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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 14 September 1998
Names CRAIG MICHAEL WILLIAMSON
Case Number AM5181/97
Mr Williamson, we dealt with your first amnesty application which we concluded on Friday insofar as your evidence in chief is concerned, that was on the bombing of the ANC offices in London. I would like to now go on to deal with the second application ...[intervention]
MR LEVINE: That is correct and they had then come back to South Africa and we heard about the one injury or some damage to a Mr Matamba and of his unfortunate experience subsequently at the hands of the British justice system, it was unfortunate, and all. He was the ANC member who was inside of the building when the explosion took place. I think we had dealt with the bombing as such but I'm quite happy to go through it again if you wish Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: My recollection and my note is that he was very sketchy about the detail. He told the principle of what had happened but not the details of any deliberations or discussions that took place.
Mr Williamson, reverting to the London bomb, would you deal with what took place from the time you received your orders to go out of South Africa to London and deal in precise detail with what discussions took place, what arrangements were made and precisely what preceded the bomb in London?
MR WILLIAMSON: Certainly Mr Chairman. As I've already indicated, when I received the order from my group head, Brigadier Goosen, to prepare the plan for the attack on the London headquarters, I then together with other members of my staff prepared this operational plan but I have to explain, Mr Chairman, that in the way that we worked at that time, we worked in secrecy and we followed the doctrine of need to know and that meant ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: "Moet weet" that is correct, Mr Chairman, which meant that not everybody involved in the entire operation needed to know exactly what was going on at any specific time. The only information that different members involved in the operation needed to have was that information which was essential to them to carry out the task that had been allotted to them. Now this methodology, Mr Chairman, means that in many cases I issued orders for things to be done which I then received information back that a certain thing had been done but I would not have been personally present at; for example further planning or discussion or carrying out of certain of these orders which I did give.
The first thing I did, Mr Chairman, was to make an assessment as to whether it was practically possible to carry out an attack on the ANC headquarters in London. Once I had done that in the positive sense, had ascertained that I believed that it was possible, I then had to formulate a team that would be able to carry out such an attack and to have the members of that team approved. That team was my ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman I believed that the reason why I was selected to be second in command of the operational attack was that I was personally familiar with the building, I had been in the building on many occasions and my section and people working with me were concerned with that building and the activities taking place in that building.
So Mr Chairman, various orders were given to various offices. The team as we discussed on Friday was made up - the overall commander being Brigadier Goosen and his second in charge being myself and then the team being Captains McPherson and Adam, Captains De Kock and Taylor and Warrant Officer Raven. Warrant Officer Raven who would, once the team was in the United Kingdom, in fact work with Lieutenant Castleton. So various orders were given to these people, Mr Chairman. For example there was and in depth study or certain of the team made an in depth study of the target. There was at a certain time a discussion about whether the Communist Party offices in London could also be attacked. I was told that this possibility should be canvassed and that we should look at it but I personally, Mr Chairman, from the very first day had absolutely no intention of attacking the Communist Party offices in London purely because again, I had personal knowledge of those offices and I did not regard them as being a suitable target for attack; in particular Mr Chairman, because of the paint shop in the close vicinity but also that access to the building was in my opinion made more difficult in the sense that because it was a Communist Party office and because the South African Communist Party was well connected to the Soviet Union and linked to the Soviet Union and that people working at the South African Communist Party offices were in communication and contact with members of East Bloc embassies in London, that potential surveillance by the British authorities of this office made it a very dangerous target for us to approach or a far more dangerous target for us to approach.
I also issued the orders to, as I think I did say on Friday, to Warrant Officer Raven to assemble the ordinance that would be necessary. I did not know what ordinance, what would be necessary. He was the expert, this was left up to him and he was to organise the collection of the ordinance and other equipment which he would require to be built into a container which would be of such a nature that this container could be transported to London by diplomatic bag. This is what I was told by Brigadier Goosen and that was the instruction I passed on to Warrant Officer Raven and Warrant Officer Raven, I believe, passed on that instruction and request to Waal du Toit.
MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman, as I've said there was a basic target analysis done by various members of the team, or I cannot recollect whether every single member of the team, in fact I recollect that some members of the team did not in fact know what the target was going to be and the nature of the target but of course Warrant Officer Raven knew exactly what the type of target was. I recollect that Warrant Officer Raven at a certain stage informed me that his preparations had been completed and that the containers were ready to be despatched. I recollect that I saw them, I think very briefly and they looked to me to look like some type of military radio communications equipment. After that I was told that they'd gone to Brigadier Goosen and that they would be despatched to London and at a later stage, Mr Chairman, I was informed that in fact the goods had arrived in London and that they had been safely delivered to Lieutenant Castleton at the safe house which he was using in the United Kingdom. Mr Chairman, we did go through the basic orders that had been given to me and to others at the beginning of the operation about deaths and injuries, I think I went through that clearly.
So, Mr Chairman, finally by middle of March 1982 the overall operational plan had progressed to the stage where it seemed more likely that the attack would be able to be successfully carried out. The target analysis had been done, the ordinance was in the United Kingdom in the hands of one of the members of the team and I was instructed that there was further approval and go ahead given and that I should now move the team to the United Kingdom.
Again, Mr Chairman, during this time I made arrangements for my team to receive passports, I won't say false passports because they were genuine South African passports, but they were passports in nom de plumes, in names other than the genuine names and if I remember we in fact - we either prepared two sets of passports or we certainly had two sets of photographs so that if we needed to change the identities of the team during the operation we could do so and I also ordered that the team should work out travel arrangements to proceed to London in very different ways. I do not recollect exactly how each group of the team actually went to London, all I know that it was done separately, either in twos or individually or via different routes.
MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, it was operating in four groups and I also think, Mr Chairman, that there is some problem with my recollection of exactly how long we were in London but it was a number of days before the attack and I think some of the team in fact were there even longer. Now the purpose of that was for different members of the teams to acquaint themselves with the situation in London. There were of course people who were on the team that had never been there and who had to first become acquainted with the situation on the ground. I had the teams living also completely separately, not making communications with each other. I believe that I was at a certain time the only person who knew where everybody was, I don't think even the Brigadier knew where they were and the main task that I carried out during my time was to put surveillance - I personally put members of my team under surveillance by myself in order to satisfy myself that my teams, none of my team members were under surveillance by any hostile intelligence service or political movement or in fact anybody else and it was only when I was happy that we were to use the term "clean" that I told the Brigadier that I was happy, everybody was in place, they were clean. I had personal meetings with members of the teams on separate occasions in different places in London. I don't remember all the meetings, I remember at least two of them because as part of the process of acquainting the people with London which I of course knew much better than most of the rest of the team, I despatched them to various tourist what one would call attractions and I used to meet them under circumstances where there were many people present, like for example in well known pubs like Dirty Dicks, I remember specifically.
When we finally decided that the operational security and integrity of the operation was in place, that all the equipment was in place and that I had had information from Lieutenant Castleton and Warrant Officer Raven that the device had know been manufactured, the brigadier gave me an instruction to put the whole team together and I believe there was a final meeting at which everybody came together. The brigadier gave the instruction for the device to be planted. As far as I recollect he was in communication with South Africa, with General Coetzee I believe and he told me and he told the team that the final go ahead for the operation had been given. At that stage, Mr Chairman, the team carried out their different allotted tasks and my role at that time was to continue maintaining the control of the security situation of the team and my final job relating to that was that once the device had been successfully placed, every member of the team was to pass a certain check point and I believe in fact one of the members of the team, or one of the groups, was to collect me - the final group to pass that check point I think had to also collect me at which stage I would know that the -and I said on Friday that the operation had not yet been completed because obviously the explosion had not taken place but that the final preparations had been made, the device was in place and the team was safe and they could then move according to instructions out of the United Kingdom in the same manner as that they had moved in, in other words in twos and individually and via different flights to get them into Europe and from Europe back to South Africa.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I was not personally present but I was told that the device had been placed according to the plan which was at the rear of the ANC offices where amongst other things they had a printing press. The reason why that position had been chosen was because first of all over a number, I would say even years, South African surveillance of the ANC office in London had shown that there was a way to get into the back which was not very visible to other people. In other words there was access under cover as it were to the back. Number two - our surveillance had shown that the rear of the ANC office were not, it appeared to us to be under surveillance by anybody else and thirdly, in line with our instructions not to kill or injure if at all possible and certainly not to kill or injure any non-ANC people, this also was the best position because over a long period of time it had been established a pattern of use of that area at certain times of the day, at weekends, early in the mornings on Sunday for example. And finally, Mr Chairman, I am not an explosives expert but I from what was explained to me, the explosion could be of such a nature that it would not be a random explosion which would just damage everything in the vicinity, that an explosion could in fact in some way be focused and that this explosion in that position would be the best - or the placing of the explosives in that position would be the best position to in fact focus the explosion into the building so that the damage would be to the greatest possible extent confined to ANC property.
Mr Chairman, I then made a report to Brigadier Goosen after the device had been placed, told him that the device was safely placed, that the team was already on their way out of the country. He was ready to leave and he and I also proceeded to leave the United Kingdom for South Africa via Brussels where I was when we, listening to the BBC, heard that a large explosion had virtually destroyed the offices of the ANC in London. I then returned to South Africa and all the team returned safely and most of them or those of the team who were not involved in the head office sections returned to the units from which they had come before they had been seconded to my unit to carry out this operation.
I believe that the report on the operation was made by Brigadier Goosen. I do not remember whether I was present at any report back made by him to any person, but I believe he did make a report back and at a later stage, Mr Chairman, the Brigadier informed me that I and the rest of the team were to be decorated for having successfully carried out our mission.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, as I understood it and from the various discussions that took place in my presence and that I was party to, the main aim was to demonstrate to the ANC that there was no place in the world that we could not get at them. The second or the reason for demonstrating that we could get to them in London was that we knew and as a result also of the investigations specifically of the Voortrekkerhoogte missile attack, I believe they were Katushka or - I'm not sure the name of - but they were Russian manufactured missiles which were fired into Voortrekkerhoogte, that not only in the Voortrekkerhoogte attack but also generally the ANC and the Communist Party structures in the United Kingdom had links with people living in the United Kingdom, either British Citizens or other individuals living in Britain who were assisting them not only politically but were also assisting them - assisting the ANC/Communist Party Alliance on a military level.
And then secondly, Mr Chairman, the understanding that I had of the political motivation of the attack was as a political demonstration also to the British Government that there were risks in allowing an organisation such as the ANC to maintain a high profile office in London and that time I would imagine, Mr Chairman, we regarded the London office of the ANC as virtually it's headquarters. In fact that headquarters were in Lusaka but the London office was accorded a very high status in our eyes and there was in the light of the circumstances of the time a feeling that it was possible, perhaps possible, that the South Africans could get the British Government to exclude if not the entire ANC/Communist Party Alliance functionary organisation in London from the United Kingdom, one could perhaps get them to exclude individuals or individual ANC and Communist Party members who had definite links with so-called terrorism because there was in the British law a mechanism whereby such people could be excluded from the United Kingdom and I want to just remind the Committee, Mr Chairman, of the circumstances that pertained with regards to international terrorism at that time. If one can remember for example - in 1981, Bobby Sands of the I.R.A and at least eight other I.R.A members had starved themselves to death in a Northern Irish prison over a dispute that they had with the British Government relating to the conditions inside the prison and in specific, relating to the wearing of prison uniform etc and that in this confrontation, and I'm not talking about the confrontation between the I.R.A. and the British government on a military level but in this political confrontation between the I.R.A. and the British Government, nine I.R.A. members had been allowed by the British Government to starve themselves to death before the British Government gave in to what many people regarded as not very fundamental demands relating to the conditions inside the prison and we felt, Mr Chairman, very definitely that this showed that the then British Government and in particular the Prime Minister at the time, Mrs Thatcher, was so tough on terrorism that it was possible that she may in fact have excluded from the United Kingdom certain members of the ANC/Communist Party Alliance and I believed, Mr Chairman, that - and if I can just comment on the question that was asked of General Coetzee relating to this British - or the influence that was being attempted to be placed on the British, that it wasn't a matter of us wanting the British to openly know that this had been a South African attack, it was a case of us wanting the security officials and the intelligence officials of the British Government to come to a conclusion that this was in all likelihood a South African attack and we hoped that this would lead to a situation where in discussion about international terrorism, certain people in the - I'm talking now about British people involved in decision making areas of the British Government - would be able to propose the exclusion from the United Kingdom of certain members of the ANC/Communist Party Alliance, not only on the basis that these people were involved in terrorism and that these organisations were acting in concert with the Soviet Union and it's assault on the entire Western so-called capitalist structure or imperialist structure - but that there was another reason to exclude them and that is that because they themselves were involved in terrorism, against the South State, that there could be a spill over effect and that the war between the South African Government and it's security forces could perhaps spill over into the streets of London which would be a highly undesirable thing to happen in the eyes of any British authority and so Mr Chairman, this is how I understood the political motivation of this attack.
