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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARINGS

Starting Date 17 September 1998

Location PRETORIA

Day 8

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CHAIRPERSON: Ready to continue?

CRAIG MICHAEL WILLIAMSON: (s.u.o.)

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: (continued)

Mr Williamson there are certain aspects of General Coetzee's evidence that I want to put to you and ask you to respond to it. He said that the two acts in respect of which you are asking for amnesty, as far as he was concerned, were unauthorised and that he would have considered your actions as a betrayal of the trust that he had placed on you. You heard him give that evidence?

MR WILLIAMSON: I heard him give evidence.

MR BIZOS: To that effect?

MR WILLIAMSON: To that effect, yes.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Is it true or untrue?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I regarded the attacks as authorised, they'd been authorised by my superior and where it comes to a betrayal, if I remember correctly, I can't remember exactly what the General said, but he made a statement to the effect it would have been done, it would have then been done behind his back or it, and this - it was put to him that this would then have constituted a betrayal.

I wouldn't have seen it as a betrayal because I believed at the time that the act that I had been asked to perform fell very clearly within what I understood the strategy at the time to be and therefore it would not have crossed my mind that I was committing any type of betrayal.

MR BIZOS: Well if we accept the correctness of the General's statement then he must have been ignorant of what you say the prevailing perceptions were at that time.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well it's very difficult for me to say what the General was or was not ignorant of, unless it was something that I had directly discussed with him Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I am informed and I want to ask you whether you agree or disagree, that in relation to vertical information upwards, there is a right to know as a concomitant of the other maxim that you often refer to as "need to know".

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I think that accords with the evidence that I gave yesterday where I said that "need to know" could not mean that if a superior officer in your direct line of command asked you something, that you could then reply to him, sorry you do not need to know.

So I would always have interpreted the situation as being that in the horizontal line of command, the superior officer would have, if he was in the direct line of command, the right to know as Mr Bizos has put it.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry, the vertical, the vertical not horizontal.

MR BIZOS: If not only when he asks, but he has the right to be informed because after all the buck would stop on his desk if things went wrong. He would have to answer for it. You're not suggesting that it would have been good practice for the leader to remain ignorant unless he specifically asked in relation to some particular thing?

MR WILLIAMSON: No of course not Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now when do you say General Coetzee first found out ...(intervention).

MR VISSER: I'm sorry Mr Chairman, Visser on record. With great respect to my learned friend, and I don't want to interrupt him but there were two questions rolled into one and the witness only replied to the last leg of it Mr Chairman.

As I understood it my learned friend put to the witness, not only when in the vertical line of command structure, if he asks is he entitled to be informed but he should be informed even if he doesn't ask and I don't believe that the witness replied to that part of the question.

MR WILLIAMSON: No, I replied that it would not be good practice and then theoretically it would not be a good practice.

MR VISSER: Well I'm sorry I must have misunderstood it ladies and gentlemen.

MR BIZOS: Thank you ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It would not be good practice not to tell the superior officer because, as Mr Bizos said, he was the person who would have to accept responsibility.

MR WILLIAMSON: It would not, he - I understood it as it would not be. Theoretically it would not be good practice if the ultimate commander or higher up commanders did not know what was going on below them and I agree, in theory it would not be good practice.

MR BIZOS: Thank you, we seem to understand one another Mr Williams. Now the question that I asked, I'll try and repeat it in the same words if I can. When, according to you, would you say General Coetzee found out that the men under his command had killed Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as far as I recollect it was - I don't remember the date of the newspaper article, but was it 1995? Something like that.

MR BIZOS: Well you're talking about the Observer article ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: The London article, ja.

MR BIZOS: The first time you made the public admission, I think that that was the 19th of February - published on the 19th of February 1995. And not before that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well the only time before that would have been if the General had seen the same information that I'd seen, for example the information flowing from Dirk Coetzee.

Whether that be in terms of some or other memorandum he did, or in terms of - I remember the first time I saw it was as a chapter in a book. I don't - it was an interview with him, a chapter in a book that was made up of a number of interviews with different people.

MR BIZOS: That would have been ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That was a few years before that.

MR BIZOS: 1990, at the time of the - what's the judges name, the Harms Commission?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman I believe that that was the time frame, from 1990 and then I don't know when that book was published. It was sometime after that but the book was based basically on the allegations that had been made at the Harms Commission, as relates to Dirk Coetzee's chapter.

MR BIZOS: But now we have it from General Coetzee that General Coetzee was confronted about the death of Ruth First by the people participating in the Umkomati Accord negotiations and signing ceremonies and dinners and social functions, where he is said to have said that it was a mistake.

Now we'll deal with the question of if, because we will have evidence that there was no if about it. Why would the General have said in 1984 that the killing of Ruth First was a mistake?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I was not present when he said that and I find it very difficult to comment.

MR BIZOS: You were close to the General at that time. You participated in one or other capacity in matters relating to the accord. You were on the same Commission with him you told us. Did he never ask you, what are these Mozambicans talking about our having, that we killed Ruth First. Didn't he ask you that?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman, the first time the General ever discussed the death of Ruth First with me was after the Observer article, 1995.

MR BIZOS: We'll come to that in due course, let's stay in 1984. Did you stay in the same hotel with the General or the same ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...place or did you see one another regularly at the time that this statement was made by the Mozambicans?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman at that time the General was or had been appointed the Joint Chairman of the Joint Security Commission between Mozambique and South Africa which had been established in terms of the Umkomati Accord.

I was one of the Staff Officers, one of the backroom boys, one of the people that was dealing with the issues which the senior level people at the accord had to deal with - sorry at the Joint Security Commission, had to deal with and obviously I saw the General on every occasion that I was present at a meeting of the Joint Security Commission and in particular, the meetings that he attended as Chairman.

As I remember there were a number of those meetings up until the time where he was replaced as a Chairman by Deputy Minister Louis Nel, because of the fact that there was a protocol problem relating to his rank and the rank of his Mozambican counterpart.

We did not stay in hotels. As I remember it on each and every occasion that we went to Mozambique, we travelled there and back for the meeting. We travelled to the meeting and we travelled back from the meeting.

MR BIZOS: You were the most senior Intelligence Officer from the Security Police that attended the negotiations and ceremonies in relation to the Umkomati Accord?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman yes I will agree with that, as long as we understand that I was the most senior Intelligence Officer of the police, I was not the most senior security police officer at the accords.

MR BIZOS: No the accent was, the emphasis was on intelligence.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: And can you think of anyone other than yourself that the General would have turned to if he was ignorant of the correctness or otherwise of the allegation. Was there anyone more senior than yourself that he would have turned to for reliable information?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman again there were a number of other Security Police officials there, people who also were involved, in particular in the Eastern Transvaal/Mozambican interface situation, Swaziland situation.

There were other people that he could have turned to and I must just comment Mr Chairman that at that time the focus of that Commission was not really matters of the past, it was focusing very much on what was happening at that time and the future and in particular, it was focusing on the security problems relating to Renamo activities and my specific role at that time was almost exclusively related to, number one, attempting to monitor information and gather information which the South African team could use to challenge the Mozambican team about breaches of the accord relating to ANC and South African Communist Party involvement in Mozambique, in contravention of the accord.

But secondly, my role was to field the ball, if you can put it that way, when the Mozambican delegation made allegations about South African support or assistance to Renamo and it's continued activities in Mozambique and cross border between Mozambique and South Africa in contravention of the accord.

So I was very much busy with those immediate pressures Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: The question ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But the problem is, as I understand it, Mr Bizos' problem, is there was a very special relationship between you and General Coetzee, if I understand from both your evidence and his.

MR WILLIAMSON: I understand ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He was a man, he felt - you felt he was your peer that he had, he was your example. He felt you were someone he could rely in entirely. Surely you were the obvious person for him to go to and say look can you give me any more information about this?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman but he never did and the matter was never raised, to my knowledge, at the Security Commission and it was never raised in my presence at all. I never ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Could that be because General Coetzee was fully aware of what had happened before the meetings?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I think that is ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: That he didn't need to ask because he had been told at the time?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman that is obviously the implication, but I don't know.

MR BIZOS: Well were you present when he said that it was a mistake?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I was not Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman - Visser again, I hate to interrupt my learned friend but I don't have it that he, General Coetzee, said that he remembers it and that he actually said so.

I think the furthest he went, and I may be wrong with my recollection, I haven't checked my notes Mr Chairman, this is coming on to me a bit suddenly but I think the furthest he went was to say that it's possible that he said so and if he said so, and it was on that basis that he gave his evidence.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: My attorney and myself don't have a recollection that he actually says that he did. My learned friend, Mr Bizos, put to him that there will be evidence from the Mozambican who asked him this, that it was in fact so, but I think he did not concede that he actually said so.

Yes, in fact my attorney just ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: He did say ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Just a moment please. In fact my attorney's just refreshed my memory. He said that what he would have said or did say, I'm not sure. If it was us then, I think that was the premise on which he gave the evidence.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I remember it General Coetzee said he was approached by a journalist who had information about a meeting at which he was supposed to have said such a thing and that he at the next full meeting of the Joint Security Commission in fact clarified the matter and said that he had not said anything of the sort.

But as I said Mr Chairman I was, I never discussed the matter with General Coetzee up until 1995 and I was not present when it was discussed at the Joint Security Commission or at a function of the Joint Security Commission.

MR BIZOS: On anybody's version or recollection or refinements and maybe's Mr Williamson, the matter was raised with the General. Do you agree that that we can take as a given, the matter was raised with the General, why did your people kill Ruth First?

Now would you agree that it was a very serious allegation, wherever it may have come from and that it was in the corridors in which the Umkomati Accord was being discussed. It was obviously a serious query. Would you agree with that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman obviously it was a serious query.

MR BIZOS: Right can we proceed from there. Would you have expected the General to come to you, the senior intelligence person readily available to him at Umkomati and in Mozambique and in Pretoria, to ask what, is there any basis for this allegation? Would you not have expected him to do that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if the General had wished to do that, he could easily have done that.

MR BIZOS: The question was you know - Mr Williamson let me explain the purposes of these questions. We only have your word and the General's word as to what happened, and probabilities about the ordinary way in which human beings behave are of great assistance to the Committee to decide whether or not to believe the people who are interested in an issue or not. And this is why I am asking you this question and please answer it.

Would you have expected, in those circumstances, the General to have pulled you aside and say, what is, is there any truth in this allegation that we were responsible for the death of Ruth First.

Would you have expected him to do it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman my learned friend has put a question. He's had an answer from Mr Williamson to the effect that the General could have done it if he wished, but he didn't do it.

The issue of probability is, with respect, an issue for argument and not necessarily for debate with this witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Arising out of this could I ask those who took a note of the evidence to look at their notes, some ten minutes before the adjournment on the 9th.

We adjourned at twenty to eleven on that morning and my note appears to indicate that he did say it, that the killing of Ruth First was a mistake.

MR VISSER: But Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: At a hearing of the Commission.

MR VISSER: Yes Mr Chairman. May I read you our notes Mr Chairman, it accords with yours. It says this, the questions were put by my learned friend and Coetzee said: "I was present at the creation of accord."

And he said he was a co-whatever and then he says:

"At a ceremony a Mozambican official asked me, how could you have killed a friend, Ruth first"? Or our friend, that was the question and it was then put - it was during a dinner - the answer was:

"It was during a dinner, I sat with Mrs Helen Suzman and I remember at a meeting in Mozambique my co-Chair said: 'Why did South Africa kill Mrs Ruth First'"?

And then my learned friend, Mr Bizos, put if he can perhaps recall this:

"You admitted South Africa did it and that it was a mistake, there will be evidence to that effect".

And then Coetzee said:

"No I said: 'If we did it, it was a mistake, so I'm correcting myself in what I said earlier'".

This is my notes of my attorney, I believe it more or less correctly sets out what was said.

MR BIZOS: I think the question was put Mr Chairman and an answer has, was given in part. In order to accommodate my learned friend's objection, I said whether there were if's or but's was not of great moment for the purposes of my question.

Would he have expected the General to ask him what, whether there was any basis for the allegation or not, and to deal with Mr Levine's objection Mr Chairman, I am entitled to summarise the position by asking the witness that the circumstances prevailing at the time, to his knowledge, would he have expected the General to ask him, the senior Intelligence Officer around, was there any truth in this allegation.

I submit that it is a perfectly proper question and I would appeal Mr Chairman that I be allowed to continue without, well allowed to continue, I won't say anything more.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if I may answer the question. If the matter had been a matter that was raised as many other matters were raised, in other words for example radar tracks or plans going across the South African/Mozambican border at night etc etc, then this would have been a question put to me and a question that I would have had to deal with.

It was never done and the General never discussed it with me.

CHAIRPERSON: The question was, as I understood Mr Bizos' question, wouldn't you have expected him to?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would have expected him to if it had been one of the series of questions that we had to answer.

CHAIRPERSON: Well this is an allegation made against the South African Forces at an official function attended, as I understand it, by a fairly well known member of parliament who would have had no hesitation of raising the issue in parliament. Surely that is a matter the General would have wanted to get to the bottom of?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman he never asked me.

CHAIRPERSON: Is then your answer you would have expected him to but he never did?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I don't know what I could have expected him to do, there were so many questions I was being asked, it ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'm asking you now Mr Williamson. On that basis wouldn't you have expected him to have asked, if he couldn't get information from anyone else, to have asked you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well he could have asked me and anybody, it's the sort of thing he could have asked Mr Chairman, but he did not ask.

