMDAS: It came to R5 235, something like that.

MR MALAN: What was the price of the telescope?

MR RAMDAS: Chairperson, I have a price, or I had it somewhere.

MR MALAN: You have receipts for those items?

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't bring it along, Chairperson. At that time, I didn't know it was necessary to keep all these things, Chairperson. But I estimated the price ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Did you not bring it along or don't you have it?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't have, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You have no receipts for anything that you ...

MR RAMDAS: No, nothing, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Okay.

MS LOONAT: Mr Malan is asking were you issued with receipts at all, Mr Ramdas?

MR RAMDAS: For the illegal things, no. For the things that I bought from the shop, yes. But those things were thrown away. Can I proceed, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: Okay, the fifth hit was an ANC activist, namely Sipho Zulu. On, this incident happened on 3/12/92. On 5/5/92 there was a huge ANC rally at Wardley Stadium, Edendale, Pietermaritzburg. It was a huge crowd that was addressed by Harry Gwala and other top ANC leaders. I was assisting in escorting the busses from the rally through the town and then to Northdale.

At Northdale, the busses split up, because of the various places they were going to, example, Swapo Camp, Jesmondene, Natal Crushers Squatter Camp, etc. On the police radio, I heard Constable Singh shouting for help. He said that him and his specials were being robbed of their firearms. Once I heard this, I established where he was and I rushed to his aid. I was the first to be on the scene. I spoke to Constable Singh and found that he had been roughed up and also shaken up. I explained, he explained to me vaguely how Sipho Zulu, Petrus Zulu, Muzi Mtungwa and others tried to rob him of his firearm.

He stated to me that he had fired a number of rounds and that he had injured Sipho Zulu and Muzi. And that Petrus Zulu died on the scene.

A number of ANC supporters began to chant, and after a while a huge crowd had gathered. They were armed with sticks, knives, stones, everything you can think of. Reinforcements arrived and we kept the huge crowd at bay. The officers attending asked me to go the Northdale Hospital as the injured were all there. And they stated that I must make the necessary arrangements for them to be guarded. The reason being is that they will be charged and that they will be suspects so they

have to be guarded by the police.

I left the scene and proceeded to Northdale Hospital. On my arrival at Casualty, I saw the deceased and Muzi. Muzi was in a lot of pain and he could not talk. The deceased, he spoke in English, but not fluent. He stated to me, "hey, you dog, tell your other dog friend that he shot my brother and that he had shot at my comrades and that we are coming to get him. If we can't get him, any other dog wearing that uniform." He stated to me also that Harry Gwala said in the rally that they must continue the armed struggle and that they must take the arms from the police.

I then thought of what Captain O'Connell had told me on SWAT Course. That they will kill policemen and they will steal our firearms from us. I also thought about what the members of the Security Branch said about Peter Mokaba and the armed struggle. I could see all what I had, what I had been told is now coming true.

A few days later, or some time later, our ...(indistinct) Police Station was robbed of all the firearms. That was about 15, plus minus 15 firearms. This was the sub-station opposite the Swapo squatter camp, and this place is about 50 metres from where Singh was robbed of his firearm.

I could see that the ANC was not scared to rob our policemen of their firearms. And that the speech at the rally influenced them a lot.

I went back to the station and arranged for guards for the deceased and Muzi. There I met Constable Singh at the station and I told him, "Singh, be careful of your life as the deceased threatened to kill you or any other cop in uniform". I also told Singh it's a do or die situation. It's either you or the deceased. And also reminded him of the SWAT Course.

I gave the instructions to Singh to kill Sipho Zulu and Muzi the same day, that's on 5/5/92.

On 92/12/03, Constable Singh, Indaba, Nkono came from work. Just before entering the residence they found the deceased at their home. Outside their home. He was taken away and he was questioned. He was searched and they found a dagger on him. He stated that he came to pay his revenge.

Constable Singh stated to me that he'd picked up Constable Williams and they took the deceased to a cane field at ...(indistinct). There Constable Williams dragged him out the car and throttled him and then Constable Singh came from behind and shot the deceased in the back of the head. When the deceased fell to the ground, he was shot a few more times to make sure that he was dead.

The deceased was left there and they all came to my house. At my house, I spoke to Constable Singh and he told me of the shooting, that was of Sipho Zulu. I instructed him to bury the body. Constable Ayer also helped dig the grave and buried the body. Constable Ayer was a policemen.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what was that name again?

MR RAMDAS: Ayer, you spell it, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Ayer.

JUDGE PILLAY: But was he a member of your hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he stationed at Mountain Rise?

MR RAMDAS: At Mountain Rise, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What as, just an ordinary uniformed policeman?

MR RAMDAS: Uniformed policeman.

CHAIRPERSON: So, so how did he get involved in this lot?

MR RAMDAS: Constable Singh will be able to answer you, Chairperson, because I was not there the time, when he picked up Ayer. I was at my house.

JUDGE PILLAY: But as leader of this private hit squad now, your attention was drawn to the fact that there's a newcomer, who knew, at least in this instance, what had occurred.

MR RAMDAS: When Constable Singh left my house, returned to bury the body, Ayer was not present there, Chairperson. They left to bury the body, they must have met Ayer after that, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, afterwards when the report was made to you, you must have become aware of the fact ...

MR RAMDAS: I did, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: There's a newcomer now who possibly knows what is happening. How did you deal with that?

MR RAMDAS: I asked Constable Singh what was the problem there, how did Ayer get involved. Because Singh told me that Ayer helped bury the body. So I mentioned, why did Ayer help? He said that Constable Ayer apparently was at his house, waiting for Constable Singh, and that Singh had asked him to come, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Don't you find it strange? Somebody is killed, now the body needs to be buried, and because somebody happens to be at the house, you bring in somebody who is not involved, doesn't know anything about the hit squad, to come and bury a body? I mean, when you're a policeman and you find a body, you normally get the body to a mortuary? You don't bury bodies in the veld. In the cane fields. It sounds ...

MR RAMDAS: Chairperson, this body was buried to conceal it, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. What was your reaction when you heard that an outsider had been involved in burying bodies? People who had been executed by your hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: I was cross with Constable Singh first. But later he told me that Constable Ayer wanted to join him, at, when the van was parked at Singh's house. This is what he told me. When the van was parked at Singh's house, Singh went to fetch the hoe and the implements to go and bury the body. That's when Ayer came and he asked, he jumped into the van. He said he's coming to drive around the van, but he did not know that this person has been shot. Apparently, he said no, he wants to jump in. And later when he found out, he saw the body there. Then he said, "oh, you shot this person". In any case, Chairperson, Singh will ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, he can explain.

MR RAMDAS: He can explain.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I was just going, this, was there any repercussion arising out of the death of Petrus Zulu? Any case?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson. I think there was an inquest held, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And any civil matter?

MR RAMDAS: That I don't know, Chairperson. We'll have to find out from Constable Singh, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: When you were asked by Judge Pillay about the newcomer, I wrote down here that you say that Singh's, you asked Singh and he said that he had asked Ayer to come along.

MR RAMDAS: To come along, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: What do you mean, come along? He'll have to explain that, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: No, no. I'm asking you about the statement that you made.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson. Please repeat it.

MR MALAN: Is it correct, I wrote down here, you say Singh had asked him to come along.

MR RAMDAS: That must have been after Singh ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: No, to bury, to bury the body.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: That's how you understood it?

MR RAMDAS: That's how I understood it, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Then on the further questioning, you said that Ayers wanted to go along and he jumped in the van. Not that Singh asked him.

MR RAMDAS: I must have got your ...(indistinct) wrong, Chairperson. When Constable Singh, this what he got happened, what I know. What they have told me, that when Singh went to his house, after he left my house, went to his house to fetch the implements to dig a grave, dig the hole, or grave, there he met Ayer at Singh's house. Ayer was there.

MR MALAN: When did he meet? Was he there already?

MR RAMDAS: He was already there.

MR MALAN: I thought you said he arrived there after ...

MR RAMDAS: No, he was already there. How he came there, I don't know.

MR MALAN: Okay, he was already there.

MR RAMDAS: He was already there.

MR MALAN: Yes?

MR RAMDAS: Now he usually works with Singh, if Singh's working patrol duties and all, he usually comes in, joins in. He was a ...(indistinct) 20 of them, specials that worked under Constable Singh. But the hit squad was different. Some of the members of the hit squad, the specials, were part of this 15 people who were taken out from there. Five people were taken out from there, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was Muzi ever found?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: Muzi. Did anything ever happen regarding Muzi?

MR RAMDAS: No. The instructions were given to kill Muzi as well, but there was nothing done about him, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why not?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Why not?

MR RAMDAS: Muzi, we could not find him, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Ever?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know if he is still around, or what, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why didn't you attempt to look for him after that?

MR RAMDAS: We looked for him, Chairperson, did look for him, but he couldn't be found, Chairperson. This count, we, I don't know who was charged and what sentence they got.

JUDGE PILLAY: And you?

MR RAMDAS: I got life imprisonment, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: For this.

MR RAMDAS: Life. Yes, I think it was life, Chairperson. Can I proceed, Chairperson.?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: The last one, I was ...(indistinct) on a retired police captain at Umkomaas. He was known to me for many years and at one stage in the late 80s I even worked under him in the CID Division. His name is Mr Dorega. Several times he mentioned to me and other policemen at Mountain Rise that he did not like the white oppressive government and further made mention that he supported and sympathised with the cause of the ANC, as he himself was a non-white.

At the time, he told me that he was ANC it didn't bother me or trouble me in any way, as I myself was not actively involved in politics at this stage.

JUDGE PILLAY: What did think you killing people was?

MR RAMDAS: Can you please repeat?

JUDGE PILLAY: What did you think killing people was then? If you weren't involved in politics?

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm talking about the late, in the 80s, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: You talking about this last sixth ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: And did that take place in the 1980s?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, I'm talking about when I met him and everything, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Oh, sorry, I misunderstood you. Carry on.

MR RAMDAS: When I was at the same station, that is Mountain Rise Uniformed Branch, we used to raid the ANC squatter camps and we used to find home-made firearms, etc. The suspect, who was the ANC, with the expert, was taken to the police station and handed over to the deceased, that is the Captain Dorega who was the Branch Commander of the CID at the time. He told us specifically not to register the dockets as he will decide whether to charge the suspect or not. Captain Michael who worked under Dorega at that time also disagreed with him and the system that he was using. On a number of occasions, I arrested ANC youths with firearms, but nothing was done about it.

I then realised that the deceased was an ANC and that he was siding with the ANC.

MR MALAN: I thought that you said he'd told you earlier that he was ANC?

MR RAMDAS: But I did not worry about it, Chairperson. At that stage ...

MR MALAN: No, but you're now saying you now realised he was ANC.

MR RAMDAS: This is now in the 90s, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Yes, but you knew already in the late 80s. He told you so himself.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, but it was a long time ago, I did not really worry about it, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: I can't understand how a person tells you, say in 1988 or whatever, that he's a member of the ANC and in 1990 you realise that he is a member of the ANC.

MR RAMDAS: Some people talk ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Because of his actions?

MR RAMDAS: Some people talk but they don't really mean it. Some people just say yes, I belong to certain organisations where you just take it as such.

CHAIRPERSON: Anyway, in the 90s you became convinced that he was a ANC supporter.

MR RAMDAS: ...(indistinct) after Zuma sent us a list of names, I noticed the name of Padayachee and went to have a look at his house as it was the same road as mine. That was the previous, Padayachee I'm talking about was the previous deceased, that I spoke about, Chairperson. The list came to me on the 25th of November 1992. And the same day I did my location and made my enquiries and I was getting ready to give the order.

The next day, while I was doing inspection at the sub-station in Copesville, I noticed in the distance the deceased who was in the company of three blacks. I did not worry, as I knew that Dorega was with the ANC and that he frequently visit the camp. I noted that two of the three blacks jumped into the deceased's private car.

JUDGE PILLAY: You're talking of Dobe?

MR RAMDAS: Dorega, Chairperson. And the car drove ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think just refer to him as Dorega as there's been quite a number of deceased, yes.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you, Chairperson, thank you. The deceased's private car drove past the police station, that is Dorega, sorry, Chairperson. A few seconds later, I left the station and I was heading to my house. I also live at Culverwell Road, Chairperson. When I turned left into Culverwell Road, I saw the deceased's vehicle, Dorega's vehicle, parked outside Mr Padayachee’s house. I parked the van a distance away and watched what was going on. I noticed the two blacks and Dorega go into Padayachee’s house. I waited there.

After an hour or so, deceased left with the two, Dorega left with the two blacks.

JUDGE PILLAY: I just want to get a perspective here. Was Padayachee already dead, or not? When Dorega went in there?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, he was still alive. Padayachee was still alive, Chairperson. There were a few other cars parked outside Mr Padayachee’s home. I realised they must be, or there was a political meeting at Padayachee’s house of some sort. As I knew that Dorega was to be an ANC and that he picked up two black men from the ANC's camp and that Padayachee was also ANC.

I then remembered what was told to me on SWAT Course that some policemen are passing information to the ANC and these policemen are dangerous and playing double standards, who were playing double standards, Chairperson. Dorega was associating with ANC people from Swapo camp and these ANC people had robbed us, robbed our Copesville Police Station of all the firearms. They also made threats to Constable Singh and other policemen and these ANC people also attacked Constable Singh and his unit. I could see that Dorega was well known in the ANC Swapo camp and also well known to Mr Padayachee, who was some sort of big boy in the ANC. Normally if the police go into the ANC squatter camp they use casspirs, bullet-proof vehicles, bullet-proof vests and they also have back-up units. Because if they don't, they will get shot at or they may be robbed of their firearms or their vehicles could be damaged. But Dorega was unmistakably one of them as this ANC camp is a no-go area for the police.

I was convinced that Dorega was serious about his political activities in the ANC. And more so now that he was retired and he had more time on his hands.

Remembering the information that Captain O'Connell told me on SWAT Course, I considered him a threat to our policemen and a threat to the nation as a whole, as the Swapo people were heavy into taking guns from the police for the armed struggle. And more so now, it seems like they were getting first-hand information from an ex-policeman about the police and the force itself. I instructed that Dorega be killed as to stop him from furthering the ANC cause.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, was Dorega still a member of the force at this time?