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, together with my application there are various annexures which relate to the political motivation and in specific to the fact that there was at that time almost a preoccupation amongst the South African security forces about the international dimension of the ANC and the Communist Party's struggle against South Africa and I did go into some detail I think, Mr Chairman, about the fact that from 1981, with the coming to power of the Reagan administration in the United States and the fact that General Haig, a very well known military officer who over a number of years had been at the forefront of the United States confrontation with the Soviet Union and the East Bloc, had become the Secretary of State or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, that there was going to be a focus in the United States and throughout NATO, which included Britain, on attempting to work against and to counter the Soviet Union's use of international terror as an instrument of State policy which it was using against the West and against specific countries in the West and of course against South Africa.
MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, I trust that has flushed out the sketchiness which you commented on. May we then proceed to the second application for amnesty brought by Mr Williamson? That relates to Mr Slovo and to Mrs Ruth First.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, Mr Joe Slovo was at the time, I believe, the Chief of Staff of uMkhonto weSizwe. He certainly was a member of the Revolutionary Council and he certainly was a member of the top structure of the South African Communist Party and the South African Communist Party and the ANC had a joint organ - the Revolutionary Council, which I referred to, which oversaw the military action by the ANC and the Communist Party against South Africa so I don't think there's any fear of me exaggerating if I say that Mr Joe Slovo was regarded as one of the prime enemies of the security forces of South Africa, not only because of his specific involvement in the military structures but also because of the fact that he was a top member of the South African Communist Party and as such, was seen as one of the chief links between the Soviet Union and the policy being carried out by the ANC and the Communist Party of attacks on South Africa.
When it comes to Mrs Ruth First, she was seen also as a obviously not as high a profile or as an important, if I can put it that way, a target as Mr Joe Slovo but as a very high-ranking member of the South African Communist Party/ANC Alliance and one who was engaged in two levels of activity in Mozambique which related to the ANC/Communist Party struggle against South Africa. One is as a high level functionary of the Communist Party and the other as a member of the ANC structures - so she played a political role as well as a practical role and this as far the security forces and myself individually are concerned, made her also an important target of the security forces.
MR WILLIAMSON: That is why they were regarded as important targets, Mr Chairman, they and all the leadership of the ANC/Communist Party Alliance were regarded as threats to the Republic of South Africa.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, this is an extract from a journal - I believe "The African Communist" the journal of the South African Communist Party. I'm afraid I do not have the date but from the context or the addition of the journal, but from the context of the article one can see that it was a tribute by members of the Communist Party to Ruth First and they quote the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party in his oration at her funeral and I think, Mr Chairman, that this obviously was a document which came to my desk at some stage and which I took notice of because of the fact that I knew about the facts that we're discussing here today and that are part of my application so I kept this. Basically Mr Chairman, all the relevance of this comment is merely the fact that number one, the South African Communist Party made tribute to Ruth First as a very important member of that party but secondly, that if you read on the second page, it is actually page 68 of - the little 68 at the bottom of the page from - sorry, let's start on the bottom of page 67, on the first page of Exhibit L. If you go 14 lines from the bottom where a sentence starts Comrade Ruth however...
"Comrade Ruth, however - and this will certainly come as a shock to those enemies of the ANC and the SACP whose propaganda seeks in vain to show that the ANC is led by white Communists - was at one time a member of an ANC unit in Mozambique of which I was Chairman."
and he then goes on to discuss her in the unit and her personal approach in the unit. But Mr Chairman, all I seek to do by putting in this document is to show that she was not only a ranking member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, but she was also, as an individual, involved on a unit level with the ANC structures in Maputo at that time or in Mozambique at that time.
MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, the next document I would like to draw your attention to is a publication I believe of the Communist Party as well, it deals with R. Slovo, Ruth and it is Exhibit M, Mr Chairman. Could you deal briefly with that?
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, this is not a - which one is this? Yes, Mr Chairman, this is not a document of the Communist Party, this Mr Chairman is a security police document. It is as you'll see it's two pages, pages 106 and 107 if you look at the top on the left hand side of each page.
MR WILLIAMSON: Right, yes. Mr Chairman, I must comment by saying firstly this document, this is a page from an affidavit or a statement. Now what happened, what was common practice is that when any either source, or agent, or captured member of the ANC or the Communist Party was interviewed or interrogated or debriefed, what was done was that a book was presented to that person and this was called "The Terrorist Album" and this book, this album was something that one of the important roles of a certain section in the security branch and head office was to maintain this album and the idea was that we had one album in which every terrorist was named and photographed - there was photograph of this person. So one could start with anybody and go through from A to Z, every photograph - say "do you know this person, where did you see them, what were they doing?" and this is a result of an interrogation and the individual who made the statement has said that in the terrorist album at S269 the photograph was recognised as that of Ruth Slovo and then it goes on - that's a security police number, that S4/193WWR, the relevance of that is that her file was S4/193 and in fact, Mr Chairman, I can just mention to you that's actually a typing error - it's S1/193 could it not be S4 because S4 relates to I think I'm not wrong as saying to Black South Africans. White South Africans had S1 numbers and WWR means that her file was kept mainly and the division of the security police responsible for her file, was Witwatersrand. The comment of the person is that "Ruth was killed with a letter bomb in Maputo in 1982".
Mr Chairman, what I want to say to the Committee about this is that in the security police, number one - Ruth First was listed as a terrorist and number two - she was known in the security police as Ruth Slovo.
Mr Chairman, what I'm trying to show with this document is, Mr Chairman, that I knew that Ruth First was in the terrorist book, in the terrorist album, and we'll get to - when I got my instructions about the I.E.D. or improvised explosive device that should be sent to Maputo, that I cannot - when I was told this was going to Slovo, I cannot in all certainty say whether it was to Mrs Slovo or to Mr Slovo, so just to show that in the security police at the time, the Slovos were referred to as Slovo R and Slovo J and that Slovo R, Ruth First, was regarded in the security police as a terrorist and was in the terrorist album.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, the - as far as my recollection goes, some months after the successful attack on the ANC I received an envelope through the internal mail system in our group structure and I was told to take the envelope and go and discuss the contents with my group head, Brigadier Piet Goosen, which I then did. Brigadier Goosen intimated to me that the contents of this envelope - and now Mr Chairman, I've racked my brains over a number of years to try and get this incident again clear in my mind and I have to first be very clear that there was one big large envelope which had nothing to do with a postal item, this was an official police envelope and that this envelope contained another envelope and some documentation and I was told that this was a communication on the way to - and I to the best of my recollection believe that the word Slovo was used and I didn't ask or at that time it didn't even cross my mind to ask or think whether this was one Slovo or the other and I was asked could I, or did I, think that Jerry, who I knew to be then Warrant Officer Raven, could replace the contents of the postal item which was now inside the big envelope with an improvised explosive device. This was the first time in my life, Mr Chairman, that I had been asked to make such a thing and I remember asking but how big must it be, won't it be too heavy or what type of device and I was told that it should be approximately the size of a hand grenade. To me, Mr Chairman, a hand grenade was a metal device that weighed quite a lot but I realised that what was meant was the hundred grams or so of explosives that would be in a hand grenade and I went - I remember, Mr Chairman, looking at the envelope that was inside this big envelope and I have to emphasise that I realised that something out of the ordinary was going on. I was very aware of the rule of need to know and despite the fact that I should just have listened to the instruction that I was given and to pass that instruction on, I in fact took a look at what was inside that big envelope and what I remember is that it appeared to me to be a postal item which was on it's way from Lesotho to Maputo and that the address on the item which I had to look at by I think using a pen in my hand and I moved some paper or some cover away and I believe that I saw the address, Edwardo Mondlane, the university, on the envelope inside. Now, Mr Chairman, I then took this envelope and I summoned Warrant Officer Raven and I asked him if he could do what I had been instructed to ask him to do and he told me that he would see what could be done and would report back to me.
Several, probably one or two days, or in that time frame, later, Warrant Officer Raven came back to me and said "I have done what you asked." I remember at that stage, Mr Chairman, feeling uncomfortable in the sense that I said to Warrant Officer Raven, or I recollect saying to him, after I looked in the envelope and things didn't look any different to me, I said to him "are you telling me that this is a bomb and that if it exploded now, I would be killed and you would probably be killed and would blow this office up?" and he said "yes" and I then said "well, you know, let's get rid of this thing, I don't want it here" and I believe that I asked him to take the envelope and give it to the brigadier.
MR WILLIAMSON: It was, Mr Chairman and what happened - I don't remember how long, but some period of time later there was an intelligence report to the effect that there had been an explosion at the university in Maputo in the office of Ruth First and that she had been killed and at the next daily or I'm sure whether it was the daily or the weekly meeting of what was termed the "saamheerdering". When this point was just noted, Brigadier Goosen looked up, looked at me, nodded his head and that was it, Mr Chairman. I assumed from that that he was acknowledging that what had happened was as a result of the envelope that I or the I.E.D., that I had been requested to have manufactured.
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, I've read Mr Raven's application and the only comment I can really make is that my recollection is clear that I gave him two such separate instructions and I ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: No, Mr Chairman, besides the fact that Mr Raven seems to recollect my instructions as having been on one occasion and that he doesn't mention in the application perhaps that my recollection is that I also after having received the I.E.D. or having received the report from him that the I.E.D. had been successfully constructed that I asked him to take it for me to the brigadier.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, at the time of this instruction the war, if I can put it that way, between the security forces and the ANC/Communist Party Alliance was becoming more intense and I understood that an attack on a high-ranking member of that alliance would weaken the ANC/Communist Party Alliance, that would disrupt it's planning, disrupt it's strategy and I think a specific element that has to be borne in mind is that at that time the involvement of the ANC/Communist Party Alliance in Mozambique was at a particularly high level and that the security forces were particularly worried about the infiltration route into South Africa which was being conducted by Maputo and that in effect also in this specific instance the relationship between the ANC and Communist Party structures in Lesotho with the structures in Maputo were important and that on two levels, on the level of the operational attacks by the ANC and the Communist Party against South Africa it was important but that it would also be important in a wider political sense that either of the Slovos by very nature of the fact that they were involved at a high political level, also were to a large extent responsible for the relationship between the Communist Party and the ANC and the Frelimo Party in Mozambique which was at the time and still is, the government of Mozambique and the result of this good relationship between high-ranking members of the Communist Party and the ANC and the Frelimo top structures was that the ANC and Communist Party were being given the opportunity by the Mozambican government to work in Mozambique and to carry out attacks and planning from Mozambique which were aimed at South Africa.