MR BIZOS: Would an allegation of murder at what was to be a reconciliation instrument entered into, have been so unimportant that it would not have had to be answered honestly by the, by General Coetzee?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos we know what the answer was. I think I agree with what Mr Visser said. The answer was if it was done, it was a mistake.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: He did not suggest he gave any further answer, did he?

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman yes I do, I rephrase the question Mr Chairman.

Once this issue was raised, wasn't that an opportunity for you to tell the General as a Chief Intelligence Officer so that your General would be well informed in case the matter was raised again or whether any further steps had to be taken?

CHAIRPERSON: He told us he wasn't there Mr Bizos.

MR WILLIAMSON: I wasn't there when it was raised Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: No, no, no. Didn't you hear that this question was raised? Did you not hear, although you may not have been present when it was raised by the Mozambican, did you not hear from anybody on the South African side that an allegation is being made that we are responsible for Ruth First's death?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Did you not hear about it?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I did hear about it and in fact I was given photographs of the scene Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And did you show them to the General?

MR WILLIAMSON: I believe so Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well wasn't that an opportunity for you to ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: In fact I think it may have been that the photographs came officially to me.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Wouldn't that have been an ideal opportunity to exercise the, well know maxim, the right to know by your superiors?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I didn't do it, I said absolutely nothing.

MR BIZOS: Would that not ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Can I raise something else here?

...(inaudible) than 100 grams of explosives ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] you felt somebody else must have done it?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So the photographs made you believe that it was not your act that had done it but some other security operation, because I think you've said you still thought it was a security operation?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman, either that or that the device that we had been made, had been used as a trigger for a bigger device Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well all the more reason for exercising the right to know of your General?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I think I've said very clearly that the General had the right to know and the prerogative of using the right to know was the General's.

MR BIZOS: But the General, on your evidence, didn't know that you had done it. He was entitled to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: That's not so Mr Bizos. The General said he didn't, that doesn't mean he didn't.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman, I'm indebted to you. I sometimes ask questions on the premise of the witnesses, but thank you I will be more careful.

Have you got an answer to the question Mr Williams?

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry could you repeat the question?

MR BIZOS: Why did you not exercise your duty concomitant with your General's right to know to tell him when this matter was raised, General we prepared a bomb, a letter bomb, it looks to me that it must have been something else or apprise him of the fact that you knew.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if I can - as I understood it, and I was not present at the informal meeting where the General was asked this question, that he had been asked. As I understand it, at a later stage at the - after a journalist approached the General with some information about what he was supposed to have said at this informal occasion, he then at the next meeting of the Commission, made a statement to the Commission and said that the information that the journalist had come to him with was incorrect and that he had not said that South Africa was responsible and that it was a mistake.

And I understood Mr Chairman, at that time, that the matter was closed and that that was South Africa's final statement on the matter and I did not raise it any further and I was not asked any questions and I was not asked to contribute Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Isn't this meeting you're referring now to at a later stage after the journalist approaching him, he said something at the meeting. Was it a meeting of the people concerned with the accord or was it a ...(indistinct), what kind of meeting?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, no the Joint Security Commission, which is the one set up in terms of the accord.

MR BIZOS: Can we have a date please, more or less?

MR WILLIAMSON: It must have been late 1984 or early 1985.

MR BIZOS: Before or after the death of Jeanette and Katryn Schoon?

MR WILLIAMSON: Off the top of my head Mr Chairman I have no idea.

MR BIZOS: Well I am going to suggest to you that on the facts submitted by you Mr Williamson, that the General had been asked as to whether or not the South Africans were responsible or accused of being responsible, and the fact that you discussed the photographs with the General, that you are not telling the truth when you say that you did not discuss it with the General and if in fact you did not discuss is, the only reason that would have been was that he already knew and that you knew that he knew, otherwise your evidence doesn't make sense. We will submit to the Committee in due course.

MR WILLIAMSON: Must I respond, is that a question?

MR BIZOS: Please do yes, because you will be given an opportunity to deal with what we've considered to be an important improbability in your and General Coetzee's versions of the events.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I said I believed at the time that the operation was authorised, that the South African Security authorities knew about the operation. I assumed that the command structures knew about the operation.

I never personally discussed it with General Coetzee until 1995 Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You say so. Let me just ask a subsidiary question on the improbability and fantastic nature of your evidence Mr Williams, in our submission.

You discussed the photographs, you discussed the damage done. Why didn't you just go one little step forward and say we did it General and - first of all why didn't you do that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman if I believed that my command structure knew that the South Africans had done it, why would I have to say we did Mr Chairman. I believed that the command structure knew that we had done it and I believed that once the, General Coetzee had made the statement to the Joint Security Commission which he made, just referring to the journalist and the wrong information that the journalist had got, the matter was closed.

MR BIZOS: Oh. You know these allegations are not put to bed so easily, particularly against states such as the then South Africa that was accused, ex post facto correctly, of murdering it's opponents in foreign countries.

There would have been another good reason for you to tell him because wouldn't you have had to take steps to cover your tracks, to have a Stratcom in order to repel this allegation that General Coetzee claimed ignorance of?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I thought the tracks were already covered Mr Chairman, that it was the only - there was an allegation that was made which the press, it appeared, said that General Coetzee had admitted to and he then made a statement which he said that he had never admitted to and that, as far as I'm concerned, closed the matter and any potential problem which it might pose to us Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well you know that two weeks after the murder of Jeanette and Katryn Schoon, a Stratcom was put out in relation to the circumstances of the death of Ruth First. Do you know that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I believe so Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Because shortly after that death, which would have been at about the time that the Umkomati Accord was being discussed, this question of the death of Ruth First came into the fore. General Coetzee invited journalists to tell them that Ruth First was killed by her husband.

Let me just amend that slightly. I have been reminded that there was a Stratcom (?) on Jeanette Schoon, that she was killed because of internal struggle in the ANC. That was almost immediately after her death.

Approximately two weeks thereafter a Stratcom story appeared that Ruth First was killed by her husband. Would that have been around the time that questions relating to Ruth First's death had been raised at Umkomati?

MR WILLIAMSON: It was either around the time or before the time Mr Chairman, but it was in that time frame Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. So that the Stratcom or false information given in relation to the death, could that or was that part of the answer to the allegation made by the Mozambicans that South African agents had killed Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: I do not know whether it was Mr Chairman, I think the Stratcom was an attempt, as was an ongoing attempt, to sow as much dissension as possible amongst the enemy ranks and to cast them in as bad a light as possible in the eyes of the public Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: But why put out a Stratcom more than two years after the death of Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it's perfectly possible that this had relation to the allegations that had been made and in particular in relation to the fact that the press had come to know of General Coetzee's alleged positive in answer to South Africa's involvement in the death of Ruth First.

MR BIZOS: So it was a false bit of information planted in the media in order to divert attention from the alleged admission, on your basis, by General Coetzee that the South Africans had killed her?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I didn't say that Mr Chairman, I said it ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I'm asking you ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...was perfectly likely that this may have been a consideration, but it is also perfectly likely that there was an opportunity at the time and that because of the death of Jeanette and Katryn Schoon and because of the focus of attention on these types of deaths, mysterious deaths of ANC officials in different countries, that some type of a Stratcom would have been launched, as I said, number one to cause much fear and confusion amongst the enemy and number two to cause, to denigrate them and to demonise them as much as possible in the eyes of the South African public Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: To whom were these deaths a mystery Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I suppose to everybody who was not involved in them Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And what about the very large portion of the world who draws inferences from given facts and there were cries in international foray, in government circles, in foreign countries, amongst the opposition groups in South Africa, the editorial comment of newspapers, everybody or rather - sorry - there was a very substantial number of people who inferred that you had done it and you knew that you had done it, so where was the mystery?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I assume with the word you is meant it's generally the South African Security Forces?

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I agree, there was obviously a wide perception that the South African Security Forces were responsible for many of the deaths that were occurring. I have said that all through my evidence, that I had absolutely no doubt that it was different elements of the South African Security Forces who were killing members of the ANC and the South African Communist Party.

I said I did not believe that it was the fairy and Mr Chairman there was nevertheless a general Stratcom and the general answer to any query about the death of any ANC or Communist Party official would have been that this was internal strife of some or other nature. It was a standard response Mr Chairman.

In order to create the opinion in and the impression that this was not South African Security Force action, that this was in fact inter ...(indistinct) warfare within the enemy organisations.

MR BIZOS: I merely took you up on your use of the word mysterious Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I should have put it in parenthesis Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You mean inverted commas?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yeah.

MR BIZOS: Yes. The Stratcom that was put out in relation, that was published in relation to Mr Slovo being responsible for Ruth First's death. Was that fed to the media shortly after her death or was it fed to the media for the first time after Jeanette Schoon's death?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't remember the timing. I think I did say in my, one of the previous answers that it - I agreed with what was put to me that it was some several years later and it was in the time frame of the explosion in Lubango (?) and in the time frame of these discussion that were taking place at the Joint Security Commission, post Umkomati Accord.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now I want to read to you another passage from General Coetzee's evidence

"If I had known that Williamson and Schoon were involved, I would have disciplined them or even have charged them".

I'm sorry, Goosen not - Goosen I'm sorry. Yes.

"If I knew that they were involved in the Ruth First and Schoon murders".

You heard him say that or words to that effect?

MR WILLIAMSON: I heard that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now I want you to please tell the Committee, if you were called in by General Coetzee and told what he said here to the Committee, that you would be charged with the murders or otherwise disciplined, what would you have said to him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Do you mean at the time Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: Yes. If he had found out that you and Goosen ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I would have been - I don't know, I can't imagine what I would have said, I would have been flabbergasted.

MR BIZOS: You would have been flabbergasted?

MR WILLIAMSON: Hmm.

MR BIZOS: And why would you have been flabbergasted?

MR WILLIAMSON: Because I was fighting a war against the ANC and the Communist Party Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No but you see your commander in chief said here that you had no authority to do that and I am asking you to put yourself in the position, on the assumption that your commander in chief has told the Committee the truth.

What would you have said to him? What would you have explained if what you are saying is truth?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I probably would have gone into a long argument with him in, and used very much the type of information that we've used in this hearing and explained why I had been so obviously confused about whether or not this was authorised at his level.

CHAIRPERSON: Now when you say that you would have been flabbergasted, does this mean you would have found it very difficult to believe that he wasn't aware that this was the way that the war was being fought?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I believed everybody was aware and you know I was, as I said and I've said in my previous evidence and I've said in my applications that the acts that I was involved in, for which I'm applying for amnesty, were not the only acts that were taking place, they were not happening in a vacuum.

There was, as Mr Bizos laid out to the Committee, numerous of these types of attacks going on and I said at the time and I repeat again that I did not think it was the fairies, I thought it was the Security Forces and when I and my unit was asked to participate in such an act, I regarded it as par for the course, normal standard procedure Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well could I suggest how you might have reacted having been facing you in the last few days.

If your evidence is true, you would have said to the General you're off your mind. We all of us were in this together and it wouldn't have come as a surprise to you that I helped to kill Ruth First and Jeanette Schoon.

Wouldn't that have been the immediate exclamation?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman I understand where - I mean obviously that would have been what was inside me should such a thing have happened, but I would never have then just told the General he was off his mind, I would have you know, especially not General Coetzee.

I would have explained that - and I'm sure also my Brigadier would have been then also at this meeting, being told the same thing and we would have had obviously a very heated discussion about why we believed what ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: But it couldn't be news to him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Pardon?

MR BIZOS: But it couldn't be news to him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well why, you know, we believed that what we were doing was authorised standard procedure Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: But that does not say that I discussed the matters with him.

MR BIZOS: Well you know of course that an admission by you that you discussed the matter with General Coetzee will open General Coetzee to prosecution for these murders because he has not applied for amnesty?

MR WILLIAMSON: I know that very well Mr Chairman and I also know that if I didn't do something I'm not going to say that I did do something Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well your answer to my question of what you would have exclaimed, if I understood it correctly, was yes this is how you would have felt but you would have been cautious about the way that you responded?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, I wouldn't have told the General he was out of his mind, ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yeah.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...but that would have been in my mind.

MR BIZOS: Your innermost feelings?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: So improbable would have been the accusation by the General?

MR WILLIAMSON: So improbably would have been the possibility that I would have been called and told that I was now going to be charged for these things that had been done.

MR BIZOS: Because everybody, including General Coetzee, knew about it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I believed that the entire top structure knew about it.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Wouldn't that add considerably to the improbability that you would have been coy about discussing the matter with him when it was raised in the Umkomati Accord circles?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I think the opposite.

MR BIZOS: Oh you say that you didn't discuss it because it was obvious to you that he knew?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would have accepted that everybody knew that this had been a South African Security Force attack and operation and that the concern of the South Africans would have been to defend the integrity of the operation as it were and to defend the allegation that South Africa was involved so that would have been my concern, not to tell the General who was involved or give him details Mr Chairman.

I would have assumed that the entire South African Delegation or Security Delegation who was there would now want to put this allegation to bed because it was a covert clandestine operation, it was not an overt operation and as I've said before in my evidence, when the South African Government wanted to make an overt political statement they did it, such as the instances that have been raised before like Matola and Gaberone etc.

MR SIBANYONI: Excuse me Mr Bizos. Mr Williamson the General made a clear distinction between operations where you would go as Security Forces and attack a group of people outside.