MR RAMDAS: No, he was retired, Chairperson. At which stage are you talking about?

MS LOONAT: When he visited, when you noticed he visited the ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, he was retired.

MS LOONAT: He was already, he was retired.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, he was retired.

MS LOONAT: At the time he visited Padayachee with the two blacks.

MR RAMDAS: That was when he was retired at the time.

MS LOONAT: So this was all after he retired.

MR RAMDAS: When he was retired.

MR MALAN: And what would that first-hand information be? That he would ...

MR RAMDAS: That I don't know, Chairperson. He could have been giving vital information how the police was operating ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: No. No, Mr Ramdas. I'm asking you on your statement. You said you saw him in the camp.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And you remembered that they told you that police were informing to the ANC, that you had informers amongst the police, and you said Dorega was unmistakably one of the people there.

MR RAMDAS: That's right.

MR MALAN: And he was certainly committed, because, more so because he was now retired and you said as an ex-policeman he was imparting first-hand information to the ANC.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. All information that he had on the police while he was a policeman he could have parted to them, Chairperson. That's what I was trying to get at, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: What information would that be that could be threaten, be threatening?

MR RAMDAS: That how the police works, what firearms maybe they used, or anything, any information vital to what the police had, he could have passed it on, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You refer to that as the first-hand information.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So it's not about plans or strategy, it's about what firearms they used at the time he was still ...

MR RAMDAS: It could be anything, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: In the service.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, in the service. That's right.

MR MALAN: So that's, for how long then was he then already retired?

MR RAMDAS: I think one year. One year or a year and a half or so.

MR MALAN: So his first-hand information would have been at least a year old?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: It couldn't have been very important information, could it?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know, Chairperson, if it was very important. I don't know. On the 27th of November 1992 I gave the instructions to kill Dorega. Constable Singh ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, give that date again?

MR RAMDAS: 27 November 1992. Constable Singh fired two rounds with a shotgun at his home. We could not lay him out the house, but Singh saw the silhouette of Dorega at the window, he fired two rounds with the shotgun. That is from the station. But the bullets hit the house, Chairperson. Dorega was not killed at that time, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this down at Umkomaas?

MR RAMDAS: At Umkomaas, Chairperson. Then on 93/04/22, we again went out to Umkomaas to kill Dorega, because the first attempt was a failure. Constable Singh, Nkono, Constable Ayer, Williams and Nelish Singh and myself were involved in this killing.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was Ayer now part of your squad?

MR RAMDAS: I see, yes, Chairperson. He just came in there. We brought him with, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was he part of the hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No, he wasn't part of the hit squad.

CHAIRPERSON: So who went? It was yourself ...

MR RAMDAS: Just hang on, Chairperson. It was ...

CHAIRPERSON: Singh.

MR RAMDAS: Singh, Nkono, Ayer, Constable Williams and Nelish Singh.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry?

MR RAMDAS: Nelish Singh. Nel ...

CHAIRPERSON: Who's Nelish Singh?

MR RAMDAS: He's one of the people that were involved with us, Chairperson. Nelish Singh.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, is that Constable Singh?

MR RAMDAS: No, not this Singh, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, another Singh. Sorry, so he also wasn't a member of the squad?

MR RAMDAS: No, he was not a member of the squad.

CHAIRPERSON: So why were Ayer and Nelish ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I will explain to just now, Chairperson. I will explain to you just now, Chairperson. The police car, a Toyota Corolla, was taken from the station. The number plates were altered. We were all dressed in full uniform. We proceeded to Durban to Nelish Singh's house. The reason we went there is to use his souped-up BMW as the get-away car. From there, I drove the police car with Singh as my passenger. In the BMW, Nelish was driving, Williams was his front seat passenger, Ayer, Nkono, Ayer and Nkono was the rear, sit at the rear of the BMW.

When we reached Umkomaas off-ramp ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Where was Williams?

MR RAMDAS: Williams was seated in the BMW on the passenger seat, Chairperson. When we reached the Umkomaas off-ramp we stopped and I gave them last-minute instructions. I changed the barrel of the firearm, we used Constable Williams, the butt, it was just the barrel we changed, Chairperson. We wanted to use the silencer, Chairperson, because we can't, because it had groovings inserted, Chairperson.

I told Nkono to shoot with the 9 mm and I gave Constable Ayer the shotgun. The instructions were to tap on the door, ask him if he had phoned for the police and when he comes to the door he must be shot and killed.

Nelish and Constable Williams were, and Williams were at the parked cars, which was in the street. Singh and myself were outside the gate. I had my R5 rifle with me, Constable Singh had his 9 mm and we were the back-up team for Constable Ayer and Nkono. A little while later I saw Constable Nkono and Ayer go to the door. The outside light was switched on and I saw Constable, I mean I saw Dorega, talking to Ayer and Nkono. I then saw Constable Nkono fire two or three rounds, I'm not too sure how many rounds, Chairperson, at Dorega. And when he fell down, Constable Ayer fired one single round from the shotgun at Dorega. We ran away from the scene, went to our cars and at the highway we stopped and Nelish was given the barrel to keep, for safekeeping, Chairperson.

Constable William's firearm was used by Constable Nkono. That's the only thing I changed in the firearm, Chairperson, just the barrel.

On this count, Chairperson, we were charged, we were convicted and I was given life term imprisonment, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just to get back to this point. Why was Ayer taken along? Not only taken along but made one of the central actors of the incident when he wasn't even a member of the hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: When Constable Singh, when Ayer was already present there at Singh's house when Singh arrived there to pick up the implements, after Ayer had buried the body and what have you, of the last count, he asked to join us. He said that he was also was helping, willing to help us to fight the cause. But we didn't, I wasn't very happy about it. But in any event he did associate himself with us, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why were you not happy about it?

MR RAMDAS: Because Constable Singh is now bringing people that is, I didn't even see, I didn't even check on him, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: So how did you allow him to become a member eventually? Did you check him out?

MR RAMDAS: He had seen the burying of the body ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: I know that. You were not happy.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: You said because you did not have him checked out, or you did not check him out.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: I assume by that you mean whether he was trustworthy ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I could not trust him. That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you eventually do that?

MR RAMDAS: Eventually.

JUDGE PILLAY: Because he did become a member of the ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Eventually, he was the last one to join in, Chairperson. Eventually.

JUDGE PILLAY: After your approval?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: And Nelish Singh?

MR RAMDAS: Nelish, we wanted to use his car, Chairperson. He had a fast car.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: And we wanted to use his car as a get-away car, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: We had no other car that was a fast car, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So why couldn't you borrow his car?

MR RAMDAS: Why couldn't we borrow his car? He didn't want to lend us his car, Chairperson. He wanted to drive.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you try that?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you try that? Ask him to borrow the car?

MR RAMDAS: When we went to his house, we asked him for his car. He said no. We told him, I told him that we wanted to do something with his car. He said he asked us what it was about. I explained to him. Then he said no, he wants to come, he wants to drive, some, some ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: So you explained to him without knowing he's going to react?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: You explained to him what you needed the car for without knowing how he's going to react?

MR RAMDAS: He was Constable Singh's cousin, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, that's beside the point.

MR RAMDAS: Constable Singh trusted him.

JUDGE PILLAY: But you didn't trust him.

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you trust him?

MR RAMDAS: I took his, Constable Singh's word for it, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: But in the case of Ayer you did not?

MR RAMDAS: No, because he was there in Maritzburg so I did some ...(indistinct), Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: How many cars did you go to Umkomaas with?

MR RAMDAS: Two cars, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the second car, the police car that you changed the number, what was that?

MR RAMDAS: It was a Toyota Corolla, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Where was that parked then, at the time of the hit?

MR RAMDAS: It was outside there, on the street, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And the BMW also there?

MR RAMDAS: Was also outside the street.

CHAIRPERSON: So now that would mean that you've got one very quick get-away car and one ordinary get-away car. Why was it so special to have a souped-up BMW when your other get-away car was a Toyota Corolla?

MR RAMDAS: I'll explain that.

CHAIRPERSON: Why not have two Toyota Corollas?

MR RAMDAS: The BMW was to, I mean, the firearms they were going to put into the BMW to be driven away. The police car would be in the area as if they were looking for the suspects, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand. Yes, continue.

MR RAMDAS: That was all, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I see that it's just after one o'clock. I think this would be an opportune time to take the lunch adjournment. We'll take the lunch adjournment until quarter to two. So we'll adjourn until quarter to two for lunch.

COURT ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Ramdas, I just remind you that you're still under your former oath.

PRAVEEN RAMDAS: (s.u.o.): I understand, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Is there anything further you wish to add.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I've finished with the murders, I just, one or two things that, aspects that I want to inform the hearing of here. I was charged for perjury in the Supreme Court in 1988, where I was testifying in a case were Majiet Khan was involved in a murder case. There the court found that I contradicted my evidence and they found that the case had to be registered, a case of perjury had to be registered. The transcripts was sent to Mountain Rise Police Station. The judge sent a transcript to Mountain Rise Police Station. Captain Dorega was the Branch Commander at that stage. He took the transcripts, he read it, he opened a case of perjury. He asked Major Maharaj at that time, female Major Maharaj, to take a warning statement from me. She also put in a statement to say that I was ...(indistinct) off duty.

JUDGE PILLAY: Who's that?

MR RAMDAS: Major Maharaj, puts the statement in and then Dorega put in a IO statement and the docket was summoned to court.

MR MALAN: What's a IO statement?

MR RAMDAS: Investigating Officer's statement. The docket went to court. Okay, I appeared in the Magistrate's Court, I was found guilty, sentenced to one year imprisonment. On appeal, I was found not guilty, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: What's the relevance of that?

MR RAMDAS: Where, in 1988, when Majiet Khan murdered two blacks, ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Why does that affect your application?

MS LOONAT: May I answer that question, Chair, to come to the point? Okay.

MR RAMDAS: Can you please repeat?

JUDGE PILLAY: No, your, your ...

CHAIRPERSON: What Judge Pillay asks is why, why are you raising this now? What's it got to do with your application?

MR RAMDAS: No, because Dorega, he was the IO of the case here. So he was killed in this case here.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: So maybe now, this thing may arise later or maybe I don't know what's ...(indistinct), so even if somebody does, then I want it recorded ...(indistinct)

JUDGE PILLAY: Well then, I'll help you if you put it that way. Can you recall when Dorega was actually killed?

MR RAMDAS: When he was killed?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: It was April.

MR RAMDAS: 22nd April.

CHAIRPERSON: 22nd April 1993.

JUDGE PILLAY: And when was the decision made to kill him?

MR RAMDAS: I'll give it to you now, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You said it was the 27th of November 1992.

MR RAMDAS: That, that was the first attempt. The second attempt was 93/04/22.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, when did you decide ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: The first one, 27th November 1992.

JUDGE PILLAY: When did you decide to kill him?

MR RAMDAS: When I decided to?

JUDGE PILLAY: Kill him.

MR RAMDAS: On 27th November 1992.

JUDGE PILLAY: Okay. And this case of perjury, when was it?

MR RAMDAS: 1988.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, when was it registered at Mountain Rise?

MR RAMDAS: In 1988.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes ...(indistinct)

MR RAMDAS: I don't know the month, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Sometime ...(indistinct) 1988, you say.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

JUDGE PILLAY: And when was that case, when were you convicted?

MR RAMDAS: 1990, I think it was.

JUDGE PILLAY: And your appeal?

MR RAMDAS: I think a year after that, I was found not guilty, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: I just want to inform you about Constable Ayer. He's the, Colonel Marion, that is he's Colonel Marion's nephew, that is Constable Ayer. He was, when Singh saw him there at his house, and when Singh ...(indistinct) the special that worked with Singh. They have breaks like lunch breaks or whatever, so he spoke to 20 of them. He'd leave two or three of them to eat, come back, pick them up and ...(indistinct). So Ayer was there on that particular day, and he asked to drive around with Singh. But, the problem was that when Singh started, picked the spades and all up, and he asked him what he was going to do. Singh told him that he wants to bury the body. He said he wants to come with. When he went there, but he first thought that it was that Singh was playing the fool, but when he saw the body he dug the grave and the body was buried.

And when Dorega was killed, Constable Ayer had shot him with a shotgun. We were arrested, the same day, the same night, in fact, we were arrested. Only after the shooting, did I realise that Constable Ayer was Marion's nephew.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what's this person's name?

MR RAMDAS: Ayer.

CHAIRPERSON: No, whose nephew?

MR RAMDAS: Marion. Marion, Colonel Marion.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, where was Colonel Marion stationed at this time?

MR RAMDAS: He was stationed, when was this, in 19, after the murder?

MS LOONAT: At the time that you mention Ayer and the relationship between Ayer and Marion.

MR RAMDAS: Ayer was stationed at Mountain Rise. Colonel Marion was, I think, also stationed at Mountain Rise, I'm not too sure. Oh, maybe it was the Riot Investigation Unit, I'm not too sure, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: What is the point of bringing Colonel Marion into this, at this stage?

MR RAMDAS: The murder cases, Colonel Marion investigated our murder cases. The Dorega case and the other cases. Prior to the dockets I was being investigated by the Murder and Robbery Unit, but Colonel Marion wasn't in the Murder and Robbery Unit at that time.

JUDGE PILLAY: So?

MR RAMDAS: But he had some interest in it, because he's, that's his nephew that was involved there.

JUDGE PILLAY: (inaudible)

MR RAMDAS: And he was sentenced to, he was convicted and sentenced to five years. He served eight months' imprisonment and was released on correctional supervision.

CHAIRPERSON: At the trial, did it come out that Constable Ayer actually shot Captain Dorega?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So he got five years for being an accessory after the fact ...

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: In the, in the Zulu case for assisting in burying the body and got convicted for shooting Captain Dorega.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, for all that he got five years.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, the fact that you did not testify at the trial, has that got any bearing on Colonel Marion?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did not testify at the criminal proceeding, because Colonel Marion had a vendetta against me, and he used Captain Pakrey as a front to investigate my case and his nephew, that is Constable Ayer, he was a witness against me in this case.

CHAIRPERSON: So was Constable Ayer used as a State witness in the Dorega case?

MR RAMDAS: In the Dorega case.