MR WILLIAMSON: Well basically, Mr Chairman, any attack on the enemy has two effects, the one is the physical elimination of specific individuals and the second one is the psychological destabilisation, the frustration and the neutralisation of the organisation, the causing of fear and confusion and I can add in this regard, Mr Chairman, perhaps an example and that is that I remember at one stage as a result of attacks that were being carried out, a report came through intelligence channels, either through my sources or others but certainly came to my attention, that there was some type of a discord or even mutiny, I won't go as far as to say mutiny but discord and refusal to carry out orders by ANC cadres in Swaziland where they had been, low level cadres, had been ordered by their commanders to every morning, one of their jobs was to go out and start the cars and there was great happiness, even jubilation in security headquarters when the report came through that ANC cadres had refused to carry out such an order and would not go out and start the cars and that in fact some of them had been sent for discipline back to Angola because of refusing to carry out such an instruction and I'm just giving that as an example, Mr Chairman, that the reason why they didn't want to start the cars is because of on many occasions when a car was started, an explosion took place and people were killed and this just illustrated to me that there was a practical benefit to this psychological destabilisation and frustrating of the enemy.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, to go on I have to emphasise that at this time the South African Security Forces were in a full scale conflict with the ANC and the Communist Party and that the allies of the ANC and the Communist Party, starting with the Soviet Union but coming down to countries such as Mozambique, that were giving aid and assistance to the Communist Party were also regarded as being enemies and that at that time it had come to my knowledge as a member of the security forces and in particular in my job as an intelligence official, that this conflict was resulting in people dying, not only people in South Africa being killed by the ANC and the Communist Party but ANC representatives in foreign states and in particular neighbouring states were being killed. Mr Bizos, Mr Chairman, raised numerous names but I can draw ones attention to a name which he did mention, Joe Gwabie, the chief representative of the ANC in Zimbabwe. There had been one of the Matola raids that had taken place, the security forces had attacked Matola and Mozambique and killed and captured many members of the ANC. In 1982 I was personally involved, as I already described to the Committee, on the attack on the ANC office in London but it came to my attention that there were attacks on ANC and Communist activists in Swaziland and Mr Chairman, it had come to my attention obviously in December that there was the full scale attack by the South African Defence Force on Maseru and Lesotho which was aimed at the ANC and the Communist Party and I understood, Mr Chairman, that there was a State anti-terrorist strategy which included attacks on the ANC and the Communist Party representatives and bases outside South Africa and particularly, in particular in neighbouring states and that the idea behind these attacks was to frustrate and neutralise the enemy, to destabilise them, to force them to use manpower to defend themselves rather than to attack us and I have appended to my application, Mr Chairman, a document entitled "Binnelandse Bedreiging".
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman. It's headed "Binnelandse Bedreiging - Die African National Congress/ANC" starts from page 9 and Mr Chairman I want to refer to page, on page 9, the first sentence of "inleiding" first to explain, Mr Chairman ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: Page 9 of my application, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, you'll see in handwriting on that just to cover what I have been asked previously is the name Colonel Schoon and this will have been a copy of a chapter in the "Annual Intelligence Review."
MR WILLIAMSON: A chapter, I would believe chapter 6, which would have been headed "Binnelandse Bedreiging" and this would have been of the "Annual Intelligence Review" and this chapter would be the joint effort of the entire intelligence community but obviously because it related to the African National Congress, the co-ordinator of this chapter would probably have been the security police or, and members of the security branch and security headquarters. The reason why it's got Colonel Schoon's name was because I believe at that time he was the head of the group involved of ANC terrorism and I must have got this document from him at some stage or Brigadier Goosen got the document and sent it through to me for comment.
"It was especially in the foreign countries where the ANC launched it's onslaught, it had an extent of success and where the ground laid down for a potential influence on the international power bases could be continued"
So Mr Chairman, just to show that I had become aware, the intelligence community had become aware, that the ANC in 1982 was going to increase it's activities but that it was particularly in relation to what was called the external dimension, that attention would have to be given to them. If we go to page 10, paragraph 5, the last sentence basically:
In other words, Mr Chairman, the ANC was going to continue to make every effort to increase it's activities in neighbouring states. I then, Mr Chairman, refer you to page 13 of my application, paragraph 10 there:
"The ANC's foreign aims was aimed at the obtaining of international support and with that to discredit and isolate the R.S.A. of all power bases. In general, it would seem that the organisation during this time made progress and made some breakthroughs in certain areas"
Again, Mr Chairman, the opinion of the intelligence community at that time was that outside South Africa, the ANC was making progress, not only progress but "wesenlike vordering" in their aims and objectives. I then refer you, Mr Chairman, to page 15 of this application, paragraph 14, the second sentence:
"If the acts of terror of the past year has to be analysed, it would be accepted that railway lines, police stations, power installations, State buildings and petrol tanks had to be the main target"
"These ANC terrorist are trained in Angola and afterwards are sent to Russia and East Germany for specialised training. The standard of training is high and the general motivation amongst the members of the ANC terrorists is good."
So Mr Chairman, we were faced by an enemy that had targets identified, or categories of targets identified and that was receiving the military training from the Soviet Union and East Germany as well as from States in Southern Africa like Angola, which were at that time virtually vassal States of the Soviet Union. I then go on, Mr Chairman, the second last paragraph where the report says:
"Since the Matola attack on the 30th January 1981, the ANC uses large numbers of terrorists to protect camps, buildings and personnel in Angola and Mozambique and secure against further onslaughts or attacks."
Mr Chairman, this I believe confirms number one, my belief that the ANC had armed elements involved with the Soviet Union and others, but also in the last paragraph that I've quoted shows that South African attacks against the ANC had a result that the ANC then had to then use their own personnel in a defensive capacity to a greater extent and the more people that they were forced to use in a defensive capability, the less people they had to attack South Africa.
"They received their weapons and explosives in so-called dead letter boxes, DLB'S, that come from Maputo."
This is purely to show, Mr Chairman, that the opinion, the joint opinion of the intelligence community in South Africa at that time was that Maputo was a key area or staging point for the ANC and the Communist Party.
"Since 1976, one hundred and seventy three acts of terror were committed in the R.S.A., eight acts in 1976, twenty eight in 1977, thirty four in 1978, twelve in 1979, nineteen in 1980 and fifty five in 1981 and twenty seven from the 1st January 1982 to the 20th September 1982."
And I assume, Mr Chairman, that the reason for that date is that it was probably September 1982 that this report was being drawn up. But basically, Mr Chairman, the report goes on in the third last line of 15 to say that:
And Mr Chairman, that just goes to emphasis that the security police, not only regarded the ANC as a general problem in that it was a terrorist organisation attacking generally targets in South Africa aimed at destabilising and perhaps overthrowing the South African Government, but there was also an element that was developing of war between the organisations between the ANC and the Communist Party and the police.
MR LEVINE: (continues) Mr Williamson, at the short adjournment you were some way through annexure A to your application in this particular matter and that runs from page 9 to page 25. You mentioned there were a few more matters you wish to raise?
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, if I could just finish paragraph 15? I made the comment about the belief that there was in the security forces and in particular the police that there was this developing war not only between the ANC and the South African State but also that there was a more personal direct war developing between the South African Police and the ANC/Communist Party Alliance and there is a book, Mr Chairman, that has been written by my former commander, General Stadler, called "The Other Side of the Story" and just for the information of the Committee, Mr Chairman, that in that book in his conclusion, page 175 of that book, General Stadler deals with terrorist attacks on South Africa from the period of 1976 until 1990 and the target ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: Page 175 of General Stadler's book "The Other Side of the Story." The target in 485 incidents out of approximately 1400 were police and that's just, Mr Chairman, as an illustration of that at the time and a belief which was confirmed time after time after time, was that there was this Police/ANC war almost as a sub-chapter to the overall terrorist war against South Africa.
"The terrorists travelled by aeroplane from Maputo to Maseru from where with the help of Martin Hani and S.M. Vuso, two trained ANC terrorists who lived in Lesotho, infiltrated into the Transkei"
"There is currently 150 ANC members in Lesotho and approximately 40 of them have received military training."
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Commissioner, it's page 18 and 19 of my application in bundle 1. The reason why I emphasise this, Mr Chairman, is because at that time I was aware of this specific attempt by the ANC and the Communist Party to develop infrastructures in all the neighbouring states as well as in Lesotho which could be used to attack South Africa and this relates, Mr Chairman, to the fact that the communication which I believe had been intercepted and which was used to convey the I.E.D., the improvised explosive device, which resulted in the death of Ruth First was a communication between Lesotho and Maputo.
"Viewed in general, the single largest factor of countries neighbouring South Africa, which prevents countries neighbouring to South Africa and gives political and military support to the ANC would be the economic dependence of the Republic. Fear of possible South African witch hunts was a further determining factor."
Mr Chairman, this reflects the attitude in the security forces and the attitude that I had, that one of the ways to inhibit ANC and Communist Party terrorist activities from the neighbouring states was their fear for possible South African pre-emptive or hot pursuit strikes.
"A further factor in this instance was increasing, that there would be revenge to the South African acts of aggression and this feeling came to the fore recently during the funeral of Ruth First."
Now Mr Chairman, I remember specifically that in the input into this Annual Intelligence Review that I and my section had put in this information that there was amongst the ANC cadres a feeling that they were frustrated and they wanted the organisation to commit acts of revenge against the South African State and the South African Security Forces for what they termed "our acts of aggression against their organisation." So this, Mr Chairman, was in an intelligence review situation, a projection or a warning which was included in this report and if I can take you to page 22 and paragraph 24, the second last sentence:
"To take into account that the ANC after Ruth First's death would possible pay the R.S.A. back in a similar manner."
I remember specifically that this input in this report came from me and my section. Mr Chairman, this doesn't only reflect what my personal opinion and the opinion of my section at that time, but I raise it in the sense that the intelligence review did not question who had killed Ruth First. The attitude in the security forces at the time on where these things were discussed was that this had been done in somehow or in some manner by the South African Security Forces and the only discussion to my knowledge that went on about, in particular the death of Ruth First, was a discussion relating to the fact that we had to be careful because the ANC may attempt to - I don't know how to translate: "gelyke munt" but might try to pay back South Africa in it's own currency as a reprisal for what had been done. So a warning was put into the Annual Intelligence Review for 1982/1983 that we had to be careful that there were not, or the ANC did not successfully carry out attacks on prominent South Africans or their families.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, this Annual Intelligence Review was a document of the State Security Council circulated to the entire top structure of the South African Government and civil service at the time.
MR WILLIAMSON: Absolutely, Mr Chairman. So Mr Chairman, I think that brings me to the end of the specific points in that document which I wished to bring to the Committee's attention as part of my explanation of the justification for the act for which I am applying for amnesty.
MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman, basically the point I'm trying to make is that the document reflects the attitude of the time and lends justification to the fact that I felt that the act that we carried out was justified and in fact I was absolutely not surprised by the instruction that I was given and that I assumed that the instruction that I was given and it was part of our strategy and the overall political military strategy against the ANC in particular at that time in Maputo and relating to Maputo, Lesotho and the other so-called front-line states.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, when I spoke previously about the Slovos, I spoke in a more academic context, not having known either of them very well and having known them more as top level ANC and Communist Party functionaries and personnel but in the case of Marius Schoon, Jeanette Schoon, I knew them far better. Also not only because of my infiltration operations during the '70s when I was involved with the ANC and Communist Party people who were unaware that I was a member of the security police but also because once I became the Section Head of Intelligence at police headquarters from 1980 when I returned to South Africa, my section was in particular involved with the monitoring of ANC activities in Botswana which included the activities of Marius and Jeanette Schoon. So Mr Chairman, I can say that for many years the security forces in general, the security police in particular regarded the Schoons as important members of the ANC structure, particularly in what the ANC termed as the forward area of Botswana and ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, they - their organisations were regarded as a threat to South Africa and they as the operators involved in management or leadership structures in the ANC were regarded as a threat to South Africa.
MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, I would like you to address a document dated 12th May 1997, it is styled "Further submissions and responses by the African National Congress to questions raised by the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation" and I know we are here dealing with the second application, that is the application regarding Mrs Schoon. Would you have a look though at item 4.2 on page 40? If you could just in passing deal with that?
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman, these are some pages, page 36, page 40, page 41, page 43, page 49, taken from this ANC submission to the TRC and on page 40 at the bottom item 4.2, the ANC state that their special operations unit commanded by Joe Slovo. I apologise, Mr Chairman, I forgot to, when I spoke about Joe Slovo, I forgot to mention that after 1980 or from 1980 to 1983 he was the commander of the special operations unit of the ANC.