He totally excluded possibilities where an individual would be targeted. He was saying those were individuals were targeted was not authorised. What do you say about that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman what I said and I think what I've said in my previous evidence was that I saw two types of attacks. The one type of attack was a large scale overt military action in which obviously we were also involved, particularly on the target identification, target intelligence and then afterwards the intelligence of the operation and secondly I saw numerous, what I regarded as being Security Force attacks, on smaller targets which sometimes were individuals, like Joe Gwabe, but sometime, ...(indistinct) Ruth First, but sometimes were small groups of individuals, attacks that occurred in Swaziland or Botswana where - or Maseru, Lesotho where particular houses were attacked.

And my belief at the time is that where a large - was that number one, South Africa was trying to make as few large admitted attacks as possible because of the problem there was with international opinion and Foreign Affairs, as was said here before, Foreign Affairs was constantly warning about the negative international effect of overt, openly admitted South African attacks on terrorist bases or targets across our borders.

So at the same time the covert and clandestine attacks were going on. People like Joe Gwabe and the other chief representatives of the ANC were being taken out in neighbouring states and this accorded with the strategy which I was aware of at the time, which was to drive the ANC out of the neighbouring states because from the early 1980s they had concentrated and come into the borders and were starting to increase infiltration in South Africa and that the general policy was to drive them back, push them back as far as possible.

So my opinion and the opinion I got from my involvement in the structures was that covert and clandestine attacks on the enemy achieved two things, number one they achieved the effect we wanted to have by attacking, killing, destroying ANC facilities, but number two, they were deniable, that South Africa could in fact deny that they were involved with this.

And I gave the example Mr Chairman of Israeli actions where they have, they at that time were having a lot of trouble and subsequently a lot of trouble from the international community when they go across international borders into Lebanon, but ...(indistinct) carried out in various capitals of the world where members of the PLO or Black September were assassinated and killed were never admitted.

Except recently, the one in the Kingdom of Jordan, where two more Mosad officials were actually arrested and only then did Israel admit, yes these are our men and they were trying to kill this Hamas official.

But this is how I saw it that a clandestine attack across the border on individuals would have a lot less international political repercussion, but at the same time would have ...[end of tape] ...[inaudible] have an effect on the host, what they call the "Gasheer Land", the host country of those individuals Mr Chairman. So I saw this as a policy with two, and we mentioned the EPG raid which was after my time in 1986.

But the fact is that at a certain time South Africa didn't only want to then strike against terrorist targets, but wanted to make an open political statement, not only to the governments of the neighbouring states, but to the entire world.

So when they wanted to make that statement they made it and in the case of the EPG raid, they didn't only order the security forces to go and carry out that raid but they also ordered the security forces to create the pretext for carrying out that raid Mr Chairman.

So this shows the political dimension of these operations.

MR SIBANYONI: Did you find it strange that General Coetzee says he knew nothing about that and or they were not authorised. Did it come to you as a surprise?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I said here in my evidence and I said in my evidence at the Armed Forces Committee that it comes as a great surprise to me that my understanding or the understanding of people at my level does not seem to be the same as the understanding of people at higher levels.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Thank you. May I just take up the learned Member of the Committee's question by adding one question after your long answer Mr Williamson.

This business of misunderstanding is really a fiction is it not, that has been created in order to protect the higher echelon of the security forces.

Would you not agree that your evidence is quite inconsistent with that claim, and I'm saying this to your credit Mr Williamson, that this humbug that is being perpetrated that we didn't authorise them but they must have, or they could have misunderstood from our words that they had authority.

Would you agree that that's humbug?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I think I've said words to that effect at the Armed Forces Committee and here, where I've said that I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Say it here so that it can be on record that it's humbug.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...ja, I don't understand the misunderstanding, the misunderstanding that apparently existed was a misunderstanding of words that came from the top down.

MR BIZOS: No.

MR WILLIAMSON: And I made the statement Mr Chairman that those words were words that in fact came from the bottom up.

MR BIZOS: No but you, in all honesty and if you want to be honest with yourself Mr Williamson, you will agree with the following. That there was no misunderstanding, that this alleged misunderstanding is a stratagem in order to protect the higher echelons of the Security Forces?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I've said before, I say again, as far as I'm concerned there was no misunderstanding. As far as I understand it there was absolutely no misunderstanding.

I and the men under my command and the people at my level had a very clear understanding of what the strategy was.

MR BIZOS: Do you believe General Coetzee when he says that he misunderstood the position completely and that he did not know that his men were busy murdering people in the surrounding states. Do you believe him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't believe it's for me to believe him or not Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well it also shows that your loyalty ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: I just ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...that your loyalty Mr Williamson to your superiors is perhaps greater than your loyalty to the Committee to disclose fully what you know and believe.

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman my duty ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: What you're asking him to do Mr Bizos is not disclose but to judge.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: To sit in judgement over his superior officers.

MR BIZOS: Yes perhaps Mr Chairman but do you know - I'll put, I'll change the question.

Do you know of any grounds or any facts or circumstances that would have prevented General Coetzee from knowing what everybody knew? I think that question Mr Chairman is a permissible one.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman and I've answered a very similar question several times, and that is that if General Coetzee had wanted to know what I was doing he could have asked and he would have known and I'm sure that goes for every other officer that served under his command Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now when did General Coetzee communicate with you in relation to the death of Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I said it was sometime after the newspaper articles in 1985.

MR BIZOS: We have been told that he was furious. Would that be correct?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well by the time he spoke to me Mr Chairman he'd obviously calmed down because he wasn't furious when he spoke to me, he was very quiet.

MR BIZOS: Calm and collected?

MR WILLIAMSON: I won't say calm and collected Mr Chairman, I think he was ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Was he angry with you?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I won't say angry Mr Chairman, he just said, "What is this that I read in the newspaper"?

MR BIZOS: Yes. If he expressed any displeasure, it related to the fact that you had gone public?

MR WILLIAMSON: He didn't put it that way Mr Chairman, he just said, "Craig what is this that I read in the newspaper"?

MR BIZOS: Well what is the impression. What was he, what did he want to know from you? Did he want to know from you why you had gone public or why you had done it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't even really know. He just - maybe he wanted to know both and he said to me that besides the London thing I didn't know about these things and I said, "If you say so sir".

MR BIZOS: If you say so. What did you mean by that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well if he, General Coetzee, tells me that Brigadier Goosen or the people above me didn't talk to him and he didn't know about it - I didn't speak to him, then I said: "If you say so sir".

MR BIZOS: If you say so sir. Did you give any indication as to whether or not you believed him when he told you that he didn't know?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I just said, I gave him the indication right then that he gave me his word, he said that. I would accept his word.

MR BIZOS: You know the expression, if you say so sir, is an ambiguous one to say the least?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes there might be a tinge of scepticism in it Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well were you sceptical?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I've said and I've said repeatedly from the Armed Forces Committee to here, I believed that our entire top structure knew what was going on.

MR BIZOS: Were you sceptical when your commander in chief told you that he did not know about these murders?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman there's a difference between knowing about every specific incident that ever occurs and knowing in general that a strategy was being applied and I'm perfectly willing to accept that there are officers, individuals, commanders who could not possibly have known what every single incident was going on, but when it comes to the general strategy that was being followed at the time, I believed that our commanders knew what we were doing because we were being told what to do Mr Chairman.

We have a military command structure Mr Chairman, orders get passed down and get carried out.

MR BIZOS: What was the reason for the pinge of scepticism - tinge, I'm sorry, tinge of scepticism?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman probably exactly the same reason for the scepticism and more that's in all the questions that I've been asked, that ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I'm happy with that answer, thank you Mr Williams.

You are clearly of the view that I'm not persuaded with the truthfulness of your answers?

CHAIRPERSON: Well you wouldn't go on and on asking him if you were Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Is the answer yes Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry I ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Is the answer yes?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes to what Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: To the question that you are of the clear view that I do not accept the truthfulness of your answers?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I believe that Mr Bizos and many other people have an image of what was going on which they wish us just to blanket, give confirmation to and it doesn't accord with the realities of the time Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Can we - was he not concerned about the fact that you had gone public?

MR WILLIAMSON: I - he asked me: "What is going on Craig".

ADV DE JAGER: Did you ask him whether he was concerned?

MR BIZOS: No. Whether General Coetzee was concerned that he had gone public.

MR WILLIAMSON: No, well he asked me - obviously that was perhaps part of what he was concerned about but what I believed he was mainly concerned about was what he said to me that besides London, he had not known what I had been involved in or the other incidents I'd been involved in.

MR BIZOS: Other than telling General Coetzee that you say so General or sir, did you say anything else to him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't think we discussed it in any great detail, we agreed - I think this was a phone conversation and we agreed to meet next time he would be in Pretoria and as a result of meetings with General Coetzee, we discussed participation in the Truth and Reconciliation Process and whether some people like it or not Mr Chairman, General Coetzee played a key and pivotal role in getting members of the security forces to come to the TRC ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Please answer the question.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman you asked me this question, I was asked this question. I was asked what General Coetzee and I discussed.

This is what we discussed and it gave - what arose out of our discussion was participation in the TRC process Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I see.

MR BIZOS: Did you say to General Coetzee, yes General you were never consulted?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I said to the General that I know that I never consulted him.

MR BIZOS: No and did you tell him, yes General you did not know. Did you tell him that?

MR WILLIAMSON: I told him that if he said he did not know I believed him. I did not consult the General.

MR BIZOS: Now the words that I am putting to you are specific and I would like you to please say whether you used them or not?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well could you put them again?

MR BIZOS: You were never consulted. Did you say that?

MR WILLIAMSON: I could have said that, but it would have been: "You were never consulted by me".

MR BIZOS: And yes ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: "I never discussed this with you".

MR BIZOS: And did you say: "General yes, you did not know". Did you tell him that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well as far as I'm concerned, as far as my involvement was concerned the General did not know.

MR BIZOS: Now you see you are qualifying what I am putting to you, to your personal. What I'm asking you is whether you used those words, as I have put it to you?

MR WILLIAMSON: And Mr Chairman I'm saying I would have used the words that I have qualified, yes Mr Chairman. Because how could I say he did not know.

MR BIZOS: Well that's precisely the question that I would have asked you if you admitted that you had said that, which I am going to put to you that you did say.

Do you agree that you were not in a position to say that he was not consulted because you don't know what Goosen and/or others might have said to him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Entirely Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And yes General, you did not know, would also not have been quite true because you now tell us that everybody, including General Coetzee, knew that murder was the business of the men under him?

CHAIRPERSON: Has he said General Coetzee knew, had he said I assume all the higher ranks knew? Mr Bizos please ...(indistinct) question.

MR BIZOS: You would not have said you did not know because it would be contrary to your assumption that he did know? Thank you Mr Chairman. Do you agree with the proposition?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I said I could not say General Coetzee did not know because I did not know that he did not know.

MR BIZOS: Yes, we'll see what you'll have to say later about that, we'll deal with it under another heading.

MR VISSER: While there's a lull Mr Chairman, Visser on record. I must say with respect that I've never understood the amnesty proceedings to be used and I think a better word is to be abused as a sort of an inquisition against applicants.

One can understand Mr Chairman if questions are directed to other witnesses about an applicant in order to test that applicant's credibility. But then one would have expected that it would apply to that for which he applies for amnesty for, namely the London bomb. That's the only thing General Coetzee applies for amnesty for.

I find it difficult ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Doesn't that demand a complete disclosure?

MR VISSER: Yes Mr Chairman of course it does, of course it does.

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't the questioning, isn't Mr Bizos going to seek to argue that we cannot come to the conclusion that your client has made a full disclosure?

MR VISSER: Of all relevant facts pertaining to the act, omission or offence for which he applies for amnesty for Mr Chairman, that's the, that is the full disclosure he must make. We're not on the London bomb here, we're dealing with Ruth First and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No but if we find he's a liar, do we give him amnesty?

MR VISSER: In regard to Ruth First?

CHAIRPERSON: Other matters of his official duties.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman with respect ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I would be extremely hesitant about saying well we find his a liar on points a, b, c and d but we'll accept him on point e and give him amnesty.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman with respect, what's wrong with that?

CHAIRPERSON: Because I have to decide on credibility Mr Visser and if I find a man is an habitual liar ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: An habitual liar, that's ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: ...on other points.

MR VISSER: ...that's a different story Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I think we can carry on Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Will you say that General Coetzee was happy with the fact that you had gone public in relation to these murders?

MR WILLIAMSON: I can't say he was happy Mr Chairman, he was certainly not angry.

MR BIZOS: Would you say that when he found out about Ruth First's death he was unhappy about it and particularly your involvement in it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well yeah it could be put that way Mr Chairman, he said you know, that besides the London bomb he did not know that I'd been involved in these other things.

MR BIZOS: Did he express his unhappiness to you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well as I said Mr Chair, you know it wasn't that he was angry but you know I don't think he was happy, he wasn't phoning me to congratulate me Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did he show any displeasure?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well he didn't abuse me Mr Chairman but it was more in a tone of you know, what is going on, what is this that I read so if you ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: What was ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...if, if understand yes, there was a degree of sadness or unhappiness and you know.

MR BIZOS: At what, at the fact that Ruth First was murdered or that you were involved or that you, having been involved, went public. What was the reason for his unhappiness?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman really I, you know I ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Hasn't he made it clear Mr Bizos that the man sounded a little unhappy in the way he spoke, he didn't tell him I don't like this, I don't like that, I don't like that. It is the phrase he used that made him think he was a bit unhappy.