CHAIRPERSON: So he couldn't have been convicted of the murder of Dorega. Or did he plead guilty at the beginning and then separation of trials.

MR RAMDAS: He admitted it, I think, Chairperson. He admitted that he shot Dorega.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he convicted of it? So he pleaded guilty and there was a separation of trials, then he testified in your case.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, he was tried ...

CHAIRPERSON: Separate trials.

MR RAMDAS: Separate trials, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS LOONAT: Mr Ramdas, you said you wanted to say something about Captain Dorega in 1991 when you picked up ANC members and dockets had to be opened. Do you want to expand on that, please?

MR RAMDAS: When we arrested ANC youths or ANC members of the ANC, or ANC people from the squatter camps, we were taking them to the police station, where the dockets, the dockets are to be registered and investigated. These dockets were not registered. We found that the next time, the next day when I went to the Crime Register to find out what case number is it, so I can follow up on what happened to the case, I found that there was no charge, the people were released. We had an altercation in the office one day about the same thing and he told me he's the Branch Commander, he got a prerogative to do what he feels like.

MS LOONAT: Was this the reason why you put him on your hit list?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I felt that he was a threat. Him being an ex-Captain, he knew the insides of the Police Force, how it worked, how many people were at a police station or - although he was one year retired, as Simelane says, "one year retirement, one year old". But he knew the ins and outs of the Police Force. He knew how it operated. This sort of information could have been passed on to Mr Padayachee who was ANC, because when I seen him at Mr Padayachee’s house, that's when I realised that he was a threat there.

MS LOONAT: When did you see him at Mr Padayachee’s house, whilst he was working at the Police Force? Or was he retired?

CHAIRPERSON: He said it was on the 27th of November 1992.

MR RAMDAS: He was retired, Chairperson.

MS LOONAT: Is there anything else you'd like to say, Mr Ramdas, to the Committee Members?

MR RAMDAS: No, that's fine.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOONAT

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Ms Jaleel, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS JALEEL: Yes, Mr Chairperson. If I may proceed? Sir, this SWAT Course that you maintain you went on, was there any type of application that you made to go on it or were you specially chosen to undergo this training?

MR RAMDAS: No, it was, the Station Commander just picked the people at random.

MS JALEEL: And you were one of the chosen people?

MR RAMDAS: I was one of the chosen.

MS JALEEL: Was Mr, Constable Anilraj Singh another person that was chosen as well?

MR RAMDAS: I think Constable Anilraj had been through the course as well.

MS JALEEL: Sir ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Who, who chose you?

MR RAMDAS: Mr, Colonel Buttle.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did he tell you why?

MR RAMDAS: No, he didn't tell me why.

JUDGE PILLAY: Surely you must have thought about it. They would only admit trustworthy people into that course, is it not so?

MR RAMDAS: No not really. They just pick people at random.

JUDGE PILLAY: It's, it's, it is a course designed to prepare people for illegal activities. Not so?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: In fact, it's an assassination group.

MR RAMDAS: It's a SWAT Course.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes, it was, it was preparation for assassination group of people.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Mercenaries, almost.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: And an integral part of this group, its survival depend on the loyalty of those people and how they could keep this whole operation a secret.

MR RAMDAS: A secret, that's right.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, surely, you must have been told, or you thought about what they required, who was the person that identified you with all these qualities?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Colonel Buttle, because I worked there at Mountain Rise. I was entrusted with, I was doing investigation of, where policemen were involved, I was doing the investigation, and I felt that Colonel Buttle maybe must have put me there because he is trusting me a lot, and he knew that, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue please, Ms Jaleel.

MS JALEEL: Thank you. Sir, this time were you just a constable?

MR RAMDAS: No, I was a Warrant Officer.

MS JALEEL: The training you maintained actually directed you towards fighting the ANC who were targeting policemen. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: They were targeting policemen, yes.

MS JALEEL: But all the victims, the deceased, were, did you have any evidence that they had killed policemen? Or targeted them in any way?

MR RAMDAS: Not really, they were, they were assisting the ANC or they were furthering the cause for the ANC.

MS JALEEL: Sir, the Jesmondene incident where you explained to the Committee that Isaac and Joe were attacked and then you counter-attacked by firing at a group of people later that night.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS JALEEL: Sir, I put it to you that that incident did not actually happen. There was no report of it as you yourself said.

MR RAMDAS: I wouldn't have come up with the incident like this because it means nothing. I mean it's just wasting the Committee's time. But if later on, maybe, the thing comes up and I know I did disclose.

MR JALEEL: Sir, the incident of Solomon Dlamini, where you maintain that you were also involved in some way, when these, your other two accomplices went through and shot Solomon Dlamini, then there was no record of that. I put it to you that that is also a fabrication.

MR RAMDAS: No, it did happen, Chairperson.

MS JALEEL: Sir, what I'm trying to say to you is that you've just put in these incidences to show the Committee that the rest of the murders and attempts were all politically motivated.

MR RAMDAS: You see, if I just took these murders just from the air as you would have presumed, I wouldn't know that there's a certain person by the name of Sipho Ndlovu, living at that place. I wouldn't have known that.

MS JALEEL: Sir, I intend to call Captain Pakrey who you earlier on spoke about. He was the investigating officer who investigated all of these offences against the applicant, when the applicant's matter was enrolled at court. Captain Pakrey is going to tell the Committee that he went to this house, there was a point-out done, he went to this house and nobody by that name lived there.

MR RAMDAS: Then how did the TRC investigator find out that there was somebody by that name lived there? Or used to live there, or whatever it is, or the person is now deceased?

MS JALEEL: Sir, they did not say, the investigator did not say that the person was found there, they said the person died in 1996. There could be another person with the same name, do you agree?

MR RAMDAS: No.

MS JALEEL: Sir, coming to the matter of Mr Padayachee. Okay, that matter, you said it was ordered from Skiza Zuma.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

MS JALEEL: To kill Mr Padayachee.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS JALEEL: At the time when you were arrested on this, do you, do you know that Mr Padayachee’s wife was also arrested for the same matter?

MR RAMDAS: No. When I was arrested, I was taken there to Margate, near the Wild Coast, I was detained there. I didn't, I don't know anything about what was going on here.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, so you're saying that you don't know that Mrs Padayachee was arrested for that killing?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't anything about it, whether she was arrested or ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Is this the first you hear of it now?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I'm hearing about it now.

MS JALEEL: Sir, do you know Mrs Padayachee?

MR RAMDAS: I know her by sight, because I stay in the same road.

MS JALEEL: Sir, I put it to you that as this matter proceeds we are also going to call Mr Padayachee’s cousin, who is going to tell this Committee that Mrs Padayachee is actually your aunt and she's closely related to you.

MR RAMDAS: If, if Mrs Padayachee is here, or the deceased's wife is here, you can ask her straight. Why call somebody else? She can just verify if I am related to her.

CHAIRPERSON: Is she your aunt?

MR RAMDAS: No, she's not my aunt.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you related to her?

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm not related to her. Can you look around ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: You only know her by sight?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: You only know her by sight?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I've seen her in the road, because I ride past. You see the people outside, sweeping ...

JUDGE PILLAY: So you don't know her to talk to.

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know her at all.

JUDGE PILLAY: Never spoken to her before?

MR RAMDAS: No, I haven't spoken to her.

MS JALEEL: Sir, I put it to you that Mrs Padayachee, yesterday, during a telephone conversation between myself and her, told me that she is related to you. She will come through, but she told me personally that she is related to you.

MR RAMDAS: No, she didn't come to the Commission and talk about it.

MS JALEEL: Sir, this R5 000 that you said Singh was given and the equipment you maintain you bought in order to uplift your hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: That is right.

MS JALEEL: Was it easy for you get these monies back from the rest of your hit squad group?

MR RAMDAS: They were at one house, the time when I went there. They all lived in one house. Williams did not live there. Williams was there the day when the money was given to them. So it wasn't a problem, the money was, Singh stayed on top, the specials stayed in the bottom.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just before you proceed, Ms Jaleel, I'd just to clear up one thing. You keep talking about the specials. Are these special constables who ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: That are on my hit squad.

CHAIRPERSON: And those special constables, is that Indaba, Nkono, was Williams one? Or was he a ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, he was a policeman. Williams was a policeman.

CHAIRPERSON: So it was Indaba, Nkono ...

MR RAMDAS: And Ayer was also a special, too.

CHAIRPERSON: And Ayer. Now these special constables, were they, did they receive their training at Koeberg?

MR RAMDAS: That's right, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: They were part of that group?

MR RAMDAS: That group there, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Thank you.

MS JALEEL: So, there was another count of arson on which you were charged, is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I was charged there. I was convicted there too, as well. But I'm telling this hearing, it's got nothing to do with this here, but I wasn't there and Singh will come up and he'll verify what I was saying.

MS JALEEL: But just for verification to the Committee, is it correct then, it was part of your hit squad that actually carried out this crime of arson?

MR RAMDAS: No, Constable Singh, he belongs to my hit squad. He committed arson, he will give the reason why and what have you. I gave him no instructions for that. That wasn't political, it wasn't anything. It's got nothing to do with this case.

MS JALEEL: But he was a member of your hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: He was a member of my hit squad.

MS JALEEL: So are you then telling this Committee that your hit squad was involved in activities other than ....(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Not the hit squad.

MS JALEEL: Okay, I will rephrase then. You're telling the Committee that your members, your members apart from the hit squad, carried on their own little criminal activities on the side-line?

MR RAMDAS: No. No, no. We're talking about members, we talk about Constable Singh. He is the one only that did that arson thing. There's no other person that went off the line there.

MS JALEEL: Sir, do you know of an attack on Jenny Pillay?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I know of that incident, yes.

MS JALEEL: Can you tell us a little about that please?

MR RAMDAS: No, with that thing, Constable Maistry was involved in that incident there. I had nothing to do with it.

MS JALEEL: But Constable Maistry was also aware of your hit squad or your activities. Is that not correct?

MR RAMDAS: No, he wasn't in, he wasn't aware of the hit squad.

MS JALEEL: But he was the person that you took to Mr Padayachee’s house and he was the person who was ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: He was drunk, that's right, he was drunk and passed out. So he didn't know nothing.

MS JALEEL: With regards to Mr Dorega, okay. The perjury charge was brought against you, you maintained in 1988. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: You were convicted in 1990.

MR RAMDAS: That's correct.

MS JALEEL: Then you appealed the Magistrate's Court decision and it went to the Supreme Court where you did not succeed in that application, is that not correct?

MR RAMDAS: I was found not guilty.

MS JALEEL: Is it not correct that you were found not guilty at the Appellate Division?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: And that was in 1993?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know which year, but I was in prison, so I, but it came up, some how or other, I just hear about it.

JUDGE PILLAY: How many appeals did you lodge?

MR RAMDAS: I went to my lawyer once. He informed me of this. He said I'm going to the Supreme Court. That is all I heard.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you not go to Bloemfontein to the ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Yes, we went to Bloemfontein, Supreme Court there in Bloemfontein.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the appeal. You see, from the Magistrate's Court your first appeal would have been to, what was then known as the Supreme Court, now known as the High Court, here in Pietermaritzburg.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: And they argue the appeal there and then if that appeal was unsuccessful, then you want to carry on with the appeal, then it goes from there to Bloemfontein, which the last court of appeal. There's nothing beyond that.

MR RAMDAS: Oh, I see.

CHAIRPERSON: This is what Ms Jaleel's putting to you, is that your appeal went the whole route and was finally successful in Bloemfontein, but during 1993.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that could be right.

MS JALEEL: Sir, and you've also said to us that it was in, on the 27th of November 1992, when you actually decided that a hit ought to be out on Dorega. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: Sir, is it not so that you were scared of what the outcome of your appeal would be, considering you failed all other avenues and this was the reason ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No.

MS JALEEL: Why Mr Dorega was murdered?

MR RAMDAS: No. I was not scared. He was not killed because of the case against me, no. Because of his, him being ANC and him being associated with these people here.

MS JALEEL: Sir, you maintained that there were high-ranking officials in the SAP who condoned activities which were counter-ANC, and I presume these to be high-ranking officials, would you agree and could you give us some names, please?

MS LOONAT: Could you please rephrase the question for my client?

JUDGE PILLAY: You got upset that certain high-ranking officials in the Police Force were friendly towards your cause. Is that it? Against his cause.

MS JALEEL: Against the ANC.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, his cause is the IFP cause. Who supported the cause of the IFP.

MR RAMDAS: I was against it.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, you favoured the cause of the IFP, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: And there was also other people, high-ranking officials within the force who had similar views. The question is, could you tell us who those people were?

MR RAMDAS: Higher-ranking people?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: I don't know, I can't recall any names. I can't, cannot give any names.

MS LOONAT: Ms Jaleel, can I just expand? Are you referring to the SWAT Course, the course that he did?

CHAIRPERSON: I think you made mention that you attended various meetings, different places and you came across Captain Brian Mitchell and Colonel, was it Vorster?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is right. But they were present at the meeting. I don't, they were present at the meeting, that's what I mentioned.

MS JALEEL: So, would you say they were IFP sympathisers as well?

MR RAMDAS: That I wouldn't know. They could have been. I know Captain Brian Mitchell was a IFP sympathiser.

MS JALEEL: Okay, then let's go back a little bit. At these meetings were these political affiliations discussed, what exactly was discussed at your meetings?

MR RAMDAS: Do you want to know everything of it?

MS JALEEL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: We don't want to sit here for as long as the accumulative time it took all those meetings to conclude, but if you could just give us the gist of it.

MR RAMDAS: It is just that Colonel Vorster made mention on this one meeting that he made mention, that he had given firearms to the SDUs and that he has given them permission in writing.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, the SDUs ...

MR RAMDAS: Self-defence units. They were the IFP's.

CHAIRPERSON: The IFP ones.

MR RAMDAS: That's right. I beg your pardon? SDUs. Self-defence unit. Sorry, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You also have the ANC self-defence units.

MR RAMDAS: That's correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: Let's make it easier for you. What was the purpose of all these meetings?