"during this period were Billy Masetla, Keith Mohape, Dan Ghlumi, Marius and Jenny Schoon, Patrick Fitzgerald (the latter three were forced to leave Botswana during this period) Wally Seroti, Tabang Makwetla and Hassan Ebrahim."
If I may comment, Mr Chairman, the latter three being forced to leave Botswana during this period according to intelligence information that came to my attention at the time, the ANC received information about the possibility of the - I'm not sure about Patrick Fitzgerald, but certainly that the Schoons were in danger of being killed in an attack by the South African Security Forces and that they left Botswana and at first, if my information and my memory is correct, went to London.
MR WILLIAMSON: Page 49, Mr Chairman, paragraph 5.8.2. The heading "Botswana R.P.M.C. 1983 to 1985. This was the Botswana Regional and Political Military Committee -Council. Sorry Mr Chairman, this is after the Schoons had left Botswana. I'm referring to Angola 5.3.7 from 1983 to 1985. May I just refer the Committee to 1, the first sentence
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, early in 1984 I was given an instruction to go to the office of Brigadier Piet Goosen, my group head, and he had with him in a large envelope a communication, a postal item which was I believe an intercepted communication between the ANC in Botswana addressed to Marius and Jeanette Schoon in Lubango, Angola and my information at that time, Mr Chairman, was that the Schoons had in fact London and had gone to Angola as we mentioned before which was I think regarded not only by the ANC but by ourselves as a military area of a different nature to for example Maputo or Gabarone. Maputo and Gabarone were so-called forward areas but Angola was - and the forward areas, Mr Chairman, to which we had access but Angola was a denied military area, that was a war zone if I can put it like that.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, I was - Brigadier had this communication and asked me if I thought that Jerry, that is Warrant Officer Raven, could make a similar device to that which had been sent to Maputo and which had killed Ruth First to replace the contents of this communication. I told the Brigadier that I would request Jerry to see what he could do.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, at the time of the London operation I believe Warrant Officer Raven was stationed with the explosives secretariat or directorate which Colonel Coetzee talked about and after that operation he was transferred to my section.
MR WILLIAMSON: Under my command yes. Intelligence section or the intelligence - Mr Bizos alluded I think to it in his cross-examination, Mr Chairman, the intelligence section was a group under the command of Brigadier Goosen. I was a section head under that and there were several other sections but in practical terms all of the other sections below I think we were then termed G1, all the other Sections like G2, G3, G4, one of which was a technical section reported to me and I reported to the brigadier. So in fact I believe, under correction Mr Chairman, that the technical section was in fact commanded by Warrant Officer Raven, so he was the head of the technical section which then reported to me.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, I heard that also in previous evidence. I don't believe so, I think we started off under Group A and we later on became Group G and I think shortly after I left the South African Police it may have become Group D but I don't it was ever Group D when I was in it.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, in the case of this specific incident I took more notice of the envelope, of the communication, because of the fact that obviously I had more interest in the matter in that I knew the particular people who were now being targeted and I gave as I said the contents or the envelope to Warrant Officer Raven and some day or so later he came back to me with it, said he'd carried out my instruction and I asked him to take the item to the brigadier. I asked him or somebody else, I believe it was him, to take it to the brigadier and I was not in any further way involved from that moment, Mr Chairman.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman a long time later. So long that I had thought that we would never hear of the envelope again. I can't remember how long but it could even be in the region of six months, it was an extraordinarily long period of time. I hear that there had been an explosion in a house in Lubango and that Jeanette Schoon and her young daughter had been killed.
MR WILLIAMSON: I did not Mr Chairman, I neither asked where it had come from nor asked how it was going, I speculated obviously to myself and I applied very strictly the rule of need to know and I did not need to know.
MR WILLIAMSON: Because Mr Chairman, that is why I did not need to know. I accepted that in the - I think Mr Chairman, I've thought about this for many years and there comes a great difficulty in ones life when you carry out a attack on a target which you don't know and have no personal connections, it's one thing but when you know an attack is going to be made on people that you know, it's another. It was a matter of great difficulty, Mr Chairman and I accepted in the context of the time that the attack was probably going to be carried out. I accept it in the context of the time that the individuals concerned were my enemy and were the enemy of the South African Government and the enemy of the South African Security Forces but that didn't make it any more easy, Mr Chairman. In fact it made it more difficult that is why I passed on the instruction and that was it, Mr Chairman.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, exactly as the political objective in the previous target of the Slovos and that was to damage and weaken the ANC/Communist Party Alliance through killing or injuring their key personnel particularly those involved in operations against the South African State and to disrupt their operations both in Angola and in Botswana and then secondly, Mr Chairman, to psychologically destabilise them, to sow fear and confusion in their ranks, in particular Mr Chairman, because if such an attack was successfully carried out in a so-called denied area or rear area like Angola, like Lubango was in 1984 where the ANC would perhaps not expect our security forces to be able to strike, that this would intensify the psychological effect on them and therefore be of benefit to the security forces in South Africa and their war against the ANC and the Communist Party.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, for a number of years both Marius Schoon, I think even longer than Jeanette Schoon, Marius Schoon and Jeanette Schoon were long term opponents of the South African Government, long term members of the ANC and were involved in a relatively high profile way in furthering the revolutionary aims and objectives of the alliance against South Africa and had for many, many years, Mr Chairman been the object or the prime object of surveillance by the South Africa's Intelligence Services and Security Forces and must have, in my opinion Mr Chairman, been important targets in terms of South Africa's counter-revolutionary strategy and the fact Mr Chairman that the Schoons were no longer in Botswana or in London but were now in Angola made me even more convinced of their important role in the ANC/Communist Party onslaught against South Africa and at that time also, Mr Chairman, as far as Angola is concerned, my section's intelligence capability was not particularly high or good but there were other sections of the security police and of military intelligence that were active in Angola and I remember specifically that once it came to our attention that the Schoons were, had in fact moved into Angola from London that the general opinion was that they had gone there to play an even more profile role in the command and operation structures of the ANC as an organisation and as I said or referred to a bit earlier, Mr Chairman, in 1984 the involvement or the situation in Angola was a high profile military situation or it was I think I used the term a war zone, Mr Chairman.
If I could go into some small detail just to illustrate this fact, if we look in my application relating to the Schoons, Mr Chairman, to some of the appendices to that document, I don't want to deal with the first two though they do just give a general overview of the military and security situation in Southern Africa and the Soviet involvement in Southern Africa at the time. I want to refer specifically to Moscow's political and military offensive in Africa. A briefing paper by the Washington based Meldon Institute which Mr Chairman starts at page 31 of my application and I want to refer to page 33. The introduction, Mr Chairman:
"The Soviet Union now considers sub-Sahara Africa to be a main theatre in which it will actively confront Western interests during the next decade"
"yet new Soviet political and military initiatives launched this autumn towards Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and other Southern African States received little attention in the Western media."
"The short term target of these Soviet political and diplomatic moves is South Africa. The military aid packages which are being planned with Zimbabwe, Mozambique (and other front line States) include comprehensive air defence systems involving sophisticated radar target acquisition and fire control systems, surface to air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery systems similar to those installed and already operational in Mozambique and Angola. These air defence systems could be useful in the near future against South African air strikes on bases in those countries made available to the terrorist forces of the Marxist led ANC and SWAPO which have been supported politically, logistically and militarily by the U.S.S.R. for more than twenty years."
Mr Chairman, this document is a political analysis by a Washington based conservative think tank, this is not a South African military document and this goes to show the idea which, or that our opinion of ANC activities in Angola and our opinion of their links with the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union's overall goal being a surrogate attack on South Africa, was not something purely of our mind set. This was an idea which had currency throughout conservative political circles in the Western world.
MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman. If we could go to page 58, Mr Chairman, which is the map appended to that document. Just of a matter of interest, this is a map of Angola's air defences at the time giving some information on the air defence anti-air missile defence systems, Soviet manufactured system, the so-called SAM systems, SAM-3, SAM-2, SAM-5, SAM-8 as well as the anti-aircraft systems that were in place in Angola and I draw your attention to the fact, Mr Chairman, that the town of Lubango where this attack on the Schoons took place is possibly besides Kahama which was slightly to the South - I mean Kahama was an Angolan Airforce base but Lubango as a town was probably the most heavily defended town in Angola at that time and it just goes to illustrate, Mr Chairman, that my belief and the belief of others in the intelligence community that the Schoons were escalating their involvement in the struggle against South Africa was given impetus by the fact that they had gone specifically to Lubango because of the role of Lubango at that time in the war.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, our South African groups were in Angola all during this period of time right up until, in fact it was escalating from this time right up until the so-called battle for Quito Quanavalle which took place in about, started approximately '86, approximately two years later and then after that, Mr Chairman, the peace process gathered impetus. But in 1984, Mr Chairman, the war was on.
MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman and just to comment further on that I have no documentation but at the time in our intelligence organisations the allegation was made that the Schoons were in fact specifically sent to Lubango to co-operate with the Cuban Forces that were very strongly there and that were assisting in the development of this air defence system in Angola.
MR WILLIAMSON: And that the specific allegation that did come from military intelligence because I was asked if I had any information to corroborate the information that they had, was that the Schoons language ability was in some way to be used by the Cubans in Lubango. I reported back, Mr Chairman, at that time that I had no information about the Schoon's involvement but that request from an intelligence point of view was put to me.
MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman, this Meldon Institute Report basically gives a lot of confidential military information which existed at the time which had obviously been leaked to the Meldon Institute for political purposes so that it could make a political issue of the build up of Soviet and Cuban equipment in Angola but that paragraph on page 55 "The Angolan Arsenal" makes very clear and I read it
"Angola's military organisation consists of a conscript force of eighty thousand people in a population of less than eight million. Military branches .." etc. etc.
it goes on but then it says that 15 regiments of the Cuban Fuerras Armardas Revolutionarias, the F.A.R. are in Angola and at full strength, the Cuban regiment is two thousand men and according to UNITA another six thousand Cubans and military personnel are so-called "hidden" in allegedly civilian but thoroughly militarised construction brigades. Mr Chairman, it goes on - that whole paragraph goes on to give figures from James Intelligence Review about the Soviet aircraft deployment tanks, surface to air missiles, etc. Basically the purpose of this whole document was to try on a political level expose, as they put in their conclusion, the quantitative and qualitative size of the Soviet/Cuban build up and in the next document, Mr Chairman, I'll deal in slightly more detail with the fact that the South African Security Forces at the time regarded the especially the Cuban build up in the Lubango area and Southern Angola as one of the biggest military threats to South Africa at that time and that the potential of the build up of these forces in that area could be that it would inhibit our South African Security Forces efforts to undertake strikes against the terrorist movements based there and in particular SWAPO and the ANC. So Mr Chairman, if I can go on to page 60 of the appendix to my application.
"The Military Threat against the R.S.A. and South West Africa. The interpretation and in connection with taking into consideration the developments during the 1983/1984 year of report."
Now in the same way Mr Chairman is the previous document that I referred to from the Annual Intelligence Review which related to the "ANC aanslag" - this specifically is a chapter that relates to the military threat and this would have mainly then have been drawn up by the South African Defence Force but would have been circulated amongst the rest of the security forces and intelligence community and we would finally have come to a final chapter version of it which then through the branch of the Secretariat of the State Security Council called T.N.V. - the Tak Nasionale Vertolking, the National Interpretation Branch, I believe, once they had approved of this as the overall opinion of all the intelligence or the whole intelligence family, this would have then been submitted as a chapter in the intelligence review which then would have been circulated to the upper levels of South African Government.
"Development with regard to military assistance by the Soviet Bloc States during 1983/84 is as follows
i) "In Angola there was a sharp increase in the delivery of weaponry by the U.S.S.R., Soviet Union with the emphasis on main equipment, attack aeroplanes and attack helicopters, Cuban troop presence had increased to a total of thirty thousand six hundred and the involvement of Soviet instructors has expanded to brigade level."