MR WILLIAMSON: His tone of voice and the way he spoke Mr Chairman, I - you know it was not normal contact conversation, you know hello how's it going. This was a - I would use the word more subdued Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was it your impression during this conversation that this was the first time that the General had found out that the Security Forces were responsible for Ruth First's death?

MR WILLIAMSON: I can't say that that was my impression Mr Chairman, it may well have been that he had found out or become aware of the fact that I was personally involved Mr Chairman but I think everybody knew the Security Forces were involved in Ruth First's death.

MR BIZOS: Well except General Coetzee who told the Committee that this was the first time that he realised. But let me ask ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That he realised the specifics Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Because I don't think he believed the story that it had been done by Joe Slovo.

MR BIZOS: He didn't say to you that I knew her personally, that it was a terrible mistake?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: He didn't say to you that the death of Ruth First was counter productive?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: He didn't say to you that if he knew that you had been involved he would have disciplined you or charged you?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman this wasn't the nature of the conversation.

MR BIZOS: Yes thank you Mr Williamson. Now if we may go onto another aspect. Did I understand your evidence correctly yesterday that you believed that the target of the letter bomb that you asked to assist to be made, was to target Joe Slovo and not Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's what I said Mr Chairman that I made that assumption from what Brigadier Goosen said and that it's an assumption I lived with for 12 years.

MR BIZOS: Thank you. You have already said that you had not gathered or processed any information in relation to Ruth First before she died?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And you went further and told us how long before you had had a look personally at her file?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Therefore, the reasons you give to the committee as to why you now consider her a legitimate target for elimination is on the basis of ex post facto rationalisation?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman in no incident of this case that I know of and certainly not in the incidents that I was involved in did, when issued with an in - what I said in my application very clearly was that the instruction did not surprise me.

That knowing the involvement of Slovo, the Slovos, Firsts I said I made the assumption from what Brigadier Goosen said, that the target was Joe Slovo and that when he said Slovo, he could in fact have meant Ruth First and that I lived for many years after that under the impression that the target had been Joe Slovo.

MR BIZOS: The answer to my question please sir. At the time you did not have to apply your mind as to whether or not Ruth First was a legitimate target. The reasons that you give for her having been killed are reasons which you applied your mind to many years after the event for the purposes of this application?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman obviously many years after the event I looked at the reasons but the standard reasons were standard reasons. The death and the killing of any high ranking member, in fact any member of the ANC or the South African Communist Party Alliance was aimed at the frustration, neutralisation, psychological destabilisation of the organisation and I didn't have to apply, I just had to get told this the target and it fell immediately within a reasonable category of target that I knew existed Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No.

MR WILLIAMSON: And what I attempted to do many years later, when we get to the TRC process, is to explain the mind set and the way of thinking behind these acts Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well let me confine myself to this. If your evidence is correct you did not apply your mind at the time before Ruth First's death as to whether she, as an individual, was a legitimate target to be murdered or not?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman. What I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Thank you that's enough ...(indistinct).

MR WILLIAMSON: What I did was to carry out an order to manufac...or to order the manufacture of a weapon which was to be used in a strike against the high level ANC target Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Joe Slovo you told us?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Slovo Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Thank you, we can proceed. Now there will be evidence, despite your ex post facto reasoning, that at the time that she was murdered if she was an ordinary ANC member and not involved, to use your words, in policy, strategy or planning of operations you are unable to ...(inaudible)

MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible) for security information?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is what I said Mr Chairman, but I also said that I was told that this was an intercepted communication from Lesotho to Maputo and that this was an ANC communication and obviously Mr Chairman, in the same way as arms caches are booby trapped, communications can be booby trapped because anybody then who is involved in that particular ANC or Communist Party activity, whether it be coming to an arms cache and unloading it or opening it up, a communication that relates to the organisation is at risk if the enemy, in that case us, has violated the integrity of their communication structure Mr Chairman. That is how I understood it Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: This is again ex post facto dissertation of facts in order to try and justify yourself. I answer to the Chairman you said that you didn't bother to find out what was in the envelope.

Do you recall that?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct because I had been told already, this was a communication going to Slovo Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes and now also you tell us in your amnesty application that it was UN related

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I said that the envelope had the logo of an international organisation, possibly UN related and in the basic trade craft of clandestine communication, this would have been absolutely standard procedure when on is attempting to avoid the violation of the integrity of your communication channel.

If you are a terrorist based in Lesotho or based in the Free State and you're attempting to send some information to your commander in Maputo you could easily, if possible, set up some type of clandestine communication channel that would go from the one capital to the other under cover of some respectable organisation Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Without bothering to ascertain whether it was addressed to Joe Slovo or not.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if I had been given the responsibility to carry out the entire operation that is the type of thing that I would have then ascertained.

I was given the responsibility to pass on the order to manufacture a device, an IED Mr Chairman, which was being used. That communication came from somewhere, I do not know from where, it was not from my section it came from somewhere and it went back to probably wherever it came from Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Do you realise that by limiting your knowledge and what you - the little that you say that you did, that you as the chief of intelligence in relation to this event, have reduced yourself to nothing more than a messenger performing a routine act?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I don't agree Mr Chairman. I will agree if you say I was some type of a pawn in a jigsaw puzzle or a chess game that was being played.

But this was, as far - and I said and answered to a question by the Chairman, that in the range of possibilities there was the most logical possibility was that we had been asked to manufacture the device because of the technical expertise of Mr Raven and because of the success of the London bomb.

CHAIRPERSON: The question was what function were you to perform and what Mr Bizos suggested was that what you had told us, you were merely the messenger who carried the bomb from ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No that I was the person who was given the instruction to have the bomb manufactured because my section had the ability to manufacture that bomb.

CHAIRPERSON: And we have been told by General Coetzee that he visited the explosion section frequently. I take it Brigadier Goosen did the same, they knew who worked there?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: They didn't need you to go and talk to Raven?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Raven was at that time under my command, he'd been moved from the explosives section ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Under General Goosen's command.

MR WILLIAMSON: Under?

CHAIRPERSON: Goosen's command?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes but he was in my section Mr Chairman and had been moved from explosives ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: On a need-to-know basis they could have excluded you quite happily.

MR WILLIAMSON: Absolutely, they could have excluded me Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: So - I'm interested in the use of, your use of the word pawn. Who in the ...(indistinct) this ...(indistinct) body that made decisions or in the Security Police Headquarters would want to use the Head of Intelligence as a pawn?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman we - I'm not saying, I believe even the members of the ...(indistinct) were being used as pieces on the board Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Who was the puppet master? Or I'm corrected by my learned friend Mr Burger, who was the chess player, who was moving the pieces?

MR WILLIAMSON: The State Security Council Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman it may be a convenient stage to take a short adjournment.

CHAIRPERSON: We will take an adjournment now till 11 o'clock.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CRAIG MICHAEL WILLIAMSON: (s.u.o.)

MR BIZOS: It has come to our notice Mr Chairman that what I put to Mr Williamson about his being the best man at the Nupen wedding is incorrect Mr Chairman. He admitted it, but then it would appear that it's part of the, what Mr Williamson referred to as the "urban legend", but he admitted it. but I am informed by Mrs Nupen, who is here Mr Chairman, that Mr Frick Haysom was their best man, although Mr Williams was there as one of the guests.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I didn't say I was ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I owe this to Mr Nupen - I beg your pardon?

MR WILLIAMSON: I didn't say I was the best man. I thought you said or had been asked. There was a discussion that I be the best man, I was not the best man but yes there was such talk Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Oh there was talk. I see, well I want to apologise to Mr and Mrs Nupen and the Committee Mr Chairman for that, for that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: The point your were seeking to make I think was made, you did agree to be best man didn't you Mr Williams?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would have agreed, the same as I agreed to be Eugene De Kock's master of ceremonies at his wedding Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Because I think that was the point you were making that while ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That is so Mr Chairman

CHAIRPERSON: ...he was spying on someone you were still agreeing.

MR BIZOS: But I think that I've said enough Mr Chairman and we can leave it at that. I want to apologise to the Nupens for - who are good friends to, for this thing that I used, the misunderstanding Mr Chairman.

May I proceed Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: (Inaudible).

MR BIZOS: Thank you. Mr Williamson potential victims of a letter bomb are unpredictable.

MR WILLIAMSON: I would agree Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: For instance on the assumption that this letter was, letter bomb was addressed to Ruth First, she could have opened it in the presence of her colleagues, the presence of her students or some of her students and could have caused the death of people who were innocent, even in accordance with your reasoning as to who is guilty and who innocent?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would agree with that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Would you agree that it is also a cowardly way of killing a supposed enemy?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I would agree with that with the proviso that there are many cowardly way of killing, including probably cruise missiles, car bombs, limpid mines at Wimpy bars etc.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: That are all cowardly ways Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: But that is done in a declared war.

MR WILLIAMSON: Limpid mines in Wimpy bars Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: Leaving out those which you know or the ANC claim were outside it's policy, but the other matters that you have mentioned are in declared wars?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm not going to deny that ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...there are, you know in - all it goes is to illustrate the totally - I'm searching to find a word bad enough ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Disgusting nature of this type of war.

MR BIZOS: And you know we do not expect you to speculate about your sense of values because you have put them - you yourself read about in Exhibit 2, Page 30 - let me remind you of some of the aphorisms that are contained in the minutes of what your moral standards were.

Firstly that there are - the one rule is that there are no rules. Do you recall that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Was that in Q?

MR BIZOS: Q2, page 30.

MR BIZOS: Yes I remember that, that is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I'm going to use the translation for the sake of clarity and I'm not going to read it all out. You said when survival is the game law, morality, norms or values must be thrown overboard, or words to that effect?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman I wrote that.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And that was not, I would say, a unique view in the South African Security Forces which is exactly why I appended that document to my evidence to the Armed Forces hearing.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What are you reading from Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Q2, Page 30 in the bundles that were handed in by the applicant Mr Chairman.

MR WILLIAMSON: It would be Q2, Document 11. Well Index 11, Document 21 and it would be page, on your record Mr Chairman, ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: This was intelligence ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: 238. Sorry and then it starts on the, my comment starts on 238 and 239 Mr Chairman, paragraph 6.2.3. 239 of your record Mr Chairman in Q2.

MR BIZOS: I want to try and make this as brief as possible. You, the Security Council, the Security Police speak about a war that there was, that you were fighting. That is correct?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now in wars you take prisoners and you don't kill people that are under your control. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman there may be some wars that are fought like that but I don't know.

MR BIZOS: Well civilised nations have come together and have drawn up a set of rules as to how wars are to be fought if they must be fought.

MR WILLIAMSON: Ja, that's something different Mr Chairman. If we ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well do they abide by them Mr Bizos, your so-called civilised nations?

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon sir?

CHAIRPERSON: Do they abide by these rules, your so-called civilised nations?

MR BIZOS: No, those that don't Mr Chairman appear in criminal tribunals, happily more often these days than not. They don't take prisoners, or rather they take prisoners. Yes?

MR WILLIAMSON: If we're talking theoretically, yes Mr Chairman in war ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...prisoners can be taken.

MR BIZOS: No but you see we want to know about this war that the Security Council, the Security Police and you talk about. Were the people who took part in the other side treated as combatants or were they caught, tried, imprisoned and executed?

MR WILLIAMSON: You mean as combatants in terms of the Geneva Convention or the protocol to it?

MR BIZOS: No, yes, well we're going to come to that. The persons that were caught from the ANC and the other liberation movements, were they treated as prisoners of war ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No.

MR BIZOS: Were they accorded any of the rights that combatants have?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No and was South Africa, who was holding out that it was fighting a war in Namibia and in it's border here, was it called upon by the international community to sign the Geneva Convention?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And did it refuse to do so?

MR WILLIAMSON: I believe so Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did it not occur to you that that was a negation of the allegation that we were at war?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman you know on one level there may have been diplomatic in other manoeuvres on the international level, but when I stood in Church Street in 1983 I had absolutely no doubt we were in a war Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And what about the 39 people that were killed in Lesotho?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes and at that time Mr Chairman I had absolutely no doubt we were in a war.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And that was 1981 Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now you knew did you not, at the time, that the President, Prime Minister, was saying that these murders of activists within or outside the country were not committed by members of the Security Forces. You knew that to be a false statement?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if you're referring to raids such as the Maseru one that we've just referred to, they never said that, they admitted it.

MR BIZOS: No.

MR WILLIAMSON: When we're talking about covert ...(indistinct) ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Covert actions.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...then yes it was false Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. You knew that if your participation in murders was, came out that you would be charged criminally?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I - there was amongst people in the Security Forces at that time, a debate about the legality and I'm talking now about the officers at my level, people when you met and talked and there was a very clear distinction between internal and external operations.

And my involvement was in external operations and I believed that in the same way as I've given the examples of other countries doing this type of thing, that this was an instrument of state policy which could only be used if secrecy could be maintained and that there was absolutely no chance of us being charged or convicted or extradited for things that we were doing as loyal members of the Security Forces of the State at that time.

MR BIZOS: Incidentally you did know that the African National Congress had signed the Geneva Convention?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I remember Mr Chairman because it was part of what was called the International Dimension of the ANC's onslaught against South Africa, the political and diplomatic dimension and there was a lot of debate and I personally gave input on the efforts being made by the international community to get South Africa to accede to that, to the protocol of the Geneva Convention.