MR RAMDAS: What was the purpose?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: When we used to go up to the locations or to the squatter camps, or let's take an example like when we were going out to Edendale, when the seven day war was on. You find, when we search, stop and search this situation, we find a chap carrying a firearm or you search and you find a firearm. Then he produces a piece of paper with authorisation from Colonel Vorster saying, if the person is arrested and is taken there, but when we reached the police station, a member of the Security Branch will say, release the man, because he was of the SDUs or maybe it was the indunas and we had given him the firearms. So that's how it was.

JUDGE PILLAY: So all this was discussed at such meetings?

MR RAMDAS: That's what I'm trying to explain, that to my learned friend, ...(indistinct) that at the meetings Colonel Vorster stated that he's given firearms, he's given authorisation so if they, they're fighting with the police as well.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was there no way you would have found out what the affiliations or sympathies were of those high-ranking officers at such meetings?

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know about Colonel Vorster and the other people. But I presumed they were IFP, I presumed.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, continue.

MS JALEEL: Sir, you maintained that there were occasions on which you made arrests and Mr Dorega asked you not to open the charge and not to book the exhibits in. And you said nothing happened with those matters. Did you ever report this to anybody? Did you find out why nothing proceeded?

MR RAMDAS: That's when I had the altercation with him. I approached him myself and I asked him why are you not charging these people? Then he told me he's the Branch Commander, he can decide. He was a Lieutenant, he was higher than me. So I couldn't question his authority. So I just left it at that.

MS JALEEL: Isn't there any other higher-ranking authority that you could have went to to complain about this? I mean you were doing the hard work?

MR RAMDAS: He was, he was in charge of me. He was the highest.

JUDGE PILLAY: He was the highest ranking police official? ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: He was there, in Mountain Rise, in the CIDs.

JUDGE PILLAY: Listen to me. Is he the highest ranking police officer that you knew at that time?

MR RAMDAS: No.

JUDGE PILLAY: So why didn't you go to a higher-ranking officer than what he was? Even if it was in Mountain Rise Police Station?

MR RAMDAS: I felt that if I went, maybe if I felt I went to somebody else that officer will tell his fellow-colleague, because the officers don't mingle with the non-commissioned officers. Tell him listen, this is what from this complaint about you. Maybe I can be transferred from there.

JUDGE PILLAY: But come, Mr Ramdas. You complained to the man himself. So those possibilities existed because of your direct approach. How would approaching another police officer affect that?

MR RAMDAS: After this incident, after I approached him, I was transferred from there.

JUDGE PILLAY: Precisely.

MR RAMDAS: I was transferred back to Uniform Branch.

JUDGE PILLAY: So, so, the risk had already been taken.

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm talking about being transferred out of, out of the province, you know.

JUDGE PILLAY: Whatever risk you took, you took it by approaching him.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I approached him.

JUDGE PILLAY: So, why didn't you complain to another policeman of a higher rank?

MR RAMDAS: We approached Colonel du Preez.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I went to Colonel du Preez.

JUDGE PILLAY: So why are you struggling now? Why didn't you say so in the first place?

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm feeling it hard to, what she's trying to get across to me. Colonel du Preez came one day ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if you could just explain before you tell us. Who is Colonel du Preez, where was he from ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: He was in charge of all the CIDs throughout Natal.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he, was he based in Maritzburg here?

MR RAMDAS: He was at the Trust Bank Building, in, yes, the Trust Bank Building in Church Street.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that he is in charge of CIDs in the area.

MR RAMDAS: That's right. At the time there, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And so you say that you report to Colonel du Preez the fact that your Station Commander was burying certain cases and not following up cases.

MR RAMDAS: Let me explain to you, Chairperson. We had inspection at the station. This incident happened one day before Colonel could come. Captain Michael was also present there. Captain Michael told me to keep quiet, leave this thing, let it lie low.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, who's Captain Michael? Was he also from the same police station as you?

MR RAMDAS: At Mountain Rise, he worked under Captain Dorega. They both were captains together there. But Captain Dorega was the Branch Commander, he was second in charge. Captain Michael told me to keep quiet, let this thing lie. When Captain, oh, after the, after the meeting he had with us, Colonel du Preez asked us for complaints, requests, Michael told me to keep quiet. The next day, I was heard I was transferred to, back to the Uniform Branch. The same day, I went to Colonel du Preez and asked him why was it I was being transferred and he said, "hey, Ramdas, I didn't know it was you that Captain Dorega was talking about." Then he asked me to go back to the CIDs. I told him, no I won't go back and I stayed in the Uniform Branch.

CHAIRPERSON: But did you tell Captain, I mean, Colonel du Preez, about these cases involving arresting ANC suspects in possession of arms, etc, which Captain Dorega suppressed and didn't follow the usual procedure with?

MR RAMDAS: I wanted to tell him, but I decided not to.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Yes.

MS JALEEL: Thank you. Sir, ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry. May I just take this a little further. I'm not sure that I understand this. You say, you went the next day to speak to Colonel du Preez?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And you asked why you were being transferred. And then, did I record you correctly saying, that he told you that he did not know it was you that Dorega spoke about?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, apparently there was a conversation between Dorega and ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: He told you about that conversation?

MR RAMDAS: Colonel du Preez?

MR MALAN: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: He just said that Captain Dorega was, spoke to him about me and he said that I should be transferred. He didn't give me reasons or whatever it is, that I should be transferred back to the Uniform Branch.

MR MALAN: And he also said he didn't know it was you that ...

MR RAMDAS: Yes. He didn't know that he was talking about me.

MR MALAN: Right.

MR RAMDAS: He just said that there was, this is what I recall now, he said that there was a person working, officer working there who's on probation, and this is what they discussed, something about someone, once you're on probation, they could transfer you back to your branch.

MR MALAN: And you still didn't mention to him the reason for your transfer?

MR RAMDAS: I wanted to, but I just left it like that.

MR MALAN: Why?

MR RAMDAS: Because I didn't want to go back to the CIDs, there with Captain Dorega.

JUDGE PILLAY: You've already said that you don't want to go back.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: So why didn't you just tell him, "well, now that I've decided not to go back, it will be worth your while to investigate Dorega because he is sinking dockets." Why didn't you tell him that?

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't want to tell anybody, I didn't want to trust anyone.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Why?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know which affiliation Colonel du Preez was or which ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: I find that strange. At that time, you knew that Dorega was friendly to the ANC. It's the worst, the worst type you could have taken. Not so?

MR RAMDAS: Can you just, just repeat that last portion again?

JUDGE PILLAY: That you complained directly to Dorega himself.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Asking him why he was sinking dockets.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: So why didn't you, you trusted or confronted a man sympathetic to the ANC. So why didn't you talk to somebody else then? You say you didn't talk to anybody else because you didn't trust them?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, these high-ranking officers, I don't really, don't want to mingle with them, because I'm way down there, sir.

JUDGE PILLAY: Oh, I see.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Ms Jaleel.

MR MALAN: Sorry, sorry, Chair. You went to Du Preez the next day.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. When I, you see, the next day when I went to work, Captain Dorega told me, I came with my normal, my suit and tie, because the CIDs wear the clothes like what you're wearing, civilian dress. When I went there, he said, "oh, Ramdas, you're no more in my branch. You're now transferred to the CID Department, I mean, to the Uniform Branch" sorry. So I asked him why, he says Colonel du Preez says so. So that is when I went to Colonel du Preez.

MR MALAN: So you went to Colonel du Preez?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I went to Colonel du Preez.

MR MALAN: Of your own accord?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I went on my own.

MR MALAN: And you just asked him why you were being transferred?

MR RAMDAS: No. When I went there, he asked me, "Ramdas, what are you doing in the Uniform Branch?"

MR MALAN: Were you reporting for duty to Colonel du Preez?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I was reporting to him.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MS JALEEL: Sir, you've linked Mr Dorega with Mr Padayachee by saying that you saw Dorega pick up two black men ...

MR RAMDAS: ANC people.

MS JALEEL: How, how, were you certain that these were ANC people? Had you seen them before? Had you seen them at marches?

MR RAMDAS: These ANC people, I mean, they camp in Swapo, it belongs to the ANC. ...(indistinct) ANC stronghold. So people from there, you'll never find a IFP who's staying in the ANC camp, no, you won't find that.

MS JALEEL: So you're telling me that not one single family, maybe even more, that lived in Swapo are IFP supporters?

MR RAMDAS: Not one.

JUDGE PILLAY: But couldn't some people be neutral?

MR RAMDAS: Why couldn't?

JUDGE PILLAY: Some of those residents be neutral?

MR RAMDAS: Why they couldn't be neutral?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. Why do they have to belong to one party or the other?

MR RAMDAS: You see, when the people fled there, you see, all the ANC will live together, all IFP will live together, that's they, that's how ...

MS JALEEL: Sir, the sister of deceased, the deceased Petrus Zulu and Sipho Zulu, will say that they were not politically active at all and they lived in Swapo. How do you then actually tie them up to be politically motivated?

MR RAMDAS: Sipho Zulu and his, Muzi, and Petrus Zulu and all, they were coming from a march, ANC march, that was there in Wardley Stadium.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what the sister's, what Ms Jaleel is saying, is that the sister, she's not politically active at all and hasn't been.

MR RAMDAS: But if you're not politically active, why do you go for marches, I mean, for the rally and listen to what they're saying?

CHAIRPERSON: Did the sister go for a march?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, they all were in the busses.

CHAIRPERSON: The sister? Of the Zulus?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know. At that time when the shooting happened and all that, there were hundreds of supporters there, but I don't know if the sister is the ANC or what, but they did attend the marches. At the busses we were escorting from the stadium, through town, to Northdale.

MS JALEEL: Okay. You say, and in your statement you state that the attack on Singh took place 50 metres away from the police station which was later on robbed of firearms, of a cache of about 15 firearms. Correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct. It's not very far from where the police station is.

MS JALEEL: Are you telling us then that this attack actually took place in Swapo? It never took place en route from the stadium to Swapo. These people were just walking on the road.

MR RAMDAS: We were escorting the busses. When the busses stopped, they jumped off the busses, and they were trying to go back to the camps. That's when a group of about 10 people attacked him, from the people from the busses, they attacked him. That's what I'm trying to get at. Not the people from the Swapo camp, no. They lived there. But the people from the busses, they attacked him.

MS JALEEL: Sir, we will clarify that with Mr Singh, but for our clarity at this point in time, all I want to know is that, that incident where Petrus Zulu was killed, that took place in the Swapo area and not en route from Northdale to some other place far away from Swapo. Is that correct? Yes or no?

MR RAMDAS: This incident took place there right there, near the police station. No, no, not in Swapo. Swapo is ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: This is being put to you by Ms Jaleel. If you could just answer the question with a yes or no. What is being put to you is that Petrus Zulu was killed within Swapo camp. Is that correct? In the camp itself. Not on the way to or from ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, no, not in the camp. No, no, not in the camp. No, no.

MS JALEEL: You say it's very close to the camp.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, close to the camp.

MS JALEEL: Very close.

MR RAMDAS: No, not very close.

JUDGE PILLAY: How far?

MR RAMDAS: About 150 metres or so.

MS JALEEL: Subsequent to this, the killing of Petrus Zulu, do you know if there was any type of action brought against the policemen who were involved?

MR RAMDAS: I think there was a civil claim issued against, against Constable Singh. From what I gather, yes, there was, I think there was a civil claim. A civil claim, I'm not too sure, that you'll find out from Singh. But I, he can give you clarity here. It was just, three people were shot the day. It was Petrus Zulu, Muzi, Sipho Zulu. Petrus Zulu died. Sipho Zulu, he was the only one who issued a civil claim. Muzi did, I don't know what is the reason why he didn't issue a civil claim, but ...(intervention)

MS JALEEL: So you're telling this Committee with certainty that there was a civil claim instituted? Because earlier on you denied having any knowledge of any liability or any claim that arose out of this.

MR RAMDAS: I don't recall. But I, even in my opening statement, I admitted ...(indistinct) nothing, that there was a civil claim issued against him.

CHAIRPERSON: Would this be a claim for damages?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I think so, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: Chairperson, just to clarify that the civil claim was instituted against Mr Singh and Mr Norman Nkono.

MS JALEEL: Do you know, or were you present when summons was issued on Mr Singh?

MR RAMDAS: No, I wasn't present.

MR MALAN: When it was served on him?

MR RAMDAS: No, I wasn't there.

MS JALEEL: Did, did you have anything to do with the murder of Sipho Zulu?

MR RAMDAS: I gave the instructions for him to be killed on 5/5/92 at the hospital where he threatened Singh. That's the time I gave instructions for both Sipho Zulu and Muzi to be killed. That's at the hospital.

MS JALEEL: Was this instruction not given after a civil claim had been sought, because the civil claim was for a huge sum of money?

MR RAMDAS: No, no that, no. That's on 5/5/92, at the hospital, when I went to the hospital, when he made the threats, that's when I told Singh at the police station. That's when I gave the instruction.

MS JALEEL: Coming to the incident of Sipho Ndlovu.

MR RAMDAS: Sipho Ndlovu, yes.

MS JALEEL: Okay. You maintained there that you knew that Mr Ndlovu was, the deceased, was politically inclined because of this meeting at the taxi rank and because of the flag incident.

MR RAMDAS: Sipho Ndlovu? No, no.

CHAIRPERSON: No, that's Dlamini, is the taxi. Ndlovu is the one which you've dealt with, which you've put didn't occur. So you're talking about Dlamini now, Solomon Dlamini.

MS JALEEL: Sorry, Mr Chair. Okay. Solomon Dlamini, this was the incident, the scenario that I've just given you, and the wrong name, unfortunately.

MR RAMDAS: Okay.

MS JALEEL: All right. The, that incident, there was also a charge brought against policemen there for malicious injury to property. Is that not correct?

MR RAMDAS: That's against Constable Maistry. That's against Constable Maistry, Chairperson.

MS JALEEL: Were you aware of the civil claim?

MR RAMDAS: Civil claim? No, I wasn't aware. Constable Maistry just came with me, came with a summons to me, said that he won't be coming to work, he must appear in court. So I asked him to have a look at the summons, that's when I saw the name and address. That's when I realised this man here is one of the persons that I was wanting.

MS JALEEL: Was Solomon Dlamini killed prior to the date on which this matter actually went to court?

MR RAMDAS: The day he was supposed to appear in court? No, the summons was issued on, I think it was the 2nd, can I just confirm that?