(ii) "The so-called front line States reaffirmed their political diplomatic and moral support to the ANC, PAC and SWAPO and political/diplomatic representation. This organisation is allowed by all the neighbouring countries of South Africa including Swaziland."
"It has used as cover for ANC military activities with the result that Angola presently serves as a most important training area for both SWAPO and the ANC."
"The Soviet Union's military strategy with regard to the R.S.A. is still directed at indirect action i.e. a revolutionary onslaught. Part of this indirect strategy is a continued weapon supply programme to Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Lesotho with which it is still busy disturbing the military power balance in Southern Africa merely with regard to the availability of the military equipment to the detriment of the R.S.A. In this way the U.S.S.R. continued on the one hand to try and secure SWAPO and ANC bases areas and on the other hand to create a strategic mobility in the region."
I think Mr Chairman, that makes the opinion of the Defence Force and the defence family and security and defence and intelligence community in South Africa very clear with relation to the Soviet Union, it's strategy against South Africa, it's involvement in Angola and the fact that part of it's strategy was to assist in the protection of SWAPO and ANC rear areas or bases areas. Then Mr Chairman, on page 77 to continue with this line of thought, under D at the bottom of the page - "Air Defence"
(i) "During the past number of years especially Angola and Mozambique with the assistance of the U.S.S.R. placed emphasis on the expansion of their air defence capabilities."
Mr Chairman, that just goes on to make it more clear that we saw the Soviet involvement not only on a strategic level as anti-South African and the fact as a surrogate war but on a tactical level that the Soviet involvement in countries like Angola and specifically Angola was of such a nature that it was providing a protective umbrella under which the ANC was hiding safe from South African attack or relatively safe from South African attack.
So Mr Chairman, from a political justification point of view I can only say that at the time that it happened and in the context that I as the head of the intelligence section of the police and involved in the inter-action between the police and the rest of the community, the intelligence community as well as in attempting to gather other information about the onslaught of the ANC against South Africa, I knew that Lubango where the Schoons were living was well protected by Cuban and Angolan troops and I knew that Angola and these areas were this staging or basis area for the ANC in it's onslaught against South Africa. I knew that the Schoons were high level officials in the organisation and did not surprise me when I was given the order to assist with an attack on them because of the political effect that such a successful attack would have.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, in the same regard as we discussed relating the application for the Ruth First incident it appears to me from reading the documents that Mr Raven believed that I had given him the instruction to manufacture the two separate I.E.D.'s on the same occasion but Mr Chairman my recollection is clear that it was certainly on two different occasions, approximately two years apart.
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I also read the comment that Mr Raven recollects me having made at the time and I just want to say absolutely that I know that I would not have made such a comment. It was not me who made such a comment but I also accept that in the context of the time and in the context of perhaps some occasion at which the fact that Jeanette Schoon had been killed with her daughter in a bomb explosion in Lubango had been discussed, that somebody may well have made such a comment, it's not - that type of attitude is not strange to me and I just want to say to the Commission that while I did not make this comment about the child which I think is on page 109 of Mr Raven's application and of the same bundle that we are discussing, Volume 2. On many occasions when we had discussions and I talked to my men and women that served under me, dehumanising of the enemy occurred and I don't believe that I or other people in the security forces involved in this type of war could have in fact done what was done if they saw the enemy as individual human beings and I think with this type of comment is understandable in the sense that there a psychological process taking place where somebody was dehumanising the enemy and if I can just finish that Mr Chairman and to say that on this application that when I heard what the results of this attack had been, when I was told that the child had been killed, it was like being hit with a bucket of cold water and up until that moment I'd had no idea in fact that the children were in Lubango and I - there's nothing that's ever happened in my life that I regret more.
MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, although the relevance escaped me somewhat, Mr Bizos mentioned in his cross-examination of General Coetzee that you had officiated as best man at the wedding of Mr Charles Nupen. Would you care to comment about that?
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, during my time undercover working with all sorts of people, most of them opponents of the South African Government at the time, I became friendly with many people and I have in my life officiated as best man or master of ceremonies at many, many people's weddings.
MR WILLIAMSON: I was, Mr Chairman, with him and his wife and this friendship is on a personal level and in that case I remember that Charles and Drenée Nupen were certainly opponents of the South African Government, but I never knew them as members or office bearers or functionaries of the South African Communist Party or the ANC.
MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman, the State Security Council membership was set down according to statute by law and I was never a member nor ever attended - I did of course attend committee meetings with the secretariat of the State Security Council and the whole octopus structure that existed as part of that secretariat.
MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, in cross-examination of General Coetzee and my learned friend Mr Bizos dealt with an article or a publication by General Fraser. What are your views in regard to that particular article. Can you give the Commission any background in your researches in and to that article?
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, the article or the book publication by Brigadier Fraser, General Fraser, is one of a whole myriad of academic and other studies on revolutionary and counter-revolutionary war and the type of war situation which South Africa found itself in at that time and I've never particularly studies the Fraser article, I have of course had occasion to make a study of many of the other publications and documents that have been written and published in relation to that counter revolutionary struggle and war and I did make an effort in Cape Town in front of the armed forced hearings before the TRC to give a very limited explanation of the different theories which pertained at the time.
MR LEVINE: Well we'll come to your memorandum and your appearance in regard to the military forces shortly, but for this moment I would like to show you a document which is an organogram styled "Nasionale Bestuurstelsel" and it's a double sided document, I think it would be Exhibit O.
MR WILLIAMSON: First, Mr Chairman, the document's got two sides, it's got a page number 45 and 45a. On 45 we've got the Nasionale Bestuurstelsel", that's the National Management System. This was more than then just I think a National Security Management System, this was the National Management System. It starts at the top with the State President and in fact Mr Chairman, perhaps I should inform that this document in fact didn't come to me during my time in the security forces, that in 1987 I was appointed to the President's Council down in Parliament in Cape Town and I arranged for a briefing by various members of the security forces to the President's Council and this in fact comes from the record of that briefing.
Mr Chairman, we've got the State President at the top of the system, under him the cabinet and then on the left hand side the S.V.R, that's the Staats Veiligheid Raad and then, Mr Chairman I apologise, the Committees on the right hand side K.K.S. and K.K.E. and K.K.M. - I don't know the names but I assume that M. is "maatskaplik" and E. is "ekonomies", I don't know what S. is. Anyway then underneath to get to the security related ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: It could be Staatkundig, yes Mr Chairman. So constitutional, economic and social, yes. Then under the State Security Council we have the W.K. which I believe is the werk komittee and then it goes down to the secretariat of the State Security Council and then we have on the right hand side an organisation called the N.G.B.S. Now this is the "Nasionale Gesaamenlike Bestuurstelsel" or sentrum.
MR WILLIAMSON: "Die Nasionale Gesaamenlike Bestuurs", I believe sentrum. Mr Chairman, I'm informed in fact on General Stadler's book on page 151 there is an English version similar to this secretariat, this organogram and it is Constitutional affairs, Economic Affairs, Social Affairs and it is the - it doesn't have N.G.B.S. here.
MR WILLIAMSON: Anyway Mr Chairman, so the National N.G.B.S. was a committee in fact chaired by a Deputy Minister and then under this system it goes down to the G.B.S. and there were in fact as it says there, times twelve, Gesaamelike Bestuurstelsels and I think General Coetzee in his evidence referred to them as joint management centres and in fact it did go on further, there was so-called mini G.B.S. joint management centres which I believe went down to something like six hundred mini G.B.S. across the country. Now from the mini G.B.S. to the G.B.S. all this structure and the secretariat state civil servants drawn from the various Government departments were in the management structures of this organisation. Once it got up to the N.G.B.S. it became the political control level where a deputy minister then received the information from the civil service below and when I say civil service I include the security forces and this information then was fed up via the Werk Komittee and the State Security Council and on a political level I believed directly either to the cabinet or to the State President.
MR LEVINE: Very well, you will also see that there's a solid black line leading from the N.G.B.S. both downwards to the Gesaamenlike items plus it leads upwards straight to the State President, missing out the cabinet.
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes there is, Mr Chairman, this is as it was presented to us at the President's Council. The only comment that I can make there is that at that time I believed there was such a line and also I think that perhaps this - I'm not sure really what it indicates but I think it indicates that from the N.G.B.S. once the information had arrived at the N.G.B.S. and then to the State Security Council, the information was in political hands and I'm sure that other people more qualified than I can probably explain the relationship between the State President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers but I'm certain that the communication between the State President and Ministers and Deputy Ministers didn't only take place on a formal cabinet level through the cabinet.
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes on the other side Mr Chairman, this is just giving the structure of the N.G.B.S. and the different Committees that functioned and fed information into the N.G.B.S. and that NASVEI would be Nasionale Veiligheid, SEM -maybe somebody can help me. KOM would be kommunikasie, GIK was definitely related to intelligence and then from the Nasionale Veiligheid, from the Security Committee it went down to the G.B.S.'s which themselves had other committees relating to strategic communication security intelligence. This is where the joint management system of the State took place and related to the co-ordination of the total State effort against the total onslaught which was being waged against South Africa at that time because the overall onslaught against South Africa was not only of a military nature, it was also of a political and economic and other natures. So the theory was that in order to resist and defend and defeat the total onslaught, one had to have a total strategy and that your total strategy had to be based on a hierarchy of co-ordination of the entire resources of the State against the enemy onslaught.
MR WILLIAMSON: In each administrative area and I believe again under correction that we had 12 G.B.S.'s which coincided with the military command areas. They either coincided with the military or the police command areas in South Africa but I believe it was the military areas and so that for example in the Witwatersrand you would have a G.B.S. dealing with the Witwatersrand. In the Eastern Cape etc., you would have G.B.S., Joint Management Centre, and there on that level all the civil servants from the various departments involved in the co-ordinated strategy against the onslaught would work together. All the information on any incident for example and this went down then, Mr Chairman, which isn't on here, to mini G.B.S.'s so for example in the Witwatersrand area you couldn't only just have one G.B.S. because obviously it was a very complex area with a lot of things happening so you would have a mini G.B.S. which would report to the G.B.S. and these were all manned by police, army and government department officials.
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, as I said I believe I said it was laid down by statute, by law, this was in fact the Cabinet Committee on Security and the membership of that Committee was laid down - was the Head of State, the Prime Minister or the State President at different times and then Senior Cabinet Ministers and then the Directors General of certain Government departments for example the police and the military but obviously, in the context Mr Chairman, the most important members were the Head of State, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Law and Order or Police, the Directors General or Commissioners or Chief of the Defence Force and Police and then Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs and various other Government Departments.
MR WILLIAMSON: The Secretariat was the - differently to many other cabinet committees. State Security Council was a full time body of civil servants, many of whom were military officers, many of whom were police officers, many of whom were foreign affairs officers, many of whom were officers from Home Affairs, National Intelligence and various other Government departments who had been seconded to the Secretariat so they no longer reported in line function to the department head from which they came, they now reported to the head of the Secretariat of the State Security Council and their job was the co-ordination and administrative control of the structure of the State Security Council which worked in two ways, the information flowed upwards, Mr Chairman, there were various committees of the Secretariat for example. One I mentioned previously in my evidence the T.N.G. Tak Nasionale Vertolking where information was fed in and an overview was created, in other words the information then that went on into the State Security Council was no longer solely the information of one department or the opinion of one department or the recommendation of one department. This was now a joint recommendation or a joint opinion or a joint information and this information then went up with the system and in order to assist the State Security Council to understand the security situation facing the country and to make decisions and recommendations based on that information and then the Secretariat role would be to pass on the decisions made higher up from the State President through the cabinet and so on back down the line to make sure that the N.G.B.S. and the G.B.S. system was doing - Mr Chairman if I tell you, there were things called strategies so a strategy would be laid down by the State Security Council for example Strategie Nommer 6 or Strategie Nommer 44 and this would cover a particular aspect of the revolutionary or the counter-revolutionary onslaught and then it was the job of the Secretariat to monitor the implementation of that strategy and to make sure that the departments were correctly interpreting the strategy, carrying out the strategy and there were, Mr Chairman, what was called "nodale punte" - nodule points I believe in English but nodale punte is what they were called in each department which connected that department to the Secretariat of the State Security Council system and in theory I could never get an order from outside my line function but in reality Mr Chairman, it happened that - and I will give you an example, Mr Chairman. At the time of the media hearings of the TRC I in fact used this example not in this context. I was asked if we'd ever monitored journalists and I gave an example of a journalist which we had monitored.