I believe if I could be corrected, but I believe that South Africa was a signatory of the main Convention and we are talking about was a signatory to a protocol which was to be added to the Convention.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes Mr Chairman I just wanted to come in here. South Africa refused as far as I know to sign Protocol Two. You would have noted in my previous heads of argument I dealt with this whole argument and with the applicability of Protocol Two to the South African situation, because Protocol Two makes provision or requires the official armed forces on one side of the conflict and furthermore requires territorial control on the part of the insurgent forces, which excludes situations we're dealing with in South African Conflict.

So I just want to place on record, insofar as the cross examination is on the basis that Protocol Two is applicable to the South African situation, I will argue that it was not.

MR BIZOS: Well we'll deal with that in due course ...(indistinct).

Now Mr Williamson Gillian Slovo asked you for interviews?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And you had two interviews with her?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And with your knowledge and consent those interviews were recorded?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you also record them?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I am going to put into evidence a transcript of the second interview. The first interview the tape was not as clear but we tried our best to transcribe it and we will hand it in during the course of the day because we are asking Mr Chairman, Miss Slovo to help the transcriber to correct a couple of the things that seem to be ambiguous and not making sense.

May I hand in a transcript of the second interview as the next exhibit?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman may I just enquire from my learned friend, do I understand you correctly that Mrs Slovo was involved in assisting the transcriber in respect of this transcript that's being handed out now?

MR BIZOS: Yes, to look for words which were not clear. The tape is available, anybody can check it Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Yes that was my ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: Yes the tape can be checked, we are very careful to put as accurate information as we possibly can before the Committee Mr Chairman. And it's Miss Slovo and not Mrs Slovo Mr Chairman.

Now Mr Williamson before we go to it, just let us ask you a few preliminary questions. Was a "dekstorie" prepared once the letter bomb that was intended to be sent to the Modlani University, was a "dekstorie" decided upon or not? Or a Stratcom if you prefer the expression.

MR WILLIAMSON: No.

MR BIZOS: Was it prepared or not?

MR WILLIAMSON: There would be a standard response as I said earlier Mr Chairman, that was that it would ANC dissent and then at a later stage there was the particular disinformation about Mr Joe Slovo's involvement in the death.

MR BIZOS: Now the "dekstorie" that was prepared beforehand, was it to falsely cover those responsible for Ruth First's death or Joe Slovo's death?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it would over any death in the ANC because it would relate to dissension in the organisation.

MR BIZOS: No but surely, surely the "dekstorie" in order to have some sort of credibility, some sort of credibility, had to relate to a particular person and the personal circumstances or rumours or information in relation to that person. A "dekstorie" for instance in relation to Mr Slovo would have to be different to a "dekstorie" for Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well it - as I remember it the so-called cover story for Ruth First was, and I think you eluded to it earlier, was related to some of her differences that she had with the South African Communist Party and ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: The question was Mr Williamson ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, no, so I'm saying, so obviously if there was particular information that related to a particular individual, there could be a different type of cover story, but ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Let's take it step by step.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying there was a cover story for Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I believe that the standard cover story that would have been applied was that if such an incident happened it was as a result of dissension in the organisation. And then one ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Look, well you've just said the cover story for Ruth First related to difficulties she had with the Communist Party?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes and then you would build on that by adding any information that one might have.

MR BIZOS: Was there a specific "dekstorie" in relation to Ruth First before her death. Was a "dekstorie" agreed upon before her death at the Security Police Headquarters?

MR WILLIAMSON: It's possible Mr Chairman, I don't ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Possible?

MR WILLIAMSON: Possible.

MR BIZOS: Well, but you know you've already, you've already beginning to hedge Mr Williamson because you know that if there was a "dekstorie" about Ruth First before she was killed with the bomb that you helped make, your story that it was intended for Joe Slovo would be incredible?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I, and especially when I saw Eduardo Mondlani(?) on that envelope, had absolutely, I believed and up until I had this interview with Mrs, with Gillian Slovo I believed the bomb was being sent solely to Mr Slovo. I then ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: May I interrupt you.

MR WILLIAMSON: It's this interview that ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Would you answer my question please.

MR WILLIAMSON: No, but may I - I am trying to answer the question Mr Bizos. The fact remains that whether the bomb - that if this was an ANC communication going from, or Communist Party communication going from Lesotho to Maputo and that the intended recipient was Mr Joe Slovo, there's absolutely no reason on earth that this that this could not go via Ruth First. And as we said about letter bombs Mr Chairman, and Eduardo Mondlani University is where Ruth First was working Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: The question was if a "dekstorie" was available for the death of Ruth First before she was killed, then nobody at the Security Police Headquarters could possibly have believed that the bomb was for Joe Slovo and not for Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman there could have been a "dekstorie" for anybody who potentially could have been a victim of the device Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: But Mr Williamson what you said in the evidence was, as I remember the cover story for Ruth First related to difficulties she had with the Communist Party.

MR WILLIAMSON: That was ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Now that wasn't a "dekstorie" for anybody, you were talking about what you remembered of the cover story for Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes which we put into circulation to ...

END OF TAPE 2

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) was a "dekstorie" or a Stratcom story prepared for Ruth First and your first reply was no, the usual story of inter party dissension would relate to Joe or Ruth and then you were asked that surely the story would relate in details to the person, set out reasons etc and you then volunteered the information that as you remembered it the cover story for Ruth First related to her difficulties with the Communist Party.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman and that is the cover story which we used in 1984 Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: But why talk about that when you were being asked about the time before the bomb was sent?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I thought we were talking about in general ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You weren't Mr Williamson you were being asked specifically by Mr Bizos about whether a story was prepared for her before the bomb was sent.

MR WILLIAMSON: And I said I did not remember whether it was specifically, but it would probably have been related to the general story which was related to dissension and then in the case of Ruth First that this would have been related to her problems with the Communist Party.

And that in fact Mr Chairman later occurred.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman. Was there any discussion to which you were a party or came to know about that the explosives used should be either of Soviet or other Eastern European origin in order to lend plausibility to this "dekstorie"?

MR WILLIAMSON: I believe that is so Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well at least tell us who told you that they should try and get Sentex, which a Czechoslovakian high explosive or any other Soviet or Easter European explosive in order to support the plausible false story that would be given out that Ruth First was killed as a result of dissent by her in the Communist Party or the ANC or both?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't remember that it was discussed specifically, but that was standard procedure. The use by the Security Branch, the Security Police, the Security Forces in general of ordinance and weapons in clandestine attacks was routinely East Block weapons and explosives.

And in every instance it was done in order to allow the South African State a window of deniability Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now his Lordship has already indicated that if a "dekstorie" specifically for Ruth First was prepared, then it must have been a bomb intended for Ruth First and not for Joe Slovo?

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think I indicated that?

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon, yes sir, no. In mid sentence I realised it was merely, yes. Well let me put it as my question rather then. If a specific "dekstorie" about Ruth was agreed upon then your evidence that you thought this was for Joe Slovo is false?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman because as I said, that I believed the device was aimed at Joe Slovo and the possibility is that it would have gone via Ruth First, and the possibility is, as you yourself said, that in an action of this nature somebody else might have been killed or injured in the explosion and any cover stories that would have been made up Mr Chairman would have been based, number one, on the fact that there was dissension in the ANC and then number two, depending on the individual concerned who was killed or injured, there would be some or other, as credible as possible, adjunct added to the cover story.

But to say that there were now sort of special cover stories prepared Mr Chairman is not so. These were standard responses and then in the Stratcom operation and in talking to journalists and so on, little bits and pieces would be added to it, but it was a standard procedure Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Can we start off with a premise that the Soviet Union wouldn't want to kill Joe Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: No we can't Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Oh, oh I see. So if Joe Slovo was killed you would have said that Joe Slovo was killed at the instance of the Soviet Union?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I didn't say that either Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well - and judging by the last answer that you gave, was the "dekstorie" in relation to Ruth worked out on the basis that she may have been killed by mistake because she might have opened Joe Slovo's post?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I see. So you foresaw the possibility or probability that even if it were intended for Joe Slovo, the victim would have been or might be Ruth First.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I've said there could be another victim. If it was going via Ruth First she obviously could be the victim and I assure you Mr Chairman that the "dekstorie" would have been worked out once the victim became apparent and not before.

The basic "dekstorie" would have - we all knew what the "dekstorie" was and then after a specific event occurred, we would then amend the "dekstorie" to fit with the circumstances Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Would you agree that no ANC or CP communication would be sent by post to Joe Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I would not Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You would not?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, because I in fact have sent communications to members of the ANC by post. I was trained and instructed by the ANC on how to send secret communications by mail Mr Chairman and if the Committee wants to see some of them, I could present them to you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: To Joe Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, but ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: But Joe Slovo was not an exception to any rules there may have been?

MR WILLIAMSON: Oh well ...(indistinct). Not to my knowledge but perhaps Joe Slovo was an exception to the rules which I didn't know about Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Oh I see yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: But I sent communications to inter alia Mr Mac Maharaj, who was very nearly as senior as Mr Joe Slovo Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now would you please turn to page 17 of the transcript. I don't want to read anything before the middle of - upper middle page of page 17. Well let's start for the sake of completeness with the second paragraph. Miss Slovo

"Have you been able to find out how the bomb actually got to Maputo"?

"Well uhm it's uh, there's not really too many of these guys who want to talk to me at the moment but it appears that it was packed through Jan Smuts".

Miss Slovo:

"It just went in the post"?

Mr Williamson:

"I'm assuming so, ja"?

"Weren't they worried that it would be checked at the University"?

"Ja, which is why they would have made sure that even if it was, there would be no comebacks".

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman my learned friend is reading, the document hasn't been shown to Mr Williamson before. I would think that he should be entitled to read through the whole document and then answer specific questions on a page ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: This is a transcript of an evidence, of a consultation that he says he participated in. He says it was recorded.

MR LEVINE: That is quite correct.

CHAIRPERSON: He's being asked about something he knows all about. It is not a strange document that's being put to him.

MR LEVINE: It is a strange document. The admission of a consultation is there.

CHAIRPERSON: Counsel could cross examine him without letting him see the document and say didn't this happen at the meeting. You couldn't object to that could you Mr Levine?

MR LEVINE: I would ask him on the basis, on what basis he was putting it.

CHAIRPERSON: Because he's got a tape of it and he is now putting ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: Well my submission is ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'm afraid I disagree with you entirely Mr Levine.

Mr Williamson this document relates to a consultation you had not very long ago with Miss Slovo doesn't it?

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm happy to discuss it Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman perhaps if you were following, did I get up to

"I'm assuming so, ja".

Is that how far we got Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes that's correct.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

"Weren't they worried about it would be checked at the University"?

"Ja, that is why they would have made sure that even if it was, there would be no comeback".

"Hmm"?

"It would have been Soviet explosives, it would fit in with a cover story which was that it was Ruth was being a nuisance inside the ANC and therefore was eliminated and that it couldn't have been a letter bomb because the explosive was too powerful".

Did you say that?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Does this not clearly show that the intended victim, when you spoke at this interview, was Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman it shows that at the time of the interview, which was in 1995, I knew very well that the victim had been Ruth First, that and in fact I'm sure that somewhere else in this I will have said that the intended victim as far as I was concerned was meant to be Joe Slovo and what I'm saying here is that Soviet explosives would have been used because it would have covered, it would have accorded with the standard cover story that there was dissension in the organisation.

And then of course, depending on who was killed, like in this instance it was Ruth First, we could go further and say that she was eliminated because she was a nuisance because of some of the clashes that have been mentioned before.

MR BIZOS: Please bear with me Mr Chairman. Yes. And if we turn to page 22 the second paragraph, or the second sentence

"That's why you assumed that it wasn't sent by post"?

That's Miss Slovo. Mr Williamson:

"That's why I had some feeling that because I thought that either it hadn't been sent or if it had, it had been detected you know and then one morning you know we monitored BBC every morning of Africa News just for general and of course the ANC. The operation - I can't remember, I think it was called Falk ..."

It's unclear, would that be, is that correct?

MR WILLIAMSON: Falk, ja.

MR BIZOS: Falk.

"I think he was listening to the ANC Coms ..."

That's communications presumably?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: "Between Maputo and London and Lusaka".

"On the phone"?

"On telex, ja".

"And that's when you had the Stratcom meeting to"?

Mr Williamson:

"Ja that's when the Stratcom guys were told, because of course the press then started running around saying you know who had done this and that's when the second aspect of the thing, an internal"?

"Who was the Stratcom guys"?

"I can't remember, I can't even remember, I don't know they were, you know the main story I think was fed to the journalists who were like on the list of - because the story actually only came out in 1984, it took that long".

"Which story"?

"The story that Joe had been killed".

MR WILLIAMSON: No that Joe had killed Ruth.

MR BIZOS: Sorry, I beg your pardon,

"The story that Joe had killed Ruth was only in the papers, as far as I can see and went back and read the papers in '84".

Now I'm going to put to you that this clearly shows that you admitted that there was a "dekstorie" before the event and that it could only have been before the event if you and the others knew that it was intended for Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman if you're going to send a device like this through an ANC communication channel to members of the ANC, of course there would be some type of "dekstorie" and basically, as I said, we didn't have to think very hard what the "dekstorie" was going to be because it was always the same, internal dissension in the ANC.