MS JALEEL: It wouldn't actually be the summons, it would be the date of the appearance. It would have been the subpoena, it would have had a date for him to appear at court.

MR RAMDAS: I'm not too sure about that, I didn't see the date and what have you. I only saw the summons, when I saw the name and address, then I realised it was the same person that was at the Retief Street march and that it was the same person that was at the Natalia march.

CHAIRPERSON: How long after having seen that summons which contained the name and address was Dlamini killed? After you saw that summons, how long, how much later was Solomon Dlamini killed? Same day, or ...

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm not too sure, Chairperson. Which date, I don't know, if I can get the date of the summons, which day the summons appeared, then I can ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But from your memory you said, you said that you saw Maistry came and he showed you this summons.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you realised that this was the person that, that you had followed to his house, etc, etc.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, from the time that you saw that summons, that Maistry showed it to you, how much later was Solomon Dlamini killed?

MR RAMDAS: He was killed the same day.

CHAIRPERSON: The same day as this ...

MR RAMDAS: Same day. I used that summons to lay him out the house, Chairperson. Because I went to his house, I instructed the special constables to go there and to ask him if he laid a charge against the police and to bring him to the van. That's how I managed to get him out the house.

MR MALAN: You said that Maistry showed the summons and told you that he had to appear in court.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

MR MALAN: And you say that, that same day, Dlamini was killed.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

MR MALAN: Why did you find it so difficult to say whether he was killed prior to the matter going to court or not?

MR RAMDAS: I couldn't understand nicely what has been said.

MR MALAN: Okay.

MS JALEEL: You spoke about Superintendent Marion, or as he was known then, Colonel Marion, and Captain Pakrey. Okay, you are au fait with them, due to the fact that they investigated the matters.

CHAIRPERSON: Colonel Marion, and what was the other one?

MR RAMDAS: Pakrey.

MS JALEEL: Captain Pakrey.

CHAIRPERSON: Captain Pakrey.

MS JALEEL: You are au fait with them, due to the investigation which they did into your matters. Correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I'm aware of them.

MS JALEEL: You've also said that Ayer was the, was related to Colonel Marion.

MR RAMDAS: That was his uncle.

MS JALEEL: That's right then. And, now, you, you've maintained that Ayer got five years for an accessory after the fact and for shooting Dorega. Right. Which you didn't seem to think was fair. Do you know why he had such a short term of imprisonment? Are you saying then that you think that Colonel Marion had something to do with this?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. He did have something to do with it.

MS JALEEL: Would you like to tell us what?

MR RAMDAS: He was investigating our case. He could have spoke to the Prosecutor.

MS JALEEL: Are you trying to tell us then that he bought a judge or he ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no.

MS JALEEL: The Prosecutor?

MR RAMDAS: I didn't say that.

MS JALEEL: But that's what you're trying to imply.

MR RAMDAS: I didn't say that.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, do you know in which court Ayer was charged?

MR RAMDAS: He was charged there in Durban.

CHAIRPERSON: In the Supreme Court or the Regional Court?

MR RAMDAS: No, it was, it was, I'm not too sure, one of the lower Courts, not Supreme Court. It wasn't in the Supreme Court, no, it wasn't in the Supreme Court.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if I could just follow that up. Where? Sorry, you'd probably know more, the legal representatives, but if a crime is committed, one crime is committed in the Pietermaritzburg district, namely the burying of the murdered person's body, and another crime is committed in Umkomaas, namely the shooting of Captain Dorega, if it wasn't the Supreme Court, if it was the Regional Court, would there be a Regional Court that would have jurisdiction to hear, a Regional Court, would the Regional Court in Durban have jurisdiction to hear an Umkomaas and Maritzburg case? I don't know. I'm asking ...

MR RAMDAS: ...(indistinct), Ayer was, I mean I was still in prison at that time, I didn't appear for his case as a witness or anything like. I just heard that he was found guilty, pleaded guilty whatever it is, but the case after that was transferred from Durban to Pietermaritzburg. That's where Colonel Marion handled the matter.

MS JALEEL: Thank you. So, what I am going to put to you now, is that you have looked around this hall, you've seen that Colonel Marion and Captain Pakrey have been sitting here from this morning and you know that they're going to give evidence and that's why you've tried to paint to this Committee a negative picture of these two, without having any concrete evidence to put for us.

MR RAMDAS: What I'm telling you is the truth.

MS JALEEL: Sir, but the truth will need some concrete evidence. If you can give this Committee something concrete, then, yes, they can ignore the evidence that Mr Pakrey, Captain Pakrey or Colonel Marion is going to put for us.

MR RAMDAS: Did you have a look at the docket? At the murder docket. Did you have a look at it?

MS JALEEL: Sir, if you've had a look at it, then you give us something concrete ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, no.

MS JALEEL: I'm not saying that you're lying. What I am saying is, give us something concrete.

MR RAMDAS: The reason why I asked you this here, is because you're talking about Colonel Marion, if I'd seen him and what have you, painting a picture, I am telling you now how the case was investigated. I was locked up. The, Constable Singh, Maistry, Williams and these people, they were chivvying, assaulting them and what have you. Colonel Marion, Pakrey or whoever it was, that was doing that, I mean, I don't know, they will come and ...(indistinct) they come testify whatever. Williams was assaulted. He was taken to the District Surgeon. First he was taken to, he was taken to Colonel Buttle's house. Colonel Buttle instructed that, anyway let's put you in the picture.

MS JALEEL: Sir, the question was straightforward. We don't need to go into all of this. What I am saying ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, what ....

MS JALEEL: What I am saying to you is that give me some concrete evidence that Colonel Marion had something to do directly with Constable Ayer getting a shorter sentence. Then we'd know that we can destroy the man's credibility.

MR RAMDAS: I'm explaining to you now. You're cutting me off.

MS JALEEL: But tell me with regards to Ayer's case. That's what we're talking about, not Williams, not, nobody else.

MR RAMDAS: If a man commits a murder, he gets five years and he only serves eight months imprisonment and the other accused get life imprisonment, surely you can draw your conclusions in this.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is that what you base your conclusions on?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is what I base it on.

JUDGE PILLAY: Do you want a answer. That's what he's used to base his conclusions on.

MR RAMDAS: We got life there. He got five years and he only served eight months imprisonment.

MS JALEEL: Sir, I put it to you that the magistrate or whoever listened to the case and however they listened to it, listened to it with a clear view, with a clear mind. I don't think that they're going to sit there and be actually bought off by somebody or make a decision with regards to was the Investigating Officer in the case. It would work on the merits of the case.

MR RAMDAS: The man admitted that he shot the Captain. Pleaded guilty.

MS JALEEL: So, we have now shown this Committee that in, if the Committee will bear with me, six, in exactly six of the crimes for which you are claiming amnesty or you are making application for amnesty on, exactly six of them, there were other motives. They were all, they were either civil cases against policemen who even in their individual capacity as members were part of this hit squad, each one of them had something against you people or one of you as a group.

MR RAMDAS: No. That is denied, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying then, it's just a pure coincidence that, let's take them. In Captain Dorega's case, he had been the Investigating Officer in your perjury matter. In the Sipho Zulu case, the deceased there was a plaintiff in a large civil claim for damages against Constable Singh. In the Dlamini case, the deceased was the complainant in a malicious intention to damage property case against Constable Maistry, who played a part in his death.

MR RAMDAS: And Padayachee? And the other two? Okay, that, the other things I agree with.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but as you say, that's just coincidence that there happened to be a personal connection between ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Yes, it's just coincidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that what you're saying?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS JALEEL

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Lockhat, do you have any questions you'd like to ask?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS LOCKHAT: Yes, thank you, Chairperson. Mr Ramdas, so it's correct that you, on your own initiative, formed this hit squad? Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS LOCKHAT: Was your Colonel Buttle, he was never aware of any of these incidents?

MR RAMDAS: No.

MS LOCKHAT: When you formed this hit squad and you incorporated all these persons, what did you explain to them what this hit squad was all about?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did explain to Constable Singh, Nkono, Maistry, I mean Williams, and Indaba. I did explain to them.

MS LOCKHAT: But, what did you explain to them, what was the hit squad all about?

MR RAMDAS: I explained to them that the ANC, they're making the country ungovernable, they were burning shops, destroying property what have you, killing. They were trying to further the armed struggle and that we, as policemen, we're doing nothing about it. And we must stop them. And in order to do that, that was why I formed the hit squad, then.

MS LOCKHAT: You said that Mr Zuma gave you orders and compiled a list of who to kill.

MR RAMDAS: Not all of it.

MS LOCKHAT: Not all of it. Some of it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS LOCKHAT: We'd had a statement from Mr Zuma and he denies all of these allegations. He says he's never, ever given any of you instructions. He's never informed any of you to go out and eliminate anybody. Can you respond to that?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. Mr Skiza Zuma is a free man. If he implicates himself in this matter here, I'm sure the Committee or whoever is listening, could say, hey, charge this man. So that is why he must deny it.

MS LOCKHAT: We have an affidavit, on page 44, of Mr Zuma, in the bundle, Chairperson, just for the record. I shall just read the extract to you on page 44 of Mr Zuma.

CHAIRPERSON: Thanks, reading at paragraph 3, yes.

MS LOCKHAT: Paragraph 3. "I have no knowledge of any of the incidents as mentioned, neither do I have any knowledge of the criminal or political offences for which the applicants seek amnesty."

MR RAMDAS: Yes. As I explained to you, he's a free man. I've seen this thing here. So he's got a lot to lose, if he admits.

JUDGE PILLAY: What has he got to lose if he admits?

MR RAMDAS: What he has to do? They will charge him. Because he gave the orders out. He must be charged. Or he must come and testify here. And he's the one that's given, that has given me the R5 000 that was through, via Indaba, for the purchasing of the firearms.

MS LOCKHAT: For, in the Sipho Ndlovu matter, did Mr Zuma give you the orders to, to wipe him out? Or to eliminate him?

MR RAMDAS: Who are you talking about? Sipho?

MS LOCKHAT: Sipho Ndlovu.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

MS LOCKHAT: The Sweetwaters matter.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS LOCKHAT: Who decided to actually kill Sipho Ndlovu?

MR RAMDAS: Can you just quote the last part again?

MS LOCKHAT: Who decided to kill Sipho Ndlovu? Was it Mr Zuma or was, did you give the orders to actually do the killing?

MR RAMDAS: Sipho Zuma gave the instructions via Indaba. And then I had the last say in that. What I mean, last say, is that Zuma gave the name, but I said, okay, told, got my squad, explained to them what the story and then, we went out there to kill him.

MS LOCKHAT: So Zuma gave a name. He didn't actually say go out and eliminate this person. Is that correct? You did this on your own accord.

MR RAMDAS: Zuma knew that there was a hit squad. Why would he give a hit squad a name, what is it for, is it to go visit him, have tea? That's all? No ...

JUDGE PILLAY: The name of the deceased or target, where would that have come from?

MR RAMDAS: That was from Zuma.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, that's the question.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, did you do your, any recce work? Did you, or any member of your hit squad establish the activities of, or confirm the activities of Mr Ndlovu?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did go out there.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you go and watch him and find out what his movements were, and establish that he in fact was a proper target? Did you satisfy yourself that?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is, I do that before I go out there.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do?

MR RAMDAS: I go out to the area, I take the specials, make enquiries, who's this person, and find out, keep observation on him, see what he does, all those things. When he lived in, in the IFP area, they had, I'll give it to you now, I've got the name here. Right, just, my mind is not with me now.

CHAIRPERSON: Who you talking about now? Zuma?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: He stayed at Harewood.

MR RAMDAS: Harewood Location, that's it. That's the IFP area, he lived there.

MS LOCKHAT: I'll move on to the second hit, the Jesmondene one.

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

MS LOCKHAT: I'll move on to the Jesmondene hit, the second ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Jesmondene.

MS LOCKHAT: Jesmondene. Thank you. Was it only Constable Indaba that fired the shots?

MR RAMDAS: From what I can recall, I think, yes.

MS LOCKHAT: Was he the only one with a weapon?

MR RAMDAS: Constable Norman Nkono also had a firearm. I was standing far away from them. I was on the opposite side, keeping an eye open, in case the people run. So I can't really say who, I mean if both of them fired, or one of them fired, but as far as I know I think Indaba fired.

MS LOCKHAT: You said you fired into this IFP camp where seven ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: ANC camp.

MS LOCKHAT: ANC camp, where people were sitting round a fire, just in a group.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS LOCKHAT: You just fired at it at random. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: No, we fired at the people that were, some information that I got, we fired at the people sitting around the fire there.

MS LOCKHAT: What information did you get?

MR RAMDAS: No, the information that after the shooting ...(indistinct) that we fired at the people that was sitting at the, around the fire there.

MS LOCKHAT: So basically, it was a random shooting. You didn't know who these people were?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. We knew who they were. It was a ANC stronghold at this, and these people from there, people from the camp attacked Isaacs and Joe.

MS LOCKHAT: So are you saying that those specific eight or seven people actually attacked Joe and Isaac. Is that what you say?

MR RAMDAS: It could be one or two of them, be all of them, I don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: It could be none of them.

MR RAMDAS: It could be none of them.

MS LOCKHAT: I put it to you that this was really a ruthless attack on innocent people that were just sitting, not knowing what's happening, not knowing that your friends, your colleagues, Joe and Isaac, was actually assaulted, and this was a random attack, not knowing which political affiliations these person were, and that it was absolutely negligent on your part.

MR RAMDAS: No, these people were from the ANC district, and there, it was, how can I explain to you? ...(indistinct) when these people realised that Isaac and Joe were IFP, they attacked them. So it was political this thing, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Sorry, Ms Lockhat, are you, do you have any evidence referring to the earlier questions of your colleague, that this attack indeed did take place? Any such information?

MS LOCKHAT: No. Absolutely nothing, Chairperson. I shall move on to the Solomon Dlamini incident.

MR RAMDAS: I just want, I just want to speak to my attorney, please. One second.

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairman, the, what was worrying my client was simply that Ms Jaleel made accusations of a relationship existing between Mr Padayachee and him and she's not followed it up, and it was just nagging him. That's what he wanted to clarify.