Now, Mr Chairman, that instruction, that particular instruction, came to me when my line function boss, Brigadier Goosen, ordered me as a result of an order to him or information to him from the nodale punt to go to a sub-committee meeting of somewhere in the Secretariat of the State Security Council. When I got there I was told there's a particular problem, it had to do, I remember Mr Chairman, with the Armscor Four or whatever they were called, certain Armscor officials who'd been arrested in Britain and who'd be given bail and who'd come back to South Africa and then hadn't returned to Britain to undergo trial and I was told there was a journalist that was on the trail of these Armscor Four and of the whole co-operation between Armscor and certain companies in Britain there had been some arrests by British Police and Customs relating to sanctions, busting and weapon supplies and so on and theoretically, when I was told the problem, I should have then gone back to my line function chief and said in the co-ordination of the counter - of our security strategy, I've been told there's this problem and that we need to monitor this particular journalist.
In reality, Mr Chairman, it happened that in a fast moving world the theory and the practice in my experience didn't always accord and that when security action of whatever nature needed to take place and a quick decision had to be made that instructions could be issued through bodies related to the Secretariat of the State Security Council which of course were acquiesced to by my line function superior because he had sent me to go and get those instructions and to carry those instructions out, but in fact in that example that I remember specifically and in that type of situation, the formal structures of having to wait for commands to go up via the cabinet and the Minister and back again via the Commission to the Chief of Security and then through, didn't happen Mr Chairman. The Secretariat of the State Security Council was a big organisation, I referred to it earlier as an octopus, it was something that had it's tentacles right through South Africa and it had certainly to an extent in my experience Mr Chairman, a life of it's own.
MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman, still falling under the Revolutionary Council, it appears on the same level as the Angola Regional Command and then the Senior Organs in Maputo, Lesotho and Botswana then London is there as well.
"The Botswana I.P.C. 1976 - 1980 was led by Henry Makhote and Dan Khlomi. At various times Jenny and Marius Schoon, Patrick Fitzgerald, Magele Sexwale, Zakes Tolo, "a negro", also served on this structure."
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, we've had this debate about terminology both in front of this Committee and also in the armed forces committee and I've seen reports of other debates on the terminology and I think the only useful point that I want to make is to follow on the one that I made in front of the armed forces committee in Cape Town and that is to say that the type of terminology that was in current use when it came to a counter-revolutionary strategy at the time and I'm talking not only at the time of these documents 1986/1987 but in fact from earlier - was the terminology of words such as "elimineer, haal uit" - take out - and I've heard that people have said that the security forces and the operators lower down in the queue often misunderstood this terminology or could perhaps have misunderstood this terminology.
Mr Chairman, I just want to say that I actually believe the terminology went the other way, it didn't in fact - it was not initiated by the State Security Council or even the Secretariat of the State Security Council, it was not the politicians that started talking about eliminate and "haal uit", it was in fact the security forces because this was terminology that came not only from our war but from other wars. In fact I think Mr Chairman the term "haal uit" comes from the English "take out" and take out was in use in the Rhodesian Security Forces and also in Vietnam, Mr Chairman.
So when it came to expert advice being given to the Secretariat structures or to the State Security Council from military and police offices trained in counter-revolutionary warfare, the terminology which they used in their expert knowledge of counter-revolutionary strategy was the terminology that they commonly used and I don't - if there was a misunderstanding of what "elimineer" meant, then it wasn't the security forces, Mr Chairman, I don't think who misunderstood what "elimineer" meant. It was the people who reviewed documentation written by the security forces in which these words appeared and who may have or apparently had some other interpretation of what these words meant but in the finer ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman and you know I certainly don't believe that at any time the words when they were used on my level, on the operational level, meant anything different and in particular, Mr Chairman, where they related to cross-border or external operations, I cannot understand how they could have meant anything different. I would not have been able to get the help of the flying squad or something to go into a foreign country and make an arrest of an ANC official. So I just wanted to - I'm not relying specifically on these documents or what's said in these documents, I'm just talking about the general terminology that was used at the time.
MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, that may turn out to be unfortunate because you might remember that from the inception when we became involved in these hearings we resolved with the consent of the full Amnesty Committee at the time that we will mark our exhibits P1 to 10,000 whatever and I'm afraid there may just be a problem. Perhaps if you could just go over to Q it will solve that problem?
"that the state of circumstances from which an event proceeded can never be placed before the eye of the critic exactly as it lay before the eye of the person acting because above all it is almost impossible that the knowledge of the result should not have an effect on the judgement passed on events which preceded it."
Now, Mr Chairman, my evidence herein is not presented as expert testimony but is rather a summary of my understanding of the topic gained during my personal involvement in the conflicts of the past particularly from 1971 to 1991. Now during these years as I've already said I served firstly in the South African Police Security Branch and then in the South African Defence Force Directorate of Covert Collection and finally on the National Party's Parliamentary Caucus Defence Study Group as a member of the President's Council. An understanding of the motives and perspectives of those offices entrusted with the practical execution of the State's counter-revolutionary strategy must start with some examination of the theoretical tenets underpinning the strategy and the consequent tactics employed and during the period in question ...[intervention]
MR LEVINE: Is there anything that you feel pertaining to your memorandum as such, that would be the first ten pages, that you would like to draw specific attention of this Commission to, bearing in mind that the document is before the learned Commissioners for them to read?
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman, what I was saying that if we start with an examination of the theoretical tenets and the underpinning of the strategy and the consequent tactics, then I'd like to refer specifically to some of the documents which I have appended to my statement.
The first, Mr Chairman, is the very first document which is the Strategic Studies Honours Guide from the University of South Africa and I just want to refer the Committee there firstly to page 5 and Chapter 2 - The Nature of Internal War.
ADV DE JAGER: Sorry, Mr Levine, is there a possibility that these documents could be paginated from page 1 onwards to page whatever it may be because otherwise, really, even in the notes it would be difficult to find the document actually he is referring to every time.
MR WILLIAMSON: That's right, Chapter 2 - The Nature of Internal War and if one goes to the definition it's actually because two pages are copied together, it's actually page 5, you go to the definition of internal war, the working definition is: "A war amongst contenders for political power within a State where force has been substituted for normal political processes for reasons peculiar to each situation."
Then Mr Chairman, that same document, if we go to page 16 which is the Section 4.4 and the chapter on guerrilla warfare. The question is posed: "What role do external forces play in guerrilla warfare?" and at the bottom of page 16, the quote is:
"The more sophisticated the arms supplied from abroad and the greater their quantity, the more active the revolutionaries can be and the more difficult becomes the task of the Government under attack."
MR WILLIAMSON: It's the last paragraph of that page and I refer the Committee to the entire paragraph because this is to show that the theory of the countering of revolutionary or guerrilla warfare relates specifically to the evidence that I've already presented of South African Intelligence documentation about the supply of arms and weapons etc to the movements such as the ANC and the Communist Party and the quote goes on, after the first sentence
"This is complicated even further by the ability of the revolutionaries to obtain diplomatic and political aid from abroad where a revolt is supported by numerous countries and international institutions as a result of moral aversion to the Government under attack, it becomes difficult for friendly countries to provide open support and the isolation and demoralisation of the Government and the public becomes harder to avoid. This may be the case even where the Government under attack is being militarily successful."
Mr Chairman, I submit that that was largely the situation that we found ourselves contended with at this time in the South African revolutionary war. But now Mr Chairman, just to continue with - on the theory of counter-guerrilla war or guerrilla warfare and how it can be countered. Section 4.6:
If we go across the page to page 18 we will see a reference to McEwan, J.J. McEwan and the book is "The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War - The Strategy of Counter-Insurgency" and Mr Chairman, more than any other document which I know of and including all the other documents named in this guide, McEwan was relied on very heavily by the South African Security Forces in formulating a counter-revolutionary strategy and Mr Chairman, if you go to the last paragraph on that page which begins"
"If the Government wishes to avoid being outperformed or bested at the task of administration, it is axiomatic that it must have a clear political goal and comprehensive planning."
It then goes on Mr Chairman, to discuss the way in which the Government can achieve this goal and it uses the example of the uprising in Malaya and I submit Mr Chairman that the description there of what is required of the co-ordination of action that is required, explains why the joint management system and the Secretariat of the State Security Council system in South Africa evolved because this was a proven method of co-ordinating the State's counter-revolutionary strategy and I won't go into all the detail, Mr Chairman, of how it worked in Malaya but I think the parallels are very easy to see, Mr Chairman and I would submit that this goes right on to page 20, the description of the weekly meetings, the committee, the staff offices, the co-ordination, the line of command up and down, all of this Mr Chairman relates to the same type of strategy that was followed in South Africa.
MR WILLIAMSON: "Of Successful Colonial Counter-Insurgency Campaigns by a Liberal Democratic State - the Cases of Malaya and Kenya." This is an extract from a dissertation or a thesis in fulfilment of the requires of the Degree of Master of Arts and Strategic Studies at the University of South Africa by Edwardo Luiz Ruevo Serfa. Mr Chairman, this document also has it's own page numbers, you will see it starts with Chapter 2 - "Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency."
"A struggle between a non-ruling group and the ruling authorities in which the former consciously employs political resources and instruments of violence to establish legitimacy for some aspect of the political system it considers illegitimate. Legitimacy or illegitimacy refers to whether or not existing aspects are considered moral or immoral by the population or select elements therein."
"has grasped the importance of the factor of legitimacy which implies to the counter-insurgent the fundamental need to identify where such absence of legitimacy is located."
And O'Neal says that - if you go down to the next paragraph, the second from the bottom - he considers the existence of two types of insurgency - one is the conspiratorial carried out by small elite groups and the other is internal war. Now Mr Chairman, if we go to page 26 - 28, I want to refer to General - Sir Frank Kitson's quote which also relates, I believe, to Malaya but if we go on page 27 to the middle paragraph...
"The secondary, but nevertheless necessary role allocated by Kitson to military and police operations"
"is fully justified by the fact that the main threat challenging the incumbent authorities is not represented by the armed bands or light guerrilla forces scattered over a certain area but by an armed political organisation, protected by it's clandestine character, trying to impose it's will upon the populace hence the impossibility of achieving a victory without 'the complete destruction' of that organisation."
"The elimination of the guerrillas which should take place as early as possible is a goal which cannot be achieved before the political organisation that backs them has been destroyed."
"The disruption of the guerrillas' logistic network has as it's direct consequence the collapse of the guerrillas themselves."
"Bringing about the collapse of the insurgent political organisation is a complex process because mere police action is seldom sufficient to achieve such result and even more, to prevent the political infrastructure from being rebuilt by those militants who manage to evade arrest."
And if we go on Mr Chairman, to page 31, that same document, under a sub-heading "Legal Framework" and this Mr Chairman, relates to some of the evidence and cross-examination that has already taken place in this Committee. It says under Legal Framework that:
"The problem of the legal framework within which a counter-insurgency is conducted is extremely complex. There is the need to satisfy the following dual requirement - peace time legislation is totally unsuited to dealing with the problems created by an insurgency, yet such difficulties have to be solved in a way which will not be a negation of the most strict rule of law"
"This need for the most strict legality is admitted even by authors who cannot be considered supporters of democratic methods"
" that even when a given situation demands the most violent form of action, the most rigorous discipline has to be enforced to prevent wanton acts from being committed."
"The armed forces due to their own system of justice, especially conceived to control misdeeds committed by military personnel in the exercise of their duties have the means to guarantee respect for the rule of law."
"Security agencies cannot be allowed to defy the rule of law under the pretext of acting in such a way in order to protect legality."