In this instance I said that I can't remember, number one how it went, it took a time - there was a time lapse between me giving it to the Brigadier and me hearing that the thing had gone off. I can't really remember whether we heard it on BBC or whether we got it through intercepting ANC communications.

And that's an important point also Mr Chairman - not to do with this but just to remember because we can discuss it in future, that it was completely routine for us to be monitoring all ANC communication, postal, telex, telephone and even courier if possible.

So Mr Chairman the fact is that there was Stratcom. Once something, once this event had occurred I would have told the Stratcom individuals or people involved in Stratcom here we go, Joe Slovo for example is being killed. Now we will say that this shows that there's absolute disaster in the ANC, there's huge dissension between the Africanists, the Charterists - I mean the Africanists and the supporters of the Communist Party, that in fact now like, you know Mr Chairman it would have been automatic what story would have come out.

If Ruth First was killed it was automatic that the story would have come out that it was not only dissension but that the dissension was related to the fact that she had problems with the ANC because she was pushing a ...(indistinct) line. So ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: When was the "dekstorie" given to the papers for the first time?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well you can see here that there was a confusion between Gillian Slovo and me exactly about that because she was talking about the Stratcom story, and as Mr Chairman asked, the Stratcom story that came out in 1984 and in fact I was talking about answers that should be given to the press immediately after the event happened and those were two years apart Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was a "dekstorie" given to the newspaper immediately after the event?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't know I was not involved in giving the "dekstorie" to the newspapers, but I'm absolutely sure that some journalist would have been given the cover story, yes that's how it worked and they would have phoned us and asked what's going on, Ruth First's been killed, who did it. This is how it worked Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And where ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: We usually had journalists that we were in touch with every day. People who phoned us and asked us and if anything happened to the ANC, particularly of this nature, they would have asked us what happened and we would have given them the type of story that we wanted to published Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was this story given, to your knowledge, immediately after the event?

MR WILLIAMSON: I said I've absolutely no idea Mr Chairman, but I believe it - I mean it would have been.

CHAIRPERSON: Was - can anybody tell us whether there was any such story in the popular press immediately after the event, has anybody bothered to look?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman I have some press clippings, I'll have a look now and see if I can find anything.

MR BIZOS: I think that the tape may give an answer to that Mr Chairman in my next question. We were unable to find any but there may be a reason given by the witness himself Mr Chairman.

Could you please turn to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Was the death reported, do you know Mr Williamson in 1982?

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm sure, I don't remember specific articles, but it must have been Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes it was reported and in fact meetings to commemorate her memory were banned in South Africa, in Cape Town in particular Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: Ja here in page 23 I'm talking about Citizen and she's talking about Star and perhaps then there was an article in the Citizen.

MR BIZOS: Well let me, let me just remind, let us just take the Committee into our confidence as to what you say on page 23.

Perhaps we should for the sake of completeness start on page 22.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you've read the whole of page 22 haven't you Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Have I Mr Chairman, I don't know, oh yes. Well please have a look at 23 specifically. Mr Williamson, three quarters of the way down

"It's not, but it's you know again I don't, it's not something that I've got to - now that you mentioned it I think I remember that I, we were quite surprised that the story then came out after having been fed, after being fedded through".

MR WILLIAMSON: Having unsuccessfully.

CHAIRPERSON: Having unsuccessfully fedded (?) through.

MR BIZOS: Having unsuccessfully fedded through, thank you Mr Chairman. That is implied there at the time. Unsuccessfully fedded through in the context means at the time, immediately after her death?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, sorry Mr Chairman. We were - this, the story in the Star was in 1984.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: They're talking there surely about the story that gave rise to an action where he sued for damages?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's right Mr Chairman, which was after this problem at the Umkomati Accord, but I - Mr Chairman I'm not saying that this story didn't exist before that time Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm not saying that this story hadn't been thought out and existed before this time Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And that it was fed ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: And that it had been fed to people ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct).

MR WILLIAMSON: And that's what I'm saying here.

MR BIZOS: And you were surprised that they did not use it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I - that's happened many times Mr Chairman. I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: We're talking about this case.

MR WILLIAMSON: You know I've been the victim of the same type of, this type of disinformation, I know quite a lot about it Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes we're talking about this matter. Do you agree that pages 22 to 23 clearly indicates that there was a "dekstorie" ready which was fed to the newspapers immediately after the event in 1982, but the newspaper showed some good sense in not publishing it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman what I will say is what I've been saying, is yes there was a general "dekstorie" ready for any time that anything happened against any ANC person.

Secondly, immediately such an act happened one would, if possible, put a spin onto it. A particular spin relating to the individual or person who had been killed or attack that had been - a target that had been attacked in order to get the maximum possible benefit out of the psychological reaction to it Mr Chairman.

And I'm also saying here that in many instances this type of rumour and innuendo that you fed into the system sometimes came back at the most surprising times, many years or months or weeks or whatever later and Mr Chairman I can, I can refer to the example of our story about Mr Joe Slovo being a KGB Colonel.

That was fed into the media and nobody printed it and suddenly one day it came out of a foreign newspaper somewhere that - it's just an example of feeding the stuff into the, I won't say vacuum but it's fed into the world and it's allowed then to take it's own course and breed out and come back Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: We'll come to your making Mr Slovo a KGB Colonel later, but let's concern ourselves with the matter in issue. Would you please turn to page 25?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman maybe I can be of assistance in respect of the question you asked just now. I'm in possession of 4 newspaper reports. I can give you the dates in which - maybe I must just shortly deal with them. May I go ahead?

MR BIZOS: No, Mr Chairman we will accept that there were was publicity of the death. The question is whether the "dekstorie" appeared immediately afterwards or not.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, yes that's ...(indistinct)

MR BIZOS: Well perhaps that would be helpful, thank you.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes that's what I want to place on record for the Committee.

MR DU PLESSIS: In the Transvaaler of 19 August 1982, the heading of the newspaper cutting is

"Dissension reason for Murder".

MR BIZOS: Well ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Right and Mr Chairman I can make copies for you and you can read it. It states there that that is one of the reasons and then the other one is the Rand Daily Mail, 19 August 1982 wherein it is stated, strangely enough

"Official credit was ..." ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: I suppose it's '82?

MR DU PLESSIS: 1982, sorry. 19 August 1982 the Rand Daily Mail.

"Official credit was claimed by the Mozambique Resistance Movement",

which the Mozambique Government insists is backed by South Africa. Then there is 14 July 1984, The Star, which says:

"Reports claim Slovo responsible for wife's letter bomb death".

1984, 14/7/1984. It just says here:

"Subsequent information compiled by United States and British sources reveals a different story. This suggests Joe Slovo engineered his estranged wife's killing on ideological grounds".

And then there is 14 July 1984, the Star, wherein it is stated:

"Slovo's wife Ruth First was a radical communist dedicated to the Trotskyist ideology as opposed to Slovo's dedication to the Marxist line. When she died in an explosion Ruth First was estranged from her husband and was causing serious ideological rifts in the ANC and between the ANC and the Mozambicans".

And then it goes on discussing that. And the last one Mr Chairman I've got is a document entitled:

"World in Review" (transcriber's translation),

of August 1982, where it is stated:

"The reason for the murder is dissension within", (transcriber's translation)

and it also goes on speculating that that was the reason.

If you want I will make them available for copies Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. The Star ones are available Mr chairman to us, the '84 ones.

But may I continue Mr Williamson with what you were asked and what you responded on page 25 of the tape. You were asked that she was causing him trouble:

"Why did you pick on that story"?

"I think that they picked on it because it had come from somewhere in the ANC. I mean they would always have, you know these things don't work unless there is a germ of truth in them".

Miss Slovo:

"Ruth of course was never a Trotskyite (?)".

Mr Williamson:

"Yes but you know, I don't think they were particularly worried what exactly she was, but I think it was just to ...(indistinct) and probably. I remember reports on Ruth ...

"...democratic centralism was being abused".

May I pause there for a moment please? Would you firstly agree that you said that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Who are the "they" that you refer to in the first line of your answer?

MR WILLIAMSON: Probably people involved in Stratcom Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Who were they?

MR WILLIAMSON: Numerous individuals.

MR BIZOS: Who were they?

MR WILLIAMSON: Numerous individuals Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Give us the names of some please that would have put up the false story because they may have vital information and we want to know who they were. Who were they "they" that you were referring to?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I said members of Stratcom probably - and that would start with members of my section and then also go right through to the Stratcom level at the Secretariat of the State Security Council.

And Mr Chairman let me say very clearly that when it came to spreading "dekstories" or disinformation or Stratcom, it wasn't that we were running around the corridors saying oh excuse me, you know we actually did this but now we need you to say that. This was just, this has happened and this must be the reaction to it.

MR BIZOS: Who is the "they" that you were referring to. Please give us some names?

MR WILLIAMSON: It would be very difficult, if not impossible, for me now in 1998 to tell you who in 1982

would have been responsible for liaising with the press to give them these types of stories Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Give us the names of the Stratcom people who in your section ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: At, in 1982 we didn't have any Stratcom people in my section Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Stratcom came, became something probably 2 or even 3 years later, that it became a specific part of the intelligence section, but at the time the people who were related to giving information to the press, if I'm not wrong, one of them is, well is one of the applicants, Mr McPherson, Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well on page 22 you introduced Stratcom?

MR WILLIAMSON: Stratcom was the term we used Mr Chairman, Co-oís or Stratcom.

MR BIZOS: Have a look at the middle of page 22, and that was ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: The Stratcom guys, yes.

MR BIZOS: Who was listening to the reports on the radio and which was the time, according to your statement, that ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman we ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible) you had a Stratcom meeting?

MR WILLIAMSON: We received on a daily basis radio reports from across the spectrum. It's standard procedure and any intelligence organisation in the world, I don't know who was listening to the radio Mr Chairman. I got a report of what the radio has said Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Page 22.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, you've asked me (intervention)

MR BIZOS: "Now that's when the Stratcom guys were told". Now who were the Stratcom guys that were told and by whom and what did they say to them?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman what would have occurred at that time is that my section would have been the section, obviously because it was in charge of the foreign intelligence of the Security Police, that would have been asked what has now happened in Maputo to Ruth First and what - and the press would have been phoning some of my people and I believe people like myself would have been involved in the Stratcom as well as members of my staff, for example perhaps Mr McPherson.

MR BIZOS: Please tell us who told who - names, names please?

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Wait and read ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: I've said already ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible) page 22 and page 25 together.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...(inaudible) that. If you give me the organogram of the Security Branch in 1982 and give me a list of all the staff I could perhaps be of more assistance, but what I'm saying is that the Stratcom action at that time would have been co-ordinated out of my section.

I would have been involved, I doubt that some journalist would have phoned me, but other members of my staff would have been involved and I would have told them what the story was Mr Chairman.

So when their friend from one of these newspapers phones them or they then speak to their contact in the newspaper, this is the story that would be conveyed.

MR BIZOS: Are you not prepared to take the Committee into your confidence ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ... and say who you were referring to when you were speaking to Miss Slovo and you used the word "Stratcom guys" and when you used the word "they"?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I would absolutely be willing to take the Committee into my confidence if I could and I have to try and explain how this Stratcom thing worked, it didn't only work on one level.

The immediate Stratcom story would have gone from us, for example under the guise that in fact, in fact the intelligence information which would have been fed through into the system, into the entire security system, would have been based on the Stratcom Mr Chairman - sorry on the Stratcom story, and then the different elements in the Security Forces co-ordinated as they were, as we've gone into endless detail describing, would have all picked up on that information and used it in feeding that story out to their different sources Mr Chairman.

The fact, it was - what is said here does not in any way mean that I then went to some type of a Stratcom meeting that dealt specifically with this incident Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well I've tried my best to try and get the information from you. Mr Williamson will you please turn to page 12. You will see in the middle of the page

"Johan Coetzee went and told the Mozambican Minister at Umkomati that Ruth's death was a mistake and that it shouldn't have happened like that. Do you know what he meant"?

Mr Williamson:

"You'd have to ask him but I know he, uhm it's difficult, I know Johan Coetzee didn't - when he found out he wasn't, he wasn't happy".

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well. Miss Slovo

"Why not"?

"Well he just, you know, I think he felt that this was, hmm it was - actually you know Johan Coetzee felt that very much that in a way that I felt that you know we should be concentrating on the intelligence aspect and things to try and because there was going to have to be political solution and that the more we turned this thing into a military confrontation, the less chance of getting any solution was going to develop. It was why, I mean you know he was also very much against the whole Renamo situation in Mozambique because he said that even if - I mean one of his big argument was used etc".

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: So far you would have said that and now I want to skip the rest and go down to where you see the 3 dots in the middle of the page

"And I would say '82 was probably the beginning of a much more intense military aspect of the confrontation where people started saying that there was a military solution, that we could disable the ANC and I think Johan Coetzee, you know, why not doubt him that obviously there would have to be a military aspect in dealing with the ANC and that there have to be pre-emptive actions or relative actions against ..." ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Retaliatory.

MR BIZOS: "...retaliatory actions against them. That ultimately it was going to be taking ..." ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Talking that solved the problem.

MR BIZOS: "...talking that solved the problem and not fighting".

Let us just stop there.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I'm very happy with that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You're very happy with that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Hmm.

MR BIZOS: Now would you agree that when you say that he wasn't happy, you were speaking about 1984 and not 1995?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman what was the date of this interview with Miss Slovo please?

MR BIZOS: Well you tell us. Can you remember? Can you remember when it was?

MR WILLIAMSON: After the article in the Observer.