MS JALEEL: Sir, if I may just follow-up. I indicated to you that evidence will be led after your application is made and Mr Singh's. Then we will have a chance to call in witnesses and make submissions to the Committee to prove to them that what we're saying is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: It was very proper of Ms Jaleel to put it to you that you are related, to give you an opportunity to admit or deny it. You admitted it and now she's just saying that she will be calling a witness - you denied it, at least - and now she'll be calling a witness. But it was correct for her to raise it at that stage, to give you an opportunity to respond.

MR RAMDAS: Sorry. Coming back to the last question of yours, where you said that Indaba and, about the shooting. The two of them had firearms, they were told to go and shoot there, at the people that were round the fire, the ANC people who were around the fire there. After the shooting, we always meet up and we discussed what basically happened. But there they were to, Indaba mentioned to me that he did shoot. But I can't recall whether Norman, Norman did shoot, because this incident happened some time now. But I know specifically Indaba, because he was, how can I say, he was panting with breath and this, and he insisted, "hey, I gave the ous" ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You said it was two or three shots.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, it was two or three shots. Did I hear it or was it on the other side. And in court, Chairperson, in court, Indaba mentioned that he did fire there, in court, in May.

CHAIRPERSON: In the trial.

MR RAMDAS: In the trial, that's right.

MR MALAN: At which occasion is that you're referring to now, that Indaba ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: The same, the same incident.

MS LOCKHAT: Jesmondene incident.

CHAIRPERSON: You're saying that during the trial, you, he'd ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. There in this case of ours, the Prosecutor was leading Indaba. Indaba on his own accord spoke of the Jesmondene story. Then the Prosecutor shut him up, let's put it that way, and said, no, we're not talking about this, we're talking about this thing here. But he already admitted that he did some shooting there.

MR MALAN: Do you have a copy of the transcript on that information?

MS LOONAT: Mr Malan, it must be somewhere in the judgements.

CHAIRPERSON: I doubt whether it would be mentioned in the judgements. If somebody during the course of evidence raises an incident that's not relevant to the trial, it would be lost in the record of the proceedings. It wouldn't be raised in the judgement, I'm sure. I'd be most surprised if it was.

MR RAMDAS: But I'm certain of that, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know. Ms Lockhat?

MR RAMDAS: Because I've been reading this.

MS LOCKHAT: Just one other question regarding to this incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Which one, Jesmondene still?

MS LOCKHAT: That's correct, Chairperson. You said that you got information relating to the ANC that they were in that camp. What kind of information were you talking about?

MR RAMDAS: Just go easy with that one question again? What kind of information?

MS LOCKHAT: Did you get regarding those seven and eight people that were sitting there. What kind of information did you get from your colleagues, Mr Singh? On the attack, what kind of information did you get from Mr Singh regarding the ...

MR RAMDAS: From Mr Singh?

MS LOCKHAT: That's correct. Regarding the attack.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's better. Mr Singh stated to me, Singh said it to me that Mbanjwa and Joe was attacked by the people from the squatter camp, the ANC squatter camp. That's what he had told me about it. That they were attacked with bush knives ...

MR MALAN: That's Isaac and Joe.

MR RAMDAS: Isaac and Joe, sorry, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: I'll move on to the Solomon Dlamini incident.

MR RAMDAS: Solomon Dlamini.

MS LOCKHAT: It is correct that he laid a charge of malicious injury to property against Maistry. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS LOCKHAT: And other persons as well.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, the person is dead now. He is deceased. Constable Boodram, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: And then Maistry and others were summonsed to appear in court regarding that incident. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Not Maistry and others. Just Maistry and Constable Boodram.

MS LOCKHAT: Just Maistry.

MR RAMDAS: And Boodram.

MS LOCKHAT: Boodram.

MR RAMDAS: Boodram, Boodram is now deceased.

MS LOCKHAT: And, that Solomon Dlamini also instituted criminal proceedings against Mr Singh. Do you know about that as well?

MR RAMDAS: Solomon Dlamini?

MS LOCKHAT: That's correct. It's on page 61 of the bundle, Chairperson, at paragraph 6.4.

MR RAMDAS: Who's this they're talking about?

CHAIRPERSON: This is an extract from the document, the court documents, your trial documents.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you see 6.4, "the deceased had, in addition, brought criminal proceedings against Accused No 2". Then if you take a look at page, excuse me, page 52, you'll see that Accused No 2 is Anilraj Singh.

MR RAMDAS: No, it's not true, Chairperson. No, I don't know that.

MS LOCKHAT: And I put it to you, Mr Ramdas, that Mr Solomon Dlamini, besides him being part of a march or whatever, that basically he was eliminated because he had all these charges against your colleague.

MR RAMDAS: No, that's not true, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: I believe the malicious damage to property amounted to R340.

MR RAMDAS: I don't know.

MS LOCKHAT: That was basically the damages relating to that.

MR RAMDAS: To which Maistry was charged?

MS LOCKHAT: Yes, to the malicious damage to property. It happened to be his Kombi.

MR RAMDAS: I didn't, I didn't have a look at the summons or whatever the case. I didn't ....

MS LOCKHAT: And it just seems sad that someone would be killed because of something like that. A small amount, R340 damage.

CHAIRPERSON: Except I don't think, I think it was, wasn't it a criminal charge? But it's not so much the R340, but the fact that you might pick up a criminal record or even go to prison.

MR RAMDAS: No, that's not true. He was killed because of his affiliation ...(indistinct) the police.

MS LOCKHAT: What happens to a police officer if he has a criminal record?

MR RAMDAS: If it's a serious offence, he can be suspended, or maybe he can get kicked out if it's murder or anything like that, get kicked out. But if it's one like Maistry, no, they will just have a department, internal enquiry or whatever it is. Find out whether he is fit enough or whatever it is. He can be represented by attorney.

MS LOCKHAT: I shall move on to the Mr Padayachee incident. When did you get the R5 000?

MR RAMDAS: Can you please just repeat?

MS LOCKHAT: When did you get the R5 000 from Mr Zuma?

MR RAMDAS: You want the date, you're talking about?

MS LOCKHAT: Was it before, was it for the specific incident, was it before the specific incident? Can you just give me more or less an idea?

MR RAMDAS: I'm not too sure, I'll have to just check it out here. Is it, what's she talking about here? The date like when or what's ...

JUDGE PILLAY: No. Before which incident did you get this R5 000?

MR RAMDAS: Before which incident? I'll give it to you now, Chairperson.

MS LOCKHAT: I just want to refer you to page 17 of the bundle, it's Mr Singh's application. He mentions, the third line from the top, it's relating to the Padayachee incident, and then he goes on further, "seeing that this was the big job, and previous three attacks went on according to plan, Indaba brought back the sum of R5 000 to us and said that Zuma sent this to us as an incentive for good work."

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS LOCKHAT: So it was basically ...

CHAIRPERSON: Then if you go further, it says, "during my trial, Constable Mohammed testified that .." Oh, well that's a different payment of R5 000. But it was seen from, also from your statement that this R1 000 that you received, you say you received R1 000, was just before the Padayachee incident.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. Yes, that's right. The money was given to...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes to Singh, from Indaba to Singh.

MR RAMDAS: To Singh, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you've told us that, but it was prior to the Padayachee incident.

MR RAMDAS: Padayachee incident, that's right.

MS LOCKHAT: Did you ask Mr Zuma for money for any of these incidents?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did ask him for money, for I needed money for the firearms. Because I only had, they only sent the two firearms, that's the 7.65 and 9 mm. I needed a, in order to form a hit squad, I mean, in order to operate nicely, you need silencers, you need telescopes and etc.

MS LOCKHAT: But surely Mr Singh must also have been aware of this, seeing that you were so closely connected in this hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: No.

MS LOCKHAT: That you needed the R5 000 for arms, etc.

MR RAMDAS: No, Singh did not know anything about that. Singh only came to know about this thing, when I, after I spoke to him, after I've spoken to Zuma. Zuma stated that he gave the money to Indaba and then when I went to Singh's house, that's the time I asked Singh and he had a broad smile on his face.

MS LOCKHAT: Did you confirm Mr Padayachee’s political affiliations?

MR MALAN: Just, just before you go that route. Did you not earlier give evidence that you were very upset when you learnt of the money taken from Zuma? You were very, very upset.

MR RAMDAS: When Singh had distributed the money to, to the ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Distributed or received?

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. Singh received the money but he gave the other people, that's when I was upset.

MR MALAN: Didn't he give a thousand to you as well?

MR RAMDAS: That's right. Then I asked him what's this for? When Singh told me, the R1 000's for you and he gave the other thousand to, I said no, I spoke to Zuma. Zuma sent the money. I said R1 000 can't be enough for firearms. Singh said no, this is your share. I said, no! What you talking about? He says, no, he'd given one thousand each to each one. I said no, the whole lot must come to me because we've, because with R1 000 you can't buy weapons.

MR MALAN: When did you ask Zuma for the money?

MR RAMDAS: That was some time before he sent the money.

MR MALAN: How often did you see, on how many occasions did you meet with Zuma?

MR RAMDAS: On two occasions. I worked in his area, where he resides. I used to work there in Imbali.

MR MALAN: So you saw him only twice?

MR RAMDAS: Three times. One the meeting with him, and two after that.

MR MALAN: Was it not agreed that, what's his name? What, Manda?

MR RAMDAS: Indaba.

MR MALAN: Indaba. That Indaba would be the contact person?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: So why did you keep contact as well if it was so secret that he didn't want to meet with you?

MR RAMDAS: I met Zuma at the garage while he was filling up with petrol. And Zuma asked me if I got the money. The one that, he had people in the car, he didn't say much. He said I must go and see Indaba. So that's when I went there to Singh's house and Singh gave me the R1 000. Is that okay?

MS LOCKHAT: Ms Zodwa was also on the list of, on the hit list of Mr Zuma, is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Just repeat the name of the person?

MS LOCKHAT: Zodwa.

MR RAMDAS: Zodwa. That's right.

MS LOCKHAT: You said that she was on the hit list because she was going to pass on valuable information. What kind of valuable information?

MR RAMDAS: This, this information that I received from Skiza Zuma, he was the chief there in this area where she resided, in Harewood, Harewood Location.

MS LOCKHAT: Was she going to pass information to the ANC?

MR RAMDAS: Internal secrets or what she know about of the IFP, maybe to Padayachee, the ANC now.

MS LOCKHAT: Was she a member of the IFP?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, yes, she was a member of the IFP then.

MS LOCKHAT: And it also seems strange, Padayachee, they lived close by to you, is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that is correct. He lived about, the road is, it's the same road, but it's very long road. I live in No 16, he lived way, way up there, I think No 60s or in the 50s, that way. But the road is like, sort of divided, another road runs between them, between Culverwell Road. I live in one portion, he lives in the other portion.

MS LOCKHAT: How did you actually feel when they informed you to kill Mr Padayachee? He was actually, you could apparently say one of your neighbours. How did you feel about that?

MR RAMDAS: Because of his affiliation with the ANC, I couldn't care if he was my next-door neighbour ...(indistinct) I would have shot him.

MS LOCKHAT: I'll move on to the Dorega incident. You killed, were involved in the killing of Mr Dorega after he retired. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS LOCKHAT: And you also said that one of the reasons why you wanted to kill him because he was going to pass on information regarding the Police Force, or just information. What kind of, I don't understand that? Just explain that to me.

MR RAMDAS: You see, he was, he was in the Police Force for some time now. He knew how the Police Force ran. He knew the ins and outs, how many people worked there, what, what firearms they carry. He could have passed all this information on. He knew the ins and outs of the Police Force so he could have passed it to the ANC. Maybe that's how that there our Copesville Police Station was attacked. I don't know that? Maybe he could have passed that information on. Say, listen attack at certain time because only one guard, or whatever.

MS LOCKHAT: Did you have information that he was doing this or was this just an inference that you concluded, or just, you know? Can you explain that to me?

MR RAMDAS: You see, the impression I get there, ...(indistinct) had mentioned to me. I see him a number of times on occasions there when he went to the squatters, the squatter camps, the ANC squatter camp. Then I found out his association with Mr Padayachee now, he's also was, his name was on the hit list as well. So there must be some connection or something there. They were all ANC, they all were having the meetings and discussing things like that.

JUDGE PILLAY: It's purely on that information or those factors that you decided that he should be killed?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, because the, his political affiliations.

JUDGE PILLAY: I've heard all the factors. I'm asking is there any other factor that contributed to your making that decision?

MR RAMDAS: You see, also, at my training at the SWAT Course, we were told by Captain O'Connell that you will find policemen like this and that they will be a danger because by them passing on information, innocent people some time can get killed.

MS LOCKHAT: I put it to you that it was possible for you to inform other members of the Police Force, higher authorities, regarding Dorega, because of the background relating to that, that you mentioned earlier. And I also put it to you that because of all these, the perjury charge against you, your appeal coming up, that this was actually one or partly the reasons why you actually eliminated him.

MR RAMDAS: No, that's not true. Because of his political affiliation and that he was a threat to us.

MS LOCKHAT: I find it very strange. It seems, you know, with all of this against you, don't you think that you would bear a grudge against someone like that? That had all this information regarding you, that there was this perjury charge, don't you think that this would make you angry?

MR RAMDAS: No. Captain Dorega in fact, he did a good job on my perjury case. And he investigated the case in a professional manner, he not really like sort of went out and said, hey, come here, I want to take a statement. No, a professional manner, he did the case.

MS LOCKHAT: So, just because of his political affiliations you feel that that was reason enough to actually eliminate him.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, because of his ANC, he was the ANC and was a threat to us and he could have been passing on information to the other people. That is why he had to be eliminated.

MS LOCKHAT: Thank you, Chairperson, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOCKHAT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Lockhat. Do you have any re-examination?

MS LOONAT: Mr Chairperson, just to clarify one point. My learned colleague was trying to establish that there were two summonses that were issued against either my client or one of the co-accused, I'm not sure.

CHAIRPERSON: It's not, not against Mr Ramdas, but ...

MS LOONAT: Yes, they weren't against, and she was asking for, for a feedback from him. There were two, in fact. One was the criminal one and one was, in fact, a civil claim. One was R370, a paltry amount. And the other one was R3 000 and that was against Singh. Just to clarify that with you. But it had, according to my client, no influence on him whatsoever.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Mr Malan, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?