"But even Wilkinson qualifies his views regarding this principle suggesting that minimum force is really effective only inside a State characterised by a high level of political consensus, social cohesion, co-operation and discipline."
And I think Mr Chairman, South Africa at that time could not have been regarded as such, but the point that I wanted to make Mr Chairman is that I did not regard any of the orders that I carried out as being acts of State terrorism. I regarded the acts as being carried out as counter-insurgency operations, sanctioned and ordered and which were not wanton acts and I think when we come to the type of debate about terrorist activities by the State we're talking, in my opinion Mr Chairman, more about wanton acts of terror, for example the Mai Lai incident during the Vietnam War where troops, not having been ordered to do so, commit atrocities and massacres of civilians.
And to continue, Mr Chairman, I want to refer to the next document that I submitted and that is an extract from a book "National Security - A Modern Approach" edited by Professor Michael Louw and here Mr Chairman, I have put in chapter 6, "The Military Aspects of National Security" by Lieutenant General J.R. Dutton S.M. and I think Mr Chairman, that this article is perhaps one of the most important relating from a South African perspective to the formation of the so-called National Security Management System, the total war response to the so-called total onslaught and if I can refer you to point 4 on page 106 and this is paginated at the bottom, it is more easy to see - of that document "Total War and National Security" - I don't want to read the whole thing Mr Chairman, it's just:
"The feature of total war as perceived, is that the defender is not presented with a demonstrable decisive target for riposte. In the global perspective, a solution could well be sought in the direct military confrontation between the superpowers where either the one or the other would be forced to surrender or risk a general war and nuclear devastation. At the present point in time a recourse to such a solution is most unlikely" etc. etc.
"increasingly audacious probing and manoeuvres of calculated brinkmanship and the extent of their impunity and success is demonstrated by their current activities in Southern Africa. On the local and regional levels, the problem for the defender is compounded by the diffusion of targets, clandestine, hostile activities and the restriction of the defenders freedom of action due to domestic and foreign alliance of causes and international sponsorship of the assault."
The ultimate causal factors that incite civil violence are the same as those which mass tanks and artillery across the border."
So in other words, Mr Chairman, he is saying that the riots, the mass mobilisation, the civil discontent going on in South Africa must be seen as - the cause of that must be seen as the same strategy and cause of the physical military confrontation that appeared to be developing.
Then, Mr Chairman from page 109 to page 110, he talks there about the strategy to oppose total war - the total strategy and he talks there about the problems of marrying the functional implementation of total strategy with ...[intervention]
"I've argued that the only effective strategy is to oppose total - the only effective strategy to oppose total war is a total strategy. It would be comparatively easy to explain the concept and even to formulate general guidelines for such a total strategy but when it comes to it's functional implementations in a democratic society, one comes up against formidable problems. The vaunted democratic principles of maximum decentralisation of power, autonomy of competence, free enterprise and consensus, presents serious obstacles which inhibit the realisation of the desirable strategy."
And Mr Chairman, I think that that's an important point in relation to some points that I'll make later and that is that we, as the security forces in South Africa in the 80's, were confronted often with problems of marrying the counter-revolutionary strategy which the security forces and the political command of the security forces regarded as necessary in the onslaught with the democratic, legal and political structures that were in place in the country.
Then, Mr Chairman, if we go on that same document to page 113, the paragraph at the bottom of the page labelled A, he talks there about the requirement for the application of total strategy would appear to favour a system of unified command, joint central planning, decentralised execution and sustained vertical and horizontal co-ordination. He says:
"As I have already indicated, this would apply not only at national level but at all different levels within all the different spheres of operation. Conventional organisation in democratic systems do not as a rule lend themselves to these procedures."
"Therefore organisational changes or adaptations would appear to be imperative. The extent of these adaptations is a strategic function in it's own right and must be determined as a corollary to the total strategy."
"I would submit that a nation's effective military capability is determined by the two major components of moral viability. Moral viability concerns once again all citizens of the State individually and collectively. It derives from the inherent qualities of the human material which constitute the population, their cultural heritage, their discipline, moral and solidarity. Moral viability requires vision and faith and an unswerving devotion to the doctrinal ideals and values underlying this vision and this faith."
Mr Chairman, I would submit that while many people would probably argue that the moral viability of South Africa at that stage when applied across the total population didn't mean that everybody in this country supported the security forces but if you take the security forces and the political structure of that which those security forces served at that time, I would say that one of the most important elements of our security forces at that time was the moral viability of those forces and the fact that we had an unswerving devotion to the doctrinal ideals and values underlying the vision that we had of the revolutionary onslaught against South Africa.
Mr Chairman, many of the other documentation now in this is documentation which I appended to show the armed forces hearings in Cape Town or to give them an illustration of the co-operation and the information given to the security forces in trying to understand the onslaught, so in that sense the next chapter or the next document is another chapter from the same book on National Security on Psychological Aspects of Military Action - A Critical Survey - but this is not by a South African, this is by an American Military officer. The next document is the "Geskiedkundige Agtergrond" South African Communist Party, it is a memorandum and a lecture document given to various members of the security branch on the Communist Party. The next document is one on terrorism, subversion and KGB methodology which again was lectures. In this case I'm the author of that document. The following document labelled "Soviet Intelligence Services" is a document on the Soviet Intelligence Services at the time and received by our security forces from international intelligence agencies. So we did not write this, we received this document as information from intelligence services, from an international intelligence services or another country's intelligence service, briefing us on the role and information on Soviet Intelligence Services.
So to the next document, Mr Chairman, the Japanese International Terrorist Identification book. The reason why I put that one in was because this is the level of co-operation - this demonstrates the level of co-operation that there was between the South African Security Forces and the Western - broadly - the Western Intelligence Agencies that were confronted by a Soviet inspired international terrorist onslaught, not only in South Africa but in many key areas of the Western world and I would - one of the key allies of the Western world at that time and still now is, Japan. So this just goes to show that we had an overall interest and involvement in Soviet promotion of terrorism throughout the world wherever this occurred.
Now Mr Chairman, the next document which is headed - is in English - and headed "Secret Summarised Minutes of Talks between South African and British Delegations on Security Matters - Pretoria 29 - 30th September 1983" is in fact a summary of the same document that I have already referred to but that one was in Afrikaans in the application for amnesty for the London bombing and this is the summarised minutes and I just want to refer there Mr Chairman to the page 16, 17 and 18. First 16 of these minutes. One reads page 16 in the middle where it says Brigadier van Tonder. This is part of the minutes summarising the discussion. Now as I said ...[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: And then on page 16 of that document Mr Chairman, we have Brigadier van Tonder. Now I just want to say again Mr Chairman, this information should never have been made public. The intention was never to make this public. This was not a public view of the South African and the British views on Soviet expansionism, the ANC, the use by the Soviets of surrogate terrorist forces etc., this was a private high level discussion between the foreign affairs and security and intelligence agencies of Britain and South Africa in which the onslaught by the Soviets was being discussed, co-operation was being discussed and the British attitude was being explained to the South Africans and the South African attitude to the British. Brigadier van Tonder says on page 16 that he could not accept the premise that by defending oneself one was furthering the Soviet goal. African countries espousing Marxism would stay dependent on Soviet Union since their government system made development impossible.
Then Dr. Barnard says - after the British delegate - Dr Barnard reacted by pointing out that the South African side did not only consider force - because the topic, Mr Chairman, at this discussion was very much focused on South Africa's use of force against Soviet surrogates in the region. So Dr Barnard said that the South African side did not only consider force but it was a way - the U.K. thought so too during the Falklands war. South Africa thought that realistically seen, the R.S.A. had a balanced answer.
And then Mr van Dalsen goes on to say that since South Africa was being threatened it would not be possible to convince the South Africans and he means there the public, the people, the voters, with anything sounding like an experiment and I think, Mr Chairman, what he meant there was that the South African people at that time regarded the policy that was being carried out by the South African Government at that time in confronting the Soviet Union and it's surrogates as a policy which was working and that it would be very difficult to convince the South African public at that time that we should suddenly not use force against Soviet surrogates.
Then Mr Chairman, Admiral du Plessis goes on to say - he pointed out that the United States considered the problem of Cuba to be within it's sphere of influence. South Africa had the same view of ANC bases in neighbouring States. Force had played a role in removing the ANC from certain countries and Dr. Roux made the comment that NATO was not prepared to accept a soft option. The organisation was making the necessary preparations to contain the Soviet Union and South Africa was in very much the same position and considered the military option as one of the options available.
Now Mr Chairman, when General Steenkamp, the head of the Security Branch on page 17, the next page of that document, went on to talk - in the second paragraph from the top, the last section of that paragraph - he says:
"The role of safe bases in neighbouring countries was pointed out as well as the fact that organisations such as the PLO and IRA were involved in training and aiding the South African terrorist organisations. The disturbing fact that most of the planning and directing of these activities were taking place in London was brought to the attention of the British delegation as well as the fact that a number of British citizens were involved."
Then Mr Chairman, the final document in what has been called now Q1 is headed "Bronverslag" - Soviet Active Measures. This again just goes to demonstrate the type of co-operation between foreign intelligence and ourselves in that we were informed of Soviet active measures and other Soviet strategies that were being used not only against South Africa but against the entire Western world.
Mr Chairman, if I may go on to document Q2. Document K - International Front Organisations - the same explanation, type of document given to us from foreign intelligence about the Soviet Union. The next two reports, one is headed Report 174 and one is headed Report 438 - these are intelligence reports, Mr Chairman.
MR WILLIAMSON: There are two small documents Mr Chairman, headed - they've got "Secret" at the top. Now these are specific reports, Mr Chairman, where for example the GRU which is the Soviet Military Intelligence - we had reports and we dealt with reports about the GRU in Teheran in Iran and secondly the report - we received reports, comments by KGB Illegal Support Officer on KBG Illegal, Alexi Koslov. I think it's well known Mr Chairman that Alexi Koslov was a Soviet spy arrested here in South Africa and this is a liaison report from a foreign intelligence service giving a comment from a KGB Illegal Support Officer that they were handling on Mr Koslov and the story Mr Koslov had told us and the story that we had communicated to various other international intelligence organisations. Again Mr Chairman, this merely goes to show that we were involved in an internationally co-ordinated fight against the Soviet Union and their onslaught against the entire West.
Mr Chairman, the next document, document N and the following one, I've called it document O, are two papers which were presented to a conference on psychological strategies at the Institute for Strategic Studies at the University of Pretoria, July 2nd, 1984. Again Mr Chairman, international academic experts on the Soviet Union on international terrorism and on Soviet strategies were brought to South Africa to inform us on Soviet Strategies and obviously to allow us to formulate counter-strategies.
The next document P is a statement Mr Chairman by - headed in English "Identification of R.S.A. Terrorists Abroad" by - I don't know whether I should use his name, but by an arrested ANC terrorist and the only reason why I included this document Mr Chairman is because if one just takes the most cursory look and this goes back to what I was saying about the so-called terrorist album which the security police had, but if you take the most cursory look at all the people he names in this report and the training that they underwent, person after person after person underwent training at Odessa, in the Ukraine, in Tanzania, in the Ukraine etc. This just goes to show the level of Soviet involvement in the arming and training of the ANC in these years. This report is dated Mr Chairman 1980 so this is more or less at the beginning of the period of - intense period of struggle that we are attempting to understand here.
The next document Mr Chairman is just a small example document. I don't see number on it but there are two of them, both of them are extracts from "The African Communist" which is a journal of the South African Communist Party and if we look at the first one, that is headed "Birth of a Nation - 70th Anniversary of the African National Congress" if we look at page 5 and 6, we see firstly "Halt South Africa's Drive to War" that's the name of the article, "An Appeal from the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party" and the first sentence is"
"Racist South Africa and it's imperialist and NATO allies are relentlessly driving Southern Africa to the brink of war"
"This is the basis for the community of interest between imperialism and racist South Africa which underpins the special role that the South African Regime is assigned in Southern Africa and the South Atlantic region. It is within this context of this web of inter-relations that steps are being taken for the establishment of a South Atlantic Treaty Organisation with the connivance of U.S. imperialism and that the Reagan administration has come out publicly to encourage the Botha/Malan military adventures in Southern Africa as well as covertly connive in the assassination squads by South Africa to eliminate the leadership of the ANC, SACTU and the SACP."
