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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 30 July 1998

Location PRETORIA

Day 9

Names LARRY JOHN HANTON

Case Number 4076/96

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MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I now call my other client, Mr Hanton, and I refer you to page 66 I think it is, yes, Mr Chairman, page 66 on volume 2, in volume 2, page 65, sorry, 65.

LARRY JOHN HANTON: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Mr Hanton, I refer you to page 65 of your application, is it so that you are here to apply for amnesty for any illegal act or omission - you are here to apply for amnesty and you do apply for amnesty for any illegal act or omission which might stem from your involvement of both Cosatu House during May 1987 and also the bombing of Khotso House during 1988? I see that page 66 makes reference of 1987, but that is a mistake, it was the 31st of August 1988.

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: I refer you to page 66, is it correct that you joined the South African Police during 1971 and served in the police till 1995?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: If I may just briefly take you to page 66, where you set out your involvement in Cosatu House. Once again, like Mr McCarter, you mention here that you received an instruction from Major De Kock, but at the time when we drew up this application, you seemed to remember that you started preparing and acting on the same day, but do you concede that that might be a mistake, as we've heard Mr De Kock say that you would have received the instruction approximately a week earlier?

MR HANTON: I do, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: And also you make mention of certain members who were there during the briefing, and you also make mention of a person, Mr At van Niekerk, and you realise today that that is a mistake and that he was never there?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Now, you were also one of the members who were in the mini-bus who proceeded to the back of Khotso House, where access was gained, sorry, ja, did I say Khotso House? You proceeded to the back of Khotso House, where access was gained by cutting a fence, you and Frank McCarter remained outside the wall and certain of the members went into the actual Khotso House, returned, and you then left?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: You remember the persons going in to be one Snor Vermeulen and a Mr George Hammond?

MR HANTON: Correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: What building are you talking about?

MR NEL: Cosatu House.

CHAIRPERSON: Cosatu House.

MR NEL: I beg your pardon, Mr Chairman, at my... (intervention).

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you'd been asking about Khotso House the whole time.

MR NEL: Sorry, Mr Chairman, it was Cosatu House, it's the first incident explained on page 2 running - page 66, running over to page 67.

CHAIRPERSON: Now do you say that for Cosatu House there was a week's notice?

MR HANTON: That is correct, sir.

MR NEL: May I proceed, Mr Chairman? On page 67, dealing with Khotso House, is it also true that you also received an instruction from Major Eugene de Kock at the time that the house was to be attacked and that you went to a - with certain members went to a safe house in Johannesburg, where you remember Brigadier Erasmus to be present?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Is it also further correct that you went to Khotso House where you remember Eugene de Kock and George Hammond climbed on top of the wall, explosives were passed to them and that they then vanished from sight and you, together with Snor Vermeulen, remained outside?

MR HANTON: Correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: You also recall that you actually stopped some distance away and waited for the explosion to actually detonate?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: On page 68, in paragraph 10(a) and 10(b), you set out your political objectives sought, with the justification in paragraph 10(b), carrying on to page 69, where you set your police career. Do you confirm that as part of your amnesty application as correct and you adhere to that?

MR HANTON: I do, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: And then paragraph 10(c), is it correct that you also did not receive any benefit from your involvement in these explosions?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: And lastly that you state that you acted on instructions of Colonel De Kock?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman, that is the evidence.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

MR VISSER: Visser on record, Mr Chairman.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Not that it's really part of my case, but may I put this to you, sir, that you, we've heard evidence that the preparation for Cosatu House, I think it was mentioned by Colonel De Kock, was a month to five weeks, whereas in the case of Khotso House, it was merely a week. Where you state that you had a week's notice, aren't you perhaps mistaken and that it should be a month of five weeks' notice?

MR HANTON: That would be correct, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Hugo on behalf of de Kock. As I understand the evidence, the preparation was done five weeks before the time, but only he and Mr Bosch initially knew about it.

MR HANTON: That would be correct, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HUGO

MS GCABASHE: What is the position pertaining to yourself, one week, five weeks, three weeks, how much notice did you have?

MR HANTON: One week.

MR DU PLESSIS: Just one question, you don't mention the name of Hennie Kotze as a person who went into the building. Would you concede that he, along with Hammond and De Kock, also went into the building?

CHAIRPERSON: (Indistinct) Mnr Du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Kotze, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh.

MR HANTON: Into which building?

MR DU PLESSIS: Khotso House. I beg your pardon. (Long silence). ...all, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

MS GCABASHE: Just one question. Page 68, you set out your political objective, and there I understand you to say that you were acting essentially in the course and scope of your employment, is that right?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MS GCABASHE: Now I know some of the other applicants have tried to marry their support of the National Party with their political objective. I don't know if you are able to marry your support, or is it membership, support of the IFP with the political objective you have stated here?

MR HANTON: I only joined the IFP, I supported the IFP later, Mr Chairman.

MS GCABASHE: Oh, so at the time, in 1987/88, what was the status then?

MR HANTON: I was a Nationalist Party supporter, Mr Chairman.

MS GCABASHE: Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

 
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