MR BIZOS: Two weeks after.

MR WILLIAMSON: Exactly.

MR BIZOS: 29th of?

MR WILLIAMSON: I don't know when it was, 1985 as we said.

MR BIZOS: No.

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry, '95.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And I'd had my phone conversation with General Coetzee.

MR BIZOS: You see the question was relating to what happened in 1984.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well that's - Mr Chairman this is when these things happen and I think my description here of General Coetzee's general attitude is correct and I think a lot of the inferences that are being made about General Coetzee are very unfair.

MR BIZOS: Now let's just stick to page 12. You are asked a question about what he was asked at Umkomati in 1984 and your response is that he was, he wasn't happy.

MR WILLIAMSON: I said ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: This was a conversation about what happened in 1984.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes and Mr Chairman do you see what I said there. He went and told the Mozambican Minister de da de da, Ruth First was a mistake and then I said

"Well you'd have to ask him".

MR BIZOS: Now ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: And I know Johan Coetzee and he didn't - and then I said

"When he found out he wasn't happy".

In other words he didn't at that time know about it and that when he found out he expressed the fact that he was not happy, which is exactly what he said Mr Chairman and what I said about his conversation with me Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: But you see, have a look at the bottom of page 12. In '95 there wasn't a question of concentrating on intelligence ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Excuse me, excuse me Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Let me finish my question.

MR WILLIAMSON: Okay.

MR BIZOS: Were there, was there a debate in 1995 as to whether the conflict could be stopped by intelligence or by reforms or by military action?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman you know I think it's painfully obvious to me that this interview with Mrs Slovo, or Miss Slovo, the discussion that I had was about the past, the time, the context, the things that were happening.

I was attempting to explain to her something that wasn't very easy Mr Chairman and it's not easy ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: My question was ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No, please can I finish now Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: Yes please do.

MR WILLIAMSON: Because - and I explained how, what type of a person General Coetzee was and how he thought and I wasn't talking about a war or the intelligence situation or the military onslaught in 1995 because there was no longer one, we'd had an election Mr Chairman. We'd had a CODESA process, we had a new Constitution in South Africa.

I said here that he, in the past, had been worried about the fact that the confrontation between the ANC and the South African Government was becoming more and more military and the more military it became the more confrontational it became, the less chance there was of getting a solution an Mr Chairman his views on that, I must say, I accorded and went along with his views on that.

Mr Chairman the member of the South African Security Forces in South Africa who was, I would say, the most against the Renamo policy for example was General Coetzee. I say that here, I say why. He talked about he was opposed to the use of Renamo as an instrument of state policy by South Africa Mr Chairman.

This is - and nobody can argue that Renamo was busy fighting a war in Mozambique in 1995 Mr Chairman. We were talking in 1995 about things that were happening in South Africa in the '80s Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I am going to put to you that in answer to your question as to whether Coetzee knew, in the middle of page 12, in the context and only mean that he knew in 1984 at the Umkomati meeting that the South Africans were responsible for Ruth First's death.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I deny it categorically Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: You deny it?

MR WILLIAMSON: ...and it's completely clear to me what it means.

MR BIZOS: Very well we'll make submissions and the Committee will decide what the ordinary meaning of ......(indistinct)

MR WILLIAMSON: It's a pity that we've got an absolutely professional Stratcom going on in this Committee Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well nobody could beat you at that Mr ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No well I met my match I think Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well I don't consider that a compliment, but you might want to perpetuate it.

Nevertheless let us go on further to see how - page 29. You were asked:

"But you're in fact naming very few people other than yourself or people that Dirk Coetzee has already named"?

"Ja well you know, I mean I am not going to go on a general witch hunt on what, I mean you know I think people have to take responsibility for the you know, as General Viljoen and some of the other Generals have discussed with people about the Truth Commission which is that it should be done on a command structure level.

That there were people who were involved in command structure and the people who gave the orders from the top to the bottom are the people that should be saying what was done.

I mean there's little repentance and scores and maybe hundreds of other people who all participated in these types of things which, you know I mean at a level where you know I don't really see what it's going to be to get ..." ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: It's going to be.

MR BIZOS: "...that it's going to be too productive to start widening the net if you want to bring in everybody".

Right. Is that what you said?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You there showed a great reluctance to name anybody that you knew was responsible for Ruth First's death?

MR WILLIAMSON: Now Mr Chairman, please Mr Chairman. I there made that statement, we were discussing the general situation of the Security Forces and ex-members of the Security Forces in terms of the fact that it had been decided that there would be a TRC process, that there would not be a general amnesty and Mr Chairman that was a time in South Africa where this was being debated, where I and other members at my level of the Security Forces were bitter, we were expressing some dissatisfaction with the fact that there, that we appeared to have been abandoned and Mr Chairman it just makes very clear there that there was a process going on, which there was at the time, when General Viljoen and including General Coetzee were involved in discussions with members of the Security Forces and with the State President and with the Deputy President in order to try and find a way to facilitate the co-operation with the TRC process by members of the Security Forces.

And I say very clearly there and I agree still with what I said there that I do not believe that it would be productive to start a witch hunt at the lower ranks while from the top ranks the way that the orders came down, was not focused upon Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Were you prepared to protect everyone in the lower ranks?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm not saying I'm prepared to protect anybody here. What I'm saying is that it would be counter productive to have a witch hunt and I still agree with that.

And Mr Chairman I am prepared to say what I did and I am prepared to say what orders I issued and that is how I protect the people below me because I take responsibility for orders that I gave to people below me Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: The question was, did you refuse to name anyone in lower ranks when you had this interview with Miss Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: I think I refused to name anyone, I said I would not participate in a witch hunt of the lower ranks Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And you refuse to name anyone?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I don't see where I've refused to name, but I possibly did Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I don't see here where I say I refuse to name anyone, I don't see it.

MR BIZOS: Well did you mention anyone to her?

MR WILLIAMSON: I don't know Mr Chairman, I've been presented with this interview that I had 3 years ago, a transcript of it a few minutes ago. I don't know, perhaps I did name other people, I don't know Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well let's assist you. Would you please turn to page 18?

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman the reason why I raised the request that the witness be entitled to read stems from Section 31 of the Act. If I might read it to you Mr Chairman, I'm certain you are familiar with it but it provides that

"Any person who is questioned by the Commission in exercise of it's powers in terms of this Act or has been subpoenaed to give evidence shall, subject to the provisions of 2, 3 and 5 be compelled to produce any article or answer any question put to him in regard to the subject matter of the hearing and notwithstanding the fact that the article or his or her answer may incriminate him".

It goes on to provide Mr Chairman that:

"Any person appearing before the Commission by virtue of the provisions of Sub Section 1 shall be entitled to peruse any article referred to in that Sub Section which was produced by him or her as may be reasonably necessary to refresh his or her memory".

Now Mr Chairman your ruling at the stage of my initial objection was that the article, the document was that of a communication ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It was not produced by the applicant, the section you refer to relates does it not, to people called upon to produce documents before the Committee, not the applicants applying?

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: And that they can, if they're called to produce

a document, they should be entitled to read it.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman if he, being the witness Mr Williamson, took part in a debate which is tape recorded then he, by virtue of taking part in that debate, was party to the production.

CHAIRPERSON: Don't talk nonsense Mr Levine, he has not produced the document. A document has been recorded of a ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: Yes the recording was a production of an interview with Mr Williamson. Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I disagree entirely with your submission, I'm not prepared. I am however prepared to say Mr Bizos if you were going to rely on what he may or may not have said, you must tell him where to look or give him an opportunity to look.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I thought I had been doing that and up to now Mr Chairman the witness has agreed on the correctness of the transcript Mr Chairman so may I proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: Up to now he's agree with what's taken place but you've now asked him did he name anybody and as I understand he's saying

"I can't say if I named anybody or not. I wasn't prepared to take part in a witch hunt, but I can't say if I named anyone or not".

And if you want him to say that he's got to look at the document.

MR BIZOS: Yes but I'm assisting him Mr Chairman specifically on that issue by referring him to page 18 where he did mention a name and I'm sure that he has read it by now Mr Chairman and I want to ask him a question about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Well Mr Bizos, where did he mention a name?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman if you have a look at page 18

"So you gave the envelope to Jerry Raven"?,

Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: That was Miss Slovo ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Who mentioned the name.

MR BIZOS: Yes and he says here ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He agreed.

MR BIZOS: And he agreed yes.

CHAIRPERSON: He agreed with other names before then.

MR BIZOS: Well the next question ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: If I may just interrupt Mr Chairman. The names we're talking about here had been named in the article, the interview that I made to the British newspaper Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: "So you gave the envelope to Gerry Raven"?

"Ja".

"What decided you to name him"?

Mr Williamson:

"Well because Dirk Coetzee named them all already".

"And he then made the bomb and took it to somebody else to make".

Let us just stop there. Is it correct that you were only prepared to disclose the names which Dirk Coetzee had already named and no one else?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman, at that time I was in an interview with a family member of somebody who had been killed by the South Africa Security Forces in an operation that I admitted to be part of and I was attempting to give that person the basic information that she required as part of her search for the truth of what had happened in the past, including what had happened in personal to her mother Mr Chairman.

And this was not, at that time, part of the TRC. This was not an interview at the TRC and in fact Mr Chairman I went on later at the part that we already discussed, to explain exactly why we at that time in 1985, that there was a problem with the full involvement of former members of the Security Forces with the TRC process.

General Viljoen and General Coetzee and others were involved in a process to encourage those people Mr Chairman and I myself Mr Chairman was involved in that process. I am the person who spoke, agreed to speak to the journalist from the Observer newspaper and to reveal certain actions that had happened in the past Mr Chairman and I'm also Mr Chairman, the person who was passing messages between the highest levels of the ANC Government at that time and certain of the Generals in the Security Forces or previous Generals in the Security Forces, my previous commanders Mr Chairman, in order to get this process working properly Mr Chairman and I do not believe that the fact that I, at that moment, was not prepared to open up and name a whole list of other names, especially of junior officers Mr Chairman, to a member of a victim of the conflict of the past in this country.

I do not believe that it has any relevance to this matter here that I can understand Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now let me just ask you this. There was a previous interview to this, before the publication of the newspaper revelations?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well uhm ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Was there or wasn't there?

MR WILLIAMSON: We would have to get the date straight Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well if I were to put to you that at that meeting you were not prepared to mention any names, would you agree?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman absolutely I'll agree, I won't deny it. This was part of a process and the first meeting that I had with Mrs Slovo was even earlier in this process Mr Chairman, a process which I may add is not an extremely easy process.

And to meet somebody for the first time, a member of the family of somebody that you've been responsible and ...(indistinct) of killing Mr Chairman was not easy Mr Chairman and we were - it was a, it was a very difficult meeting, the first one Mr Chairman and I'm sure I didn't want to name any more names.

The process had just begun. We were starting the process that has led to here today Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes and in the second interview you only mentioned the names that had already been mentioned by Mr Coetzee?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman and I do not apologise for it Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I will not participate at any time, and including especially at that time, in a witch hunt. The idea was to get everybody involved to come to this forum and I Mr Chairman took a lot of flack by coming out publicly when I did, but I believe it had a positive effect, Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You, Dirk Coetzee did not mention General Coetzee as having been implicated either to authorise or to approve of the operation, because he was out of the way at the time, was he?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'd have to have clarification on the phrase "out of the way" ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...because in security ...(indistinct) ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: At the time of ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...that's got a very sinister connotation.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Oh no I didn't use - well he was not in, he was not privy to what was happening at the head office?

MR WILLIAMSON: Dirk Coetzee or General Coetzee?

MR BIZOS: Dirk Coetzee.

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry Mr Chairman you'll have to run that question by me again.

MR BIZOS: Yes. At the time of Ruth First's death.

MR WILLIAMSON: Right.

MR BIZOS: What was the position of Dirk Coetzee in the Security Police?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would imagine he had just left the Security Police. He was in some police function in Pretoria. He used to still visit us and a confrontation between him and the Security Chiefs was developing Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. So can we assume that Dirk Coetzee was out of the way at the time that the murder of Ruth First was being discussed and planned.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well he certainly wasn't involved Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman I'm sorry, Visser on record. I'd like to establish exactly what my learned friend is putting.

Is there a statement that is placed before the witness that Dirk Coetzee did not implicate General Johan Coetzee as somebody who knew anything about the Ruth First murder. Is that the statement which is made?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes because he was not there, not in the way.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman it's an incorrect statement. If you look at Dirk Coetzee's Mauritius statement, he says so explicitly. He says, Jacques Pauw(?) asks him at page 105 of the Mauritius statement

"And you said Johan Coetzee definitely knew about this because he was called from the meeting and the news was given to him at a meeting"?

"He never communicated with me in this regard or told me something in this regard as a person".

"When was Ruth First blown up"?

"You will have to tell me".

"I know it was while I was there, it was Ruth, as Craig said ..."

And it goes on. It certainly creates the impression, concrete to what my learned friend is putting and I may be wrong, but I just refer you to this evidence Mr Chairman.

MR JANSEN(?): Mr Chairman maybe I should come in here. The section that my learned friend refers to actually deals with two different incidents in the Mauritius statement of Dirk Coetzee.

I don't have it before me but what I can recollect of it is that the calling out of General Johan Coetzee relates either to the Joe Pillay incident or to the Mxenge matter.

Again one would have to study the whole context, I'm just not sure that I can agree with what Mr Visser says at the moment.