Mr Chairman, this is just to illustrate that we had not only reason from foreign intelligence sources and our own intelligence sources to believe that at that time the ANC and Communist Party Alliance was acting in concert with the Soviet Union to attack and overthrow the South African Government but their own writings and documentation and claims also confirmed our opinion and in this instance, Mr Chairman, just in case it is said that it was only the South African Communist Party that used to say or make statements like that, I just refer to the next extract from The African Communist, this is the one with the photograph of Moses Mabida and O.R. Tambo on the cover saying : "Long Live the ANC/SACP Alliance" and if we go to page 20 of that document, you'll see a heading: "Oliver Tambo" and this is the text of a speech made by Mr Tambo who was then the President of the ANC, I believe in London at the 60th Anniversary at the founding of the Communist Party and if we go to the final page, page 25, under "International Solidarity" Mr Tambo says - and now we're not talking about a member of the Communist Party, we're talking about the leader of the ANC, he says:
and this is Mr Chairman in the middle, virtually in the middle, the paragraph that begins "on an occasion, when we are observing the 60th anniversary of the SACP" he goes on, the second sentence, to say"
"Today in the anti-imperialist struggle, we have won new allies like the struggling people of Palestine. We have thrown up new enemies of people like those who murder civilians in Beirut."
"We have seen how the U.S. has sought it's allies amongst those enemies of freedom and democracy and progress."
And Mr Chairman, this just goes to illustrate that as far as I was concerned and as far as the entire security forces of South Africa at that time were concerned, the ANC and South African Communist Party were in an alliance, they were acting in concert as one organisation and they were acting virtually as a surrogate of the Soviet Union which was at that time engaged in a clandestine political and military assault against the entire West and that South Africa, specifically South Africa as I've shown in other documentation was identified as an important target in this war that was in many instances taking place clandestinely.
I just want to add, Mr Chairman, finally on the South African Communist Party, something that I've said before on many occasions and that is that it was during all these years the most slavishly pro-communist - sorry pro-Soviet communist party in the entire world and Mr Chairman the following document which is in our pagination document S, headed "Extremely Confidential National Security Management System Mozambique Information Approval." I comment - if one looks at the very last page of that document, I'm sorry the two last pages, the one is a map, it's "ANC Verbindings and Infiltrasie Netwerk met betrekking tot Mozambique" - you'll see the telex networks, the "lugverbindings" - the air communications and infiltration routes. It's that document sir but at the very last page. It shows the infiltration routes from Luanda and Dar es Salaam via Lusaka and directly to Maputo through Swaziland and Maseru into South Africa. That just relates to other evidence I've already given Mr Chairman but then just to comment on the last page on the "verspreiding" page, they talk there about "medewerkers", co-workers and my name is there as one of the co-workers and this is a full evaluation, Mr Chairman, of the Mozambican situation in 1984 and was in fact the document that gave rise I believe to the Komati Accord Policy which developed after that time. The reason why I mention this Mr Chairman is because my belief at that time was that our policy was to drive the ANC back from our borders, to drive them out of particularly the neighbouring States which they were using as a springboard for specific attacks against South Africa and that military action being an extension of political action and the use of force being an extension of political action was used as part of achieving a political goal which was the removal of the ANC from these territories.
Mr Chairman, the following two documents are important just in relating to a point I wish to make about covert activities. Firstly, in the 16th C.R. Swart Lesing by Dr. Barnard, if we go to page 25 of that document, at the top page 25 of the document he says, the paragraph is:
"Executive Covert Actions - Covert actions are the clandestine use of power of military economic, constitutional, social, psychological or other abilities of one State to undermine the sovereignty of another State. It is not accepted as permissible in world politics but in the history of world politics there is not even one State who did not apply one or other covert action be it with interchanging intensity against another State or States."
This relates then Mr Chairman to the following document, document 21 in my bundle which is also headed National Intelligence Service and it's headed "Reports on the Intelligence Symposium held in Concilium Building, Pretoria, 25 June 1982 and if we go there Mr Chairman to page 30. Sorry Mr Chairman, this is going to be difficult because this particular document has got annexures of it's own but this is 30 of the main report, the minutes, so I'm not referring now to the "bylaes" as they say.
MR WILLIAMSON: Paragraph - Page 30, Paragraph 6.2.3. Mr Chairman I attended this conference. I was in fact one of the police delegates to the conference. This conference was to discuss various problems in the intelligence community and I made a presentation about what's called "dekking", dekking is cover and we were discussing what's known as HUMINT - human intelligence as opposed to electronic intelligence or openly accessible intelligence. Human intelligence relates to the use of individual agents and I'm quoted in paragraph 6.2.3 as saying in the second half of that
"In this regard Major Williamson remarked: 'In the intelligence game there is only one rule and that is that there are no rules'"
"When survival is at stake it is often necessary for a service to go over to confidential action which does not agree with the acts morality norms or values controlled by the public action of the State or the Service. Confidentiality both defensive and offensive is the guide word here. Cover is used to enable the operatives to execute secret orders without having to accept public responsibility."
Now Mr Chairman that is a summary of what I did say at that conference in English. It was translated and it was put in the minutes, Mr Chairman. It reflected my belief of how - of what our job was at the time and how we were supposed to achieve our job and if I can point out Mr Chairman to you the distribution list of this document, the last two pages of this document. It says "Confidential" - it has no page number, it's just the last few pages of the document which is the external distribution. It has been stapled together so if we could just go to the last ....[intervention]
MR WILLIAMSON: Yes after all the "bylaes" the very last two pieces of paper in the document that has been stapled together - or perhaps your copies are not stapled together. I think in front of that Mr Commissioner.
MR WILLIAMSON: So this distribution list is headed "Confidential Report regarding the Information Symposium" External distribution starts with "General" and it goes on right through to copy 26 which went to somebody at the T.N.V. which is as I've said before in my evidence Tak Nasionale Vertolking of the Secretariat of the State Security Council and the only point I wish to make further Mr Chairman is that nobody has ever told me that this document and what I've said at that symposium and what was discussed at that symposium was wrong or a misunderstanding. In fact it was never mentioned again and I never even looked at it again until I searched through documentation relating to my submissions to the TRC.
In the final document, Mr Chairman, that - sorry it's not the final, the final documentation there is one headed - the next one headed "R.S. Handlers Conference". This is a document of a conference at so-called Daisy Farm which was the training farm of the intelligence unit of the security police which talks about the role and function of the intelligence section of the security police. The next document is in English, it's the intelligence report on the South African involvement and the activities of M.N.R., M.N.R. being the Movement National Resistance - the Renamo movement of Mozambique. This was actually a report drawn up for the ANC by an ANC agent. The only reason I appended this to the armed forces hearing was because it was a graphic example of a report on South African covert assistance to armed resistance movements in neighbouring states as part of our counter-revolutionary strategy.
And then finally, Mr Chairman, the last document is an extract from the South African Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology - No. 8 of 1984, and article on "Law, order and State security - the challenge for the South Police and the law and order community." Mr Chairman the reason why I appended this and certain passages have been marked in it, it's merely to show that I was in 1984 thinking very carefully about the role and function of the South African Police and the Security Forces in South Africa and the State's counter-revolutionary strategy and how it should and could work and that as has been said in this hearing already, I believe that it would be simplistic to try and say that the security forces of South Africa at the time had one individual belief and strategy. What I believed Mr Chairman is that there was a whole range of opinions within the security forces, there was a whole range of counter-revolutionary strategies, there were academic theories, there were practical applications of academic theories and at the end of the day after everything was distilled, a final policy was formulated. Recommendations were made, policies were formulated and that in line with everywhere else in the world I believe Mr Chairman, that at that stage once your input has been given and once everybody's input has been given and once a strategy has been formulated and once that strategy has been approved and put into force by the highest political authorities in the country it then behoves the members of the security forces, the civil servant who is carrying out that Government policy, to carry out that policy to the best of his or her ability and that, Mr Chairman, I think was the main purpose of my evidence to the Armed Forces Committee in Cape Town and I think when it comes to covert activities, I would like just to quote one paragraph from my memorandum, paragraph 5.9 on page 8 and that is:
"That such covert action leading to mysterious explosions, deaths etc., cannot be said to be unusual in South African political life since 1961. A long list of incidents could be compiled..."
"With the benefit of hindsight, it appears that the upper echelons, especially the politicians, were so keen to be at legal arms length from covert action that they abdicated their responsibility to exercise close operational supervision of such actions and so lost significant operational control. Nevertheless, they can never deny responsibility for the budgets used to fund covert action."
And Mr Chairman, just to conclude, I wish to state that at all times I believed that every single thing that my section and I did was as a result of the State's counter-revolutionary strategy and the strategies that were in place and that the control mechanisms were in place to ensure that what was done was done on order and was done as part of that strategy.
MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, I requested you to put together certain material which illustrates the perception of what was actually being faced in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. We have certain photographs which could conveniently be marked, with your permission Mr Chairman, Exhibit R.
ADV DE JAGER: Before moving on could I kindly request you to paginate bundles Q1 and Q2 and give us an index referring to the specific pages, as paginated now, where you referred us in your evidence given?
MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman that day I was in my office at security headquarters. There were several of my officers present. I think we were just discussing about what we were going to do. It was I believe approximately half past four which was the civil service knock off time in Pretoria and we heard a massive explosion. South African Police Headquarters is between Schoeman and Pretoria Streets and the South African - and just close to the corner of Paul Kruger. The South African Airforce building is opposite, pointing down in Church Street, so as the bird flies we're probably talking about something like less than a kilometre perhaps. We looked out of the window and we saw this pall of black smoke. Everybody there said immediately it's a bomb and we rushed to the scene and these, Mr Chairman, are photographs of the scene.
MR WILLIAMSON: They speak for themselves. The only thing, Mr Chairman, the last photographs, the last page is in fact nothing to do with the Pretoria bomb, it's to do with the petrol tank of a car which has been modified to smuggle weapons into the country.
MR LEVINE: Now Mr Williamson, I'd like to deal with certain video tapes which also deal with the situation at the relevant time. There are four video tapes plus a fifth one, Mr Chairman. The fifth one is extremely gruesome but necessity is that it will have to be illustrated. I would like you to comment at the end of each video tape.
ADV DE JAGER: Mr Levine, could you kindly tell us what you want to convey to us because we can't fight the whole war in this hearing. We're dealing with three incidents here and I think you should point out to us the relevance of what you're showing us to this very incidents we're dealing with.
MR LEVINE: The relevance, with respect Mr Commissioner, is to illustrate the perceptions of the late 1970s and 1980s in the minds of the security police and rather the police and the security forces and the witness, the applicant seeking amnesty as to how they perceived the situation and how it was perceived in South Africa at the time. It's not a question of the entire war, it's a question of the circumstances which resulted ultimately in certain acts and or omissions being carried out whether within or outside of the borders of South Africa and the reasoning behind that and the justification for it both politically and otherwise.
ADV DE JAGER: Well I'll consider my point of view in relation to what you've told us now but really we can't go on trying to rehearse the whole war in this hearing. I think you should try and really limit your evidence to the incidents before us now.
MR LEVINE: Well Sir, I think with great respect that the perception both - call this subjective perception in terms for example of Section 20, Sub-Section F would be relevant and I think that this is fairly and aptly illustrative of those perceptions and what did in fact take place. It's not possible to isolate what would be ideal and that would be 30 seconds and another snatch of one minute here and another snatch of half a minute there, it's just not possible, Mr Commissioner, to do that.
CHAIRPERSON: Can I invite those people who have very patiently been sitting on the other side of the camera during that first performance, if they wish to come and sit on the floor in front of the camera where they can see what is being shown, they are invited to do so provided they remain seated and don't obstruct anyone else's view.