MR MALAN: Chairperson, I don't think anybody has referred the applicant to page 42 of the bundle. It's the statement by Williams, one of the co-accused. If you look at the second paragraph, says he was told by Singh that Sipho Zulu was killed to prevent him from giving evidence against Singh. The last sentence of that paragraph.

MR RAMDAS: Last sentence. Oh yes, that's right.

MR MALAN: Then the next paragraph when he deals with Solomon Dlamini, and Maistry, he says that Singh and Maistry informed him that Dlamini had charged Maistry for malicious injury to property of a taxi and that he was a, that he was the driver of. The court case was pending against Maistry and therefore Dlamini was killed because Maistry did not want Dlamini to appear in court to testify against him. You've read that?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MR MALAN: And then the next one, the murder of Captain Dorega, is "I heard from Ramdas that Dorega was a Station Commander that Ramdas got", this is now on page 43 at the top, "got convicted of perjury and sentenced to one year imprisonment. That was the reason I was told by Ramdas that Captain Dorega was killed. For I have no idea if Captain Dorega belonged to any political party." This is Williams, one of the co-accused.

MR RAMDAS: No, I did not say that to him, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You didn't say that to him?

MR RAMDAS: No, not to Williams, no.

MR MALAN: So is he fabricating these stories?

MR RAMDAS: Where he got that from, where he got that from, I don't know.

MR MALAN: He's in prison and he made this statement from prison. In East London Prison.

MR RAMDAS: No, I don't know where he got this.

MR MALAN: Would he have any reason to give that information? To make that statement?

MR RAMDAS: He knows about the perjury case, so maybe he presumed that was the reason. That's to save his own skin.

CHAIRPERSON: He doesn't say, he says that you told him.

MR RAMDAS: No, I deny that.

CHAIRPERSON: That's what he says here.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I understand. He must be saving his own skin, Chairperson.

JUDGE PILLAY: It's a fat lot he can do with his own skin now, he's in prison.

MR RAMDAS: He's going on, he'll be going on parole one of these days.

MS LOCKHAT: Devon Williams is actually in our midst, Chairperson. Just for the record.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Lockhat.

MR RAMDAS: He'll be going on parole one of these days.

INAUDIBLE

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Look's like he's on parole already. In any case, you say ...(inaudible)

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no.

MR MALAN: Okay. And then just a last question. If I understood you correctly, you decided at some stage to form this hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: That's correct.

MR MALAN: And you decided that in conjunction with Singh.

MR RAMDAS: That's correct.

MR MALAN: The two of you jointly talked and decided to set up a hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: You didn't recruit, the one didn't recruit the other.

MR RAMDAS: No, no, no. I decided, I spoke to him about it.

MR MALAN: Right. Without any authority and you just set it up. That's your own private hit squad.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And the first that then happened was that the so-called list, or the list that you got from ...

MR RAMDAS: Skiza Zuma.

MR MALAN: Skiza Zuma.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And that came out of the blue and you made that your main target.

MR RAMDAS: No, that, that was, that instruction was come from Zuma, so I carried that one out. I could see that Zuma, he was attacked there, when, as I explained to the Committee earlier. He was, when, when I, when I had the meeting with him. He showed us his bullet-ridden van, he said that he was attacked several times, and that, it's the reason why I said that he will be able to help us. I trusted him now ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: What I'm pursuing really, what I find difficult to understand, is that you formed this hit squad at some stage independent of Zuma.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did form it, I formed the hit squad.

MR MALAN: All right. Now, you've decided you're going to kill ANC members.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Or ANC sympathisers, or ANC supporters.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: But the first time you act is on a list given to you by Zuma. You don't, you have nobody, or no specific action in mind. That's the first action you took. Is that correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is the first time, the first action.

MR MALAN: You also, somewhere in your statement, I think it was Singh in his statement, said that, or was it you, that were you not arrested, you would have killed many other people still. Is that all for your statement or your feeling? Think ...(indistinct). In one of the documents.

MR RAMDAS: Just coming back, I'll answer this question now. Just coming back to that other one, the last question you spoke about. When Constable Blom was killed, that really sort of started the ball rolling, there when he was killed in front of me. You know, if you watch a video of a person ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: No, I heard that. And that is part of the background and the reason for forming the hit squad. But once you've decided on the hit squad, you seek no target, the first target arrives, so to speak, by courtesy of Zuma.

MR RAMDAS: We, we said no, we'll, when we had the first meeting at Anil's house, at Singh's house, there they ...(indistinct) I think it's Nkono that suggested that he's got two civilian friends that will also join in this thing. Then also mention, made mention of Skiza Zuma, who's a chief and that he will be able to assist us with firearms and what have you.

MR MALAN: And with targets.

MR RAMDAS: With targets and what have you.

MR MALAN: No, but you had no target in mind, you had no individual or any action in mind to implement, following up on the decision to form a hit squad that would ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, I had no targets.

MR MALAN: You had no targets?

MR RAMDAS: No, nothing, nothing.

MR MALAN: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Judge Pillay, any questions?

JUDGE PILLAY: Tell me, you found out that Constable Blom ...

MR RAMDAS: That's correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was killed. When did you find out that he was in fact killed by other policemen?

MR RAMDAS: No. Blom wasn't killed by other policemen.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did I misunderstand you?

MR RAMDAS: We were in the police van. It was Constable Singh, myself and Roger Peters, we were driving in the police van, normal duties. We heard over the radio, Constable Ali says, listen, we've been attacked. But he was frightened and we tried to get hold, tried to find out what happened.

JUDGE PILLAY: Okay.

MR RAMDAS: Eventually we found ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Can I just stop you there. All I want to know is do you know who, in fact, killed Constable Blom?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Who?

MR RAMDAS: It was MK soldiers. They were arrested in Eastridge, in a flat, we surrounded the flat. They'd firearms we seized were in the flat and the firearm that shot Blom was a firearm from a policeman that was in Pinetown.

JUDGE PILLAY: When did, when did you find that out?

MR RAMDAS: That same night. On radio control, we put the firearm into the computer ...

JUDGE PILLAY: What year? What year?

MR RAMDAS: I don't know. No, I don't know what year.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was it before you started this escapade or not?

MR RAMDAS: Was the incident happened before? Yes. Before this.

JUDGE PILLAY: Before you went on course?

MR RAMDAS: No, after course. After course, it was some time between these ...

JUDGE PILLAY: What standard, did you go to school?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: What standard did you pass?

MR RAMDAS: Matric.

JUDGE PILLAY: When was that?

MR RAMDAS: It was, it was a long time ago, I don't even know.

JUDGE PILLAY: No.

MR RAMDAS: I've been ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: When did you join the police?

MR RAMDAS: I've been in prison six years, so basically that's what ...

JUDGE PILLAY: You see why I'm asking ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Twenty-four years ago, so it's 1975 plus minus...

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: That you matriculated.

MR RAMDAS: No, I've written my police matric.

CHAIRPERSON: Your police matric?

MR RAMDAS: That's right. The police exam.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh.

MR RAMDAS: I mean, I call it the police matric because once in the Police Force you write your matric.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh.

MR RAMDAS: So it's just a normal matric, but I call it the police matric.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why I'm asking these questions, I want to understand how you were thinking at the time. One of the issues that really upset you politically, was when the old flag was spat on and torn and urinated on.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why did you get so upset?

MR RAMDAS: We served under this flag. This government, the National Party, they pay me this job and if a policeman dies, they take the same flag and cover your coffin with it. And that is given to your widow.

JUDGE PILLAY: That, that flag represented apartheid. Were you comfortable with it?

MR RAMDAS: Can you just please repeat?

JUDGE PILLAY: It represented apartheid. Were you comfortable with that?

MR RAMDAS: At that time I was being paid by the government so I was comfortable with that.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. You were comfortable with apartheid?

MR RAMDAS: Not apartheid.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well that's what I'm asking you, were you comfortable with apartheid? Were you happy about apartheid?

MR RAMDAS: I'm trying to ...

JUDGE PILLAY: What did you think about apartheid?

MR RAMDAS: What did I think about it?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: At that time I had no really affiliation or I didn't, I didn't want to take sides and what have you.

JUDGE PILLAY: Come, Mr Ramdas, you took political sides.

MR RAMDAS: No, I'm talking about that time when I joined the Police Force.

JUDGE PILLAY: The time you got irritated ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: Seventies, that's when ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: The time. Yes, okay. Now let's, listen to me now. I don't know, maybe you don't understand the question. When you got irritated by these people who were urinating on the flag, you got very upset. At that time, what did you think of apartheid and the policy?

MR MALAN: Have you been, have you been writing words down for your client there? What is happening there?

INAUDIBLE ANSWER

MR MALAN: Well, then make it clear so we know what's happening. Please don't write notes for your client.

JUDGE PILLAY: Don't you understand the concept of apartheid?

MR RAMDAS: No, no. You see, you asked me something now. I'm not too sure whether you're referring to when I joined the Police Force, how I felt at that time, or whether ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Okay, now listen, listen to me now. You know that day when that flag was spat on.

MR RAMDAS: On the 2nd March you talking about.

JUDGE PILLAY: Whatever date it was.

MR RAMDAS: Okay.

JUDGE PILLAY: You were already in the Police Force.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct. That is correct, right.

JUDGE PILLAY: You got very irritated by what was happening there, to this flag.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, at that time, I'm asking you what you felt about apartheid. Did you respect it? Or did you, were you disgusted with it? What is the position?

MR RAMDAS: There, when the flag was burnt, that incident there, and I'll come to your question now, when the flag was burnt and whatever. I was loyal to the Police Force, to the government that was paying me, I was loyal to them.

JUDGE PILLAY: What did you feel about apartheid? You didn't mind it?

MR RAMDAS: You see, the apartheid story, I can't ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: This flag represented apartheid. No matter what political affiliation you had, that was something that was common to everybody. It represented a divide and rule policy. I'm wanting to know, I'm trying to understand what you thought of the flag. I'm trying to understand your views of life at the time. Did you support apartheid?

MR RAMDAS: I felt, yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: And did you, at any time, during your activities relevant to your application, ever try to find out the policies of the ANC?

MR RAMDAS: From who are you talking about? Policies from...

JUDGE PILLAY: Anywhere. I think the Police Force were the private custodians of all those documents.

MR RAMDAS: From courses they informed how the ANC ...

JUDGE PILLAY: No, did you yourself try to find out?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I've seen it on TV ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Judge Pillay is asking you is, were you aware of or did you take any steps yourself to find out what the policies of the ANC were? Not what the people on the ground or what you were told by other policemen, but what the policies, the Freedom Charter, etc, etc.

MR RAMDAS: Me, myself?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, did you make effort yourself to ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I made a few enquiries, but I didn't come up with much.

JUDGE PILLAY: You see, why I ask that question is that, and I speak for myself, that these decisions in all your cases, all your applications, seem to have been made on very flimsy information. Even your former captain. He was killed because you thought he may give information to your enemy.

MR RAMDAS: You see, when he was, when he took the two blacks from the squatter camps there, when he associated himself with Mr Padayachee, they all were ANC.

JUDGE PILLAY: Well, I want, I want to ask you why you did not make any effort in any of the incidents to verify what you had been told. Before you killed anybody.

MR RAMDAS: I did my, before they were killed, I made my enquiries, I did all my research, found that they ANC.

JUDGE PILLAY: What did you do with your former captain? Dorega?

MR RAMDAS: Who Dorega?

JUDGE PILLAY: You told us today ...

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I did do enquiries.

JUDGE PILLAY: That the reason, the prime reason he got killed was that he was a possible threat to the State, because he was possibly in a position to give them information as to how police stations work.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that was true.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now I'm suggesting to you that's flimsy to make a decision on that and take a man's life. It doesn't, it doesn't balance.

MR RAMDAS: You see, when we raided the squatter camps and what have you, when we found suspects with the firearms, what have you, he would, you could see a firearm, a home-made firearm, that, a firearm that can be capable of firing a round, he would tell me, no, this firearm can't be capable of killing. And yet if you try the firearm you will it will work. And then he tells me, no, he don't want to see this. So I knew you can see he's siding with these people. He doesn't want to charge them. And he asks us not to even raid the squatter camp.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did I understand you correctly that on at least one of your trips, to commit one of these crimes, you people made use of a casspir vehicle?

MR RAMDAS: Casspir vehicle?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. A State vehicle known as a casspir. One, one of them.

MR RAMDAS: I only used the vehicle, the casspir vehicle to go to Zuma's house for the meeting.

JUDGE PILLAY: You took a casspir to go there?

MR RAMDAS: No. The casspir, I patrolled with the vehicle. I patrolled with the vehicle, that's the vehicle that we patrolled the areas.

JUDGE PILLAY: I see, I see. So there's a ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I work, I work at Gun City, that's Imbali, Gun City, that's the ANC area there. So from there now we're going to someone's house. I can't go back to the police station, get another vehicle and go, I used the same vehicle, and just proceeding out there.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, all people, and you were asked this question before and you evaded it because you said you're going to answer it later. You say anybody linked even to the ANC was your enemy at the time.

MR RAMDAS: Or anybody further the cause.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. And Dorega he was one of them and met his death because of that.

MR RAMDAS: Yes. He was furthering the cause of the ANC.

JUDGE PILLAY: What about Harry Gwala? Why didn't you try to assassinate him?

MR RAMDAS: I thought about that.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is it? Well, why didn't you make an attempt?

MR RAMDAS: No, ...(indistinct) he had died when this ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Or anybody else?

MR RAMDAS: You see, when you're working in our area, I was trying to look after our area. We were trying to make Pietermaritzburg the IFP stronghold.

JUDGE PILLAY: I see.

MR RAMDAS: So I maybe concentrated in this province here.

JUDGE PILLAY: Was there no other leader?

MR RAMDAS: No, no.

JUDGE PILLAY: What about Mr Radebe?

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't ...

JUDGE PILLAY: He comes to Natal. He was high in the ANC ranks.

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't ...

JUDGE PILLAY: You didn't think of that?

MR RAMDAS: No.

MR MALAN: Did you not on the, sorry, Judge Pillay, did you not have almost on a daily basis at that stage have members of the, representatives of the different groups coming to the Police Office and complaining about police action? Is it not so that a large number of ANC members, leaders, came to the police station on virtually a daily basis?

MR RAMDAS: No, they don't come to the police station.

MR MALAN: Yes, to the police station. For talks, for discussion, to talk to the police about how they should conduct themselves and hot-spot areas.

MR RAMDAS: No. We used to get people from the community coming there and say they've got problems here, this and that, but not leaders as such, the way you're talking about.

MR MALAN: I'm not talking about top leaders, I'm talking about local branch members and chairpersons.

MR RAMDAS: That was being, that was being handled by the Station Commander and the other officers. I was outside.

MR MALAN: Yes. But you would have seen them coming to the Station Commander to talk to him.

MR RAMDAS: No, I wouldn't have seen them. You see, when I book on duty, I take the vehicle and I'm outside. I don't come back to the police station till I knock off work.

MR MALAN: Are you telling me all the time at the station, in Uniform Branch, you never saw any of the Party representatives coming to talk to the Station Commander?

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't see them.

JUDGE PILLAY: Tell me, did you never hear, during the period you were busy with these activities, of allegations of police complicity with black on black violence?

MR RAMDAS: Police complicity on black on black violence?

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes, where they accused the police of being the third force.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I heard that on TV.

JUDGE PILLAY: And, and, did you not then think it necessary to review your situation?

MR RAMDAS: No, I was fighting for the cause. I didn't really...

JUDGE PILLAY: You didn't want to change. Is that not so?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: This group there sitting at the fire, who were shot at. Who shot at them?

MR RAMDAS: From what I know, Constable Indaba. The two of them had firearms, Nkono and Indaba.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you know them?

MR RAMDAS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you know them?

MR RAMDAS: The people from the squatter camp?

JUDGE PILLAY: No, Indaba and Nkono.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I know them.

JUDGE PILLAY: Very well?

MR RAMDAS: Not, yes, I know them very well. They worked under me.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did you know what their capabilities were of using firearms?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, they were trained with firearms.

JUDGE PILLAY: Trained?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: I can't remember what you pointed out, but what was the distance between from where they shot ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Approximately 15 paces from where the witness is, to the interpreter's box.

MR RAMDAS: It was dark when they fired the shots.

JUDGE PILLAY: No, but with the fire, the targets would have been lit up by the fire, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Would you have been surprised knowing what their abilities were that they would have missed anybody sitting around the fire?

MR RAMDAS: When they all scattered ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes, they all scattered. But I mean at least the first shot would have hit somebody.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I presume that they were hit.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. And you'd be surprised that if none of those shots hit the target, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I would have been surprised.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now, tell me, did you own a taxi?

MR RAMDAS: No.

JUDGE PILLAY: No?

MR RAMDAS: No.

JUDGE PILLAY: Did anyone of your group, was anyone taxi owners?

MR RAMDAS: No. No, none of them.

JUDGE PILLAY: Perjury in the Police Force is a offence that could lead or likely to lead to a discharge. Not so?

MR RAMDAS: If I'm convicted, if I serve a term of imprisonment. Yes, I will be discharged.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes. Because policemen can't be trusted if they commit perjury.

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: So you were at risk when you were charged and convicted of perjury, you were at risk of losing your job. Not so?

MR RAMDAS: I wasn't at risk there.

JUDGE PILLAY: Why?

MR RAMDAS: I knew I will win my case, because, because the case was, the case happened in '88 when the incident happened. Two years after that I testified. I was State witness. I made a statement in 1988.

JUDGE PILLAY: I know that, Mr Ramdas.

MR RAMDAS: 1990, I was not given a statement, so whatever I could recall, I spoke about that in court.

JUDGE PILLAY: I know.

MR RAMDAS: That's why I was charged.

JUDGE PILLAY: But while you were a convicted perjurer, you knew that there was a risk of you losing your job.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: But during this period also of your activities, you must have known of the Codesa process? Not so?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: And IFP was party to it, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

JUDGE PILLAY: Now why then did you continue with all these crimes instead of reviewing your situation? That was a wonderful attempt to rectify the problems in this country, with the least amount of problems. Why then did you continue fuelling all these problems?

MR RAMDAS: No, I felt at that stage that I must continue, because these people were a threat to us and that these talks, they just talk now and tomorrow they do something else.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is that what you thought?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. That's what I ...

JUDGE PILLAY: Even the IFP?

MR RAMDAS: No, me as an individual, myself.

JUDGE PILLAY: No. Why didn't you go to the members of the IFP hierarchy and say, look, are you people serious or must I continue with what I am doing?

MR RAMDAS: No, the IFP, they didn't know about the hit squad what I had. I didn't go to them.

JUDGE PILLAY: Who was Zuma then? According to your evidence, didn't you consult with Zuma?

MR RAMDAS: Zuma, yes. But what I'm saying ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: He was a high-ranking official, isn't it?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. But he supplied me the names, so I knew that if the man has supplied me with names, I must go to him. If he told me, hey, whoa, stop, then I would've stopped. Then he, because he's, he's the high, he's the big boy there in the IFP, he ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: No, why I'm asking, why didn't you go to him and say, look here, now look here they're talking at Codesa. Don't you think we should review our position?

MR RAMDAS: No, I didn't go to him.

JUDGE PILLAY: One last issue. You've made this application now and there's been a number of victims and families. What do you feel towards them now?

MR RAMDAS: I've got this empty feeling in me, like I know what it's like what they are going through. That they lost their loved ones, but it was my, through my actions, they lost their loved ones. My wife passed away in February last year, while I was in prison. I know what it's like to lose somebody. Okay, but their circumstances was different. I know my children are suffering now. I know that their children also are suffering and they going through a hard time. Same like what I'm going through, because I know. It's something that, it was wrong at that time. But, the feeling is hard to explain, it's, it's something that, hey. When you lose your loved one, it's something that's, it's bad.

JUDGE PILLAY: Are you prepared to make peace with them?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I'm prepared to make peace with them.

JUDGE PILLAY: Even if you, if your application is unsuccessful?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I'm prepared to make peace with them.

JUDGE PILLAY: What are you prepared to do about it?

MR RAMDAS: With me and my children and everybody, and even if I can go to schools and even other people and talk to them and tell them, now listen here, this talks, I mean, this fighting with different political parties and what have you. And I'll even educate my children too as well. Tell them, no don't, listen do ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: I'm talking about the people of the victims?

MR RAMDAS: Of the victims' families.

JUDGE PILLAY: Yes.

MR RAMDAS: If I get released or ...(intervention)

JUDGE PILLAY: Even if you don't get released, are you prepared to reconcile with them?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I am.

JUDGE PILLAY: What are you prepared to do about them?

MR RAMDAS: Well, at the prison, I, if I can approach them and ask them for forgiveness and what have you.

JUDGE PILLAY: Are you comfortable with doing that?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I am. Because I know what it's like to lose a loved one.

JUDGE PILLAY: And should the same situation arise, are you, will you do what you did then?

MR RAMDAS: I will still continue with supporting my people, but I won't start killing the people.

JUDGE PILLAY: Okay.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ramdas, what happened to the telescopes and the silencers and the guns that you bought with the R5 000?

MR RAMDAS: The police took it away. Some of it were destroyed. After Dorega's incident, I went to Singh's house, the same morning, I heard of Singh being arrested, the same morning on the 22nd or 23rd it was. Singh's wife told me that the police had picked up Constable Singh. I realised that the police is now is into this matter here. The two firearms, I'd given them back to Indaba, Indaba was at the house. I give it back to him and ...(indistinct) must give it back to Skiza Zuma or where he got it from. The telescopes and the, the things, the police took all those the rest of, the barrel as well, too as well. They got everything.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, did you really believe that you and your hit squad could change the political scenery in Maritzburg?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you really believe that?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. By shooting the people at random here and there, making them change their political beliefs or saying, you know.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Loonat, do you have any questions arising out of questions that have been put by the Panel?

MS LOONAT: Mr Chair, Mr Chairperson, I don't know if I should expand, but as you can see my learned friend is very stressed and doesn't know quite how to express himself, other than trying to explain his deep remorse which he has explained to me. I can't go further than that ...

CHAIRPERSON: It's not a requirement for the amnesty, you know, it's not one of the requirements required. But we'll accept that he feels remorse.

MS LOONAT: And just for my own records, my client said he did a police matric. I'm not sure, does that mean he's done a normal matric and then a police matric, or ...

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you can ask him. Did you go to school until Std 10.

MR RAMDAS: No, Std 8.

CHAIRPERSON: Std 8.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you joined the police.

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And then did you do night school sort of stuff?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you got a matric?

MR RAMDAS: And then I got a matric.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay.

MR MALAN: Did you pass Std 8 at school?

MR RAMDAS: Yes, I passed Std 8.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Jaleel, do you have any questions arising out of questions that have been put by the Panel?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS JALEEL: Just one question. Sir, you maintained that if Zuma had told you to stop the killing, you would have stopped. But as already pointed out, you had actually formed this hit squad before getting, or allegedly getting Zuma into your allegiance and getting a list from him. Would you have really stopped?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. Yes, I would have stopped.

MS JALEEL: So, had you not thought about what you were doing prior to you forming this hit squad?

MR RAMDAS: I thought about it. On all that I was taught, everything on the courses, everything. And that's how I formed the hit squad.

MS JALEEL: But then there's a contradiction there. Because you said you were waiting for somebody else to tell you to stop doing it, the person being Zuma.

MR RAMDAS: No, he didn't tell me to stop. He didn't tell me to stop. He just, he kept on sending me names. And I thought it was okay to carry on.

MS JALEEL: Okay. If I can rephrase. You formed this hit squad even before you came to know of Zuma. Correct?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: Right. So you, you didn't realise he was going to help you. You had this picture in your mind where you were going to rid yourself of ANC members and you were going to go and do it on your own strength. Correct?

MR RAMDAS: That is correct.

MS JALEEL: Did, did Indaba bring Zuma to you directly after, or a few days after, was it a month after, a year after you had formed the hit squad that you came to know Zuma?

MR RAMDAS: The hit, we spoke about the hit squad that I was going to form there at Singh's house. Whilst at the meeting, the specials that's Norman Nkono and the others, made mention of Zuma and they said that he will assist me with this hit squad sort of, like supplying firearms and what have you, and of possible targets.

MS JALEEL: Okay. So his name came up at initiation, which he denies, having any knowledge of it.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, his name came up at that stage.

MS JALEEL: Sir, with regards to the flag issue, you take that very personally, and you said that it angered to a great deal, and that's why you went out and did these things. It somehow ties up with the fact that how did you feel when you knew policemen, including yourselves, like yourselves, your members of the hit squad were all policemen. How did you feel when you knew that they were killing people? Did your flag, I mean I know it was the apartheid era, but did you feel that killing was right, given the position that you were in? Did you think that you were totally justified in doing what you were doing?

MR RAMDAS: Yes. I served under the flag there. I was loyal to this, to the NP government that was paying me, and I felt it was right.

MS JALEEL: Sir, you also indicated that you sassed out your victims, the people that you murdered. You made sure that they were ANC members and things like that.

MR RAMDAS: That's correct.

MS JALEEL: With people like Solomon Dlamini, you've had incidences there. Mr Padayachee, you worked on information that you knew, did you have anything yourself, how exactly did you go about investigating him and seeing whether he was actually politically inclined?

MR RAMDAS: I did, I did observation duties on him. Watch what they were doing, who they were talking to, check if they were going for any meetings or whatever it is. That's how I did my ...

MS JALEEL: Did you see him going to meetings, talking to strange people whom you knew or didn't know?

MR RAMDAS: Like Captain Dorega and the people from Swapo camp, from the ANC squatter, Swapo camps. I mean they all came to his house. That's how I knew that they all were ANC.

MS JALEEL: Petrus Zulu? How did you keep tabs on him?

MR RAMDAS: I'd ...(intervention)

MS JALEEL: Sorry, that's, Petrus Zulu was the first person killed. Sorry. Sipho Zulu?

MR RAMDAS: They were coming from the march ...(intervention)

MS JALEEL: No, Sipho, sorry.

MR RAMDAS: They were coming from the march at Wardley Stadium. And we were escorting the busses too. And they were staying at the ANC squatter camp.

MS JALEEL: We know that, sir. I'm talking about Sipho Zulu. I'm sorry, Sipho Zulu.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Sipho Zulu.

MS JALEEL: He was not killed on that particular day. Did you, did you figure out that he was ANC? He was alive for a while after Petrus Zulu had died, how did you figure that one out?

MR RAMDAS: He was at the Northdale Hospital when I went there to go and place the guards there. That's where he told me that I must tell Singh about this, as I explained to you, that Singh is a dog and all that, and he's going to shoot Singh, and that we are all dogs, people that serve under this thing. If he can't get one of us, he's going to get Singh. And he also made mention of the speech that Harry Gwala made. He made mention to me that, of the armed struggle. So I knew when he attacked Singh, I knew what he was talking about.

MS JALEEL: Was this man seriously injured at the time when he was at hospital? Was he receiving ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: No, he was shot in his arm here. I think it was, yes, I think he was shot in his arm.

MS JALEEL: So from that speech, you picked up that he was an ardent ANC follower?

MR RAMDAS: Yes.

MS JALEEL: Mr Dorega, same then, you never took it up to any higher authorities. All you did was watch the man's behaviour, not even getting anything substantial, but you just assumed, okay, the man is ANC ...(intervention)

MR RAMDAS: I never assumed it.

MS JALEEL: You just looked at the few things that he did.

MR RAMDAS: I never assumed. Made sure, did my homework.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it at that time the ANC was an unbanned, it was unbanned, so to be a member of the ANC, people didn't have to be secretive about it. In fact, hundreds of thousands, millions of people were members of the ANC.

MR RAMDAS: ANC, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: And, and were not keeping a secret about it.

MR RAMDAS: About it. That's right, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But you still wanted to hunt out particular people, confirm they were ANC and kill them.

MR RAMDAS: Yes, Chairperson.

MS JALEEL: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS JALEEL

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Lockhat?

MS LOCKHAT: No further questions, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS LOCKHAT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Ramdas, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down.

MR RAMDAS: Thank you, Chairperson.

WITNESS EXCUSED

 
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