MR VISSER: I made it clear Mr Chairman that I'm not quite certain. I didn't study this, but it just sounds incorrect to me and that's why I'm just warning my learned friend that there may be a problem with this. I'm not saying that he's wrong at all, just trying to be of assistance.

MR BIZOS: Can we be guided by the witnessís evidence Mr Chairman, that in accordance with his recollection at the time of the death of Ruth First, Mr Dirk Coetzee was at some distance with the leadership of the Security Police and can we proceed from there.

If definite information Mr Chairman becomes available that either our information or the witnessís recollection is incorrect then the proper way to do is at that time.

Now I am going to put to you that the reason that you left General Coetzee's name out as having had the ultimate authority in your section was for, among other reasons, the fact that Coetzee had not identified him, Dirk Coetzee had not identified him as one of the persons involved?

MR WILLIAMSON: As one of the persons involved in the London bomb or in the Ruth First?

MR BIZOS: No, no we're talking about Ruth First.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I speak under correction, but I would imagine my comment about Dirk Coetzee on page 18 in the middle ...(indistinct), because Dirk Coetzee named them all already would relate to allegations that Dirk Coetzee had made over a period of time and specifically about the London bomb where his allegations were accurate and about the Ruth First matter which we have already discussed where his allegations were not entirely accurate and as far as I recollect Mr Chairman, I'm not sure whether he named anybody in relation to the Ruth First incident except me and I am of the opinion that my replay here relates to the group of people who had been named as responsible for the London bomb Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No please have a look at it in context Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: So ...(indistinct) Dirk Coetzee hasn't named them all, he never named, as far as I know Mr Chairman he may have mentioned that - I am sure, knowing Mr Coetzee and knowing his attitude towards General Coetzee and myself that he would have tried to tie General Coetzee into the Ruth First incident as directly as possible, but I have nothing in front of me and I have no recollection of him specifically saying that and I've absolutely no recollection of him naming anybody else except me. So therefore when I refer and make a statement, "Dirk Coetzee's named them all already", I cannot be referring to the Ruth First incident, I'm talking in general that the people who I had spoken about were the people who had been named by Dirk Coetzee and the group that had been named was the group involved in the London at that time Mr Chairman and you know perhaps we were talking at cross purposes, Miss Slovo and I, I admit that's possible but I really believe that that is the context in which we should read this piece because otherwise I don't know which list of names Coetzee - and I'm talking now about Dirk Coetzee - has presented to anybody in relation to the Ruth First incident.

CHAIRPERSON: It's quite clear is it not Mr Bizos that he's talking about the London bomb operation at the time. If you look at page 17 he talks about it and then he goes on on page 18 to say

"A lot of other people involved in this operation ..", that's the London bomb operation isn't it, quite clearly and that was the one which I gather you're saying Mr Williamson you had named people in your report in the press, in the press ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: But no, Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: ...and these are the people Coetzee had named?

MR BIZOS: No with respect Mr Chairman the whole conversation from page 17 and more specifically in the middle of page 18, relates to the envelope and the bomb and the death of Miss Slovo's mother Mr Chairman.

I don't see anything about the London bomb there Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I just thought it was going by plane?

MR WILLIAMSON: No that, that was ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: No.

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman if you take my ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I was mistaken, I thought this where's he's talking about flying the stuff.

MR BIZOS: Yes, no. Mr Williamson may I ask you a question. You can clarify whatever you want to after that.

MR WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

MR BIZOS: Is it not clear in the middle of page 18

"You gave the envelope to Gerry Raven"?

"Ja".

"What decided you to name him"?

"Well because Dirk Coetzee had named them all already".

Now that can hardly be a reference to the London bombing?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I must just take you to the paragraph before Miss Slovo says

"So you gave the envelope to Gerry Raven".

Where I say:

"Well it's you know, well it really is - there's a ...",

there's something left out,

"...it's a difficult time at the moment because a lot of people are deciding do we have to or should we disclose, you know what we did or shouldn't we. I would imagine a lot of other individuals involved in this operation and others are going to be determined by decisions other people make".

So I was, I was on a more general level and then she goes back specifically to the Ruth First incident and I, when he - and all the explanation I can give is that when she said what decided you to name him, I said, in the light of what I'd said before, that people have got to decide are they, aren't they, will they won't they that I can safely name, or not safely, but I can name Gerry Raven because Dirk Coetzee had already named him and so Gerry Raven I would contend, would be a very unlikely subject not then to participate in the project, I mean in the process, that if somebody like Dirk Coetzee has come and said Gerry Raven or Craig Williamson or X, Y, Z was involved in A, B, C, D specific operation, and now I'm not talking about what he said about me and the Ruth First, just that I intimated where he had chapter and verse about something, it would be relatively foolish to stick your head in the sand like an ostrich and ignore it.

So I really think Mr Chairman that I was talking about my team of people or the team of people that had been involved in the London operation and that I continued this into the Ruth First operation because there was some type of connection between the two, because I believe that we were asked to construct the device that killed Ruth First because of the proven, not only the explosives expertise of Mr Raven in my section, but the fact that my section could carry out things like this relatively quietly Mr Chairman.

And I must repeat that I don't know of a list. The only people that I know that he's named in relation to Ruth First is myself, so I don't know of a list of names that he's given so I couldn't have been referring to a list of people related to the Ruth First incident at all, it's not possible.

MR BIZOS: Why did ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: If there were a list then we could have an argument about whether I was being truthful or not, but I know of no such list Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Why did you not give Slovo Raven's name at the first interview?

MR WILLIAMSON: You know Mr Chairman I suppose that part of the purpose of hearings such as this is to go into this type of thing, so let's do it then.

If anybody thinks that it's easy to have been an officer in the Security Forces of South Africa for a number of years and to have been involved in a war as we were involved and to see that war come to an end and to see our enemy become the Government in the country and achieve something that we had been shedding blood, other people's and ours to prevent for decades, was easy Mr Chairman then you know there's a problem in understanding of human nature.

We were involved in an extremely difficult and painful situation. One in which we had to confront our pasts and we had to decide what we were going to then do about our futures and how our past related to our future and Mr Chairman nobody, maybe I'm inadequate, but perhaps I could have just turned the switch one morning, woken up and said, oh fine now I'm Craig Williamson the ANC/Communist Party supporter, the new democratic ANC/Communist Party or the new democratic ANC that is no longer Marxist/Leninist etc, but I couldn't Mr Chairman.

I am who I am and I am what made me over a number of years. And I could not just jump out of bed one morning and yippee ya ya, I'm now a member of the ANC and I'm just now going to betray all my past colleagues and I'm just going to name names and I'm just going to go crazy. Mr Chairman what I did was a calculated process. A process which perhaps I didn't do entirely correctly.

I know that a lot of the things that I did angered a lot of my previous friends and I entered into this process. We had doubts, we had fears, we were scared Mr Chairman and what I did it meant that at the first meeting with the child of one of the highest ranking victims of the South African Security Forces, to think that I would then just sit there and say, just start naming names and open and go crazy is just not credible Mr Chairman.

It was the beginning of a process. I, and I'm sure Miss Slovo is going to, can tell you that it took her a while to get me to agree to meet with her. It took a lot of pressure from her to get me to meet with her. And I met with her once and then I met with her again and I'll go further Mr Chairman and say - and I'm not putting blame at anybody's door, but the reaction, the reaction to my disclosures Mr Chairman did not assist the Truth and Reconciliation process in this country because a lot of people laughed at me Mr Chairman.

A lot of people said to me: "Craig you're a dumb person, you've opened your yap and they're going to nail you to the cross. You should have shut up, that's the rule of intelligence".

MR BIZOS: Finished?

MR WILLIAMSON: And Mr Chairman that is why I'm answering the question why I didn't give a huge list of names to Miss Slovo at our first meeting.

MR BIZOS: Mr Williamson you've told us many times that you started this process.

MR WILLIAMSON: I didn't say I started this process.

MR BIZOS: Well you were among the first, you were among the first to disclose your participation in this.

Might it not have been a bargaining chip that you put in in order to carry favour with the new government and to change sides for your personal benefit?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman a number of my former colleagues are serving the current South African Government in exactly the same capacity as they served the previous government. I am not Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I never went and asked for a big job in Pretoria as the new Assistant Chief of Intelligence or something, despite the fact that Mr Chairman that I've probably got something to contribute.

So I didn't go and ask for anything Mr Chairman. And I'll go further Mr Chairman. The State is not paying my legal expenses in this process, I did not ask for it.

MR BIZOS: Yes because that's because you can't prove that you need help.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, please Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What is it that I must please be please Mr Chairman?

MR WILLIAMSON: The process doesn't work like that, I don't have to prove I need help. It's a standard procedure for the funding of the legal expenses of former members of the Security Forces in this forum and I did not ask for that

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct).

MR WILLIAMSON: ...and nor did I ask the new government, like many other of my former colleagues did, for a job.

MR BIZOS: So what did you hope to gain by going to the Observer to confess to them of part or of what you had done?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I did not go to the Observer and just confess to them, it did not happen in a vacuum.

Information that I'd given to the government of the day was leaked or given to the Observer and when I was confronted with that information I had a simple option, one - well three. One was to say I don't know what you're talking about, go away. One was to say I'm not going to talk about these things until the correct forum, which would be today and the other was to say let's start opening up, let's take the pain, let's start opening the door and I hoped Mr Chairman that that would be a contribution to the process.

And I understand that there're people in this country and obviously many people in this room, who can't believe that people such as I can try and participate honestly and openly and for the last time and to finish a process that was set down by a law in order to finish the conflicts of the past.

MR BIZOS: You .. (intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: But that is what I'm doing Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What happened between the first and the second interview with Miss Slovo that made you change and give Mr Raven's name to her?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I can't say what specifically happened. It was an evolutionary process. The process, the snowball gained snow and size and dimension Mr Chairman, it developed.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Could you please turn to page 26 to 27 of the transcript so that we know how Stratcom worked and how you worked that system.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: At the bottom of the page

"You are also reported in the papers as saying, as being the person who promoted Joe to a Colonel in the KGB, is that true"?

Would you mind reading the rest of that exchange?

MR WILLIAMSON: "Ja well I mean not only me, but I think that was definitely a Citizen story. No we started the whole thing to make him something, basically you know - to be a - sort of Russian rather than a South African involved in - dominating and controlling and Communist Party and therefore the ANC".

Miss Slovo: ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: May I just interrupt you. The gaps are pauses on your part and not missing words.

MR WILLIAMSON: Ah well I didn't know that Mr Chairman. Thank you for the information.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Please carry on.

MR WILLIAMSON: Miss Slovo

"Why a Colonel"?

Mr Williamson:

"Well I remember it was rather silly, we had a whole debate about that, about what would his rank be".

"Hmm, who's we"?

Mr Williamson:

"No, you know, I mean I'm not saying we had serious meetings, I mean there's more just discussing you know, how one could do this and we decided on Colonel because it was, you know the guys said well it would be, we wanted to make it that rank Colonel General. But I remember the day it was being fed to the Citizen, we didn't have time to check up the KGB ranks and I just then thought that if we made a mistake by calling him a Colonel General and there wasn't that rank in the KGB, which there was in the army you know, this would discredit the story. So that's why we just made it Colonel, because it sounded good. But we wanted to make it Brigadier but they don't, you know we were trying to find the equivalent rank to Brigadier and it was just - but there was a time problem. If we had another day we could have done it".

Miss Slovo:

"Why didn't you have another day"?

Mr Williamson"

"Ag I don't know. You know these things happen. I mean they wanted to, they wanted to put some story in. I think something had happened or it just fitted in with something and probably whoever was around just said look hey plant get ah, do something about Slovo and it could also even happen that the journalist who was involved has got nothing to write that day and he's looking for something. They'd had lunch, you know it really wasn't always a completely structured thing, but once it started then of course they built on it ...".

Miss Slovo:

"Why are you talking"?

Mr Williamson:

"Sometimes I ..."

MR BIZOS: No just up to there. Is that how Stratcom worked?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And you were an integral part of this?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And do you agree that practically everything that you have done in your life was calculated, deliberate and calculated. You were not led astray by anyone?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm sure I've been led astray in my life but - and it's difficult to stay that everything I've done in my life was deliberate and calculated but - and in fact often Mr Chairman I'd say I'm a bit of a rational person but I don't know I - that's all I can say.

MR BIZOS: Do you think that you were dehumanised Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well if I look at what a lot of the press say about me I think I have been dehumanised, yes, especially by my enemies.

MR BIZOS: Yes. But let's talk about your own perception of yourself. You've told us that in order to do the things that you had to do you had to help people dehumanise your enemies?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I said that I believed that any soldier, member of a security force, somebody involved in a war such as this would find it virtually impossible to do what had to be done if he or she did not dehumanise their enemy.

MR BIZOS: Did you dehumanise your enemies?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And you didn't care whether the right victim was killed or his wife or their child?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman when you say I didn't care whether the right victim was killed or his wife I have to concede that it made absolutely no difference to me whether Joe Slovo had been killed - in fact I'd say probably I would have thought it better if he had been killed, it made very little difference to me whether Joe Slovo was killed or Ruth First was killed or Jeanette Schoon was killed or Marius Schoon was killed, but I never in my life targeted and innocent child.

MR BIZOS: In order to do the work that you did and be such a successful disseminator of falsehoods, did it occur to you that this was contrary to normal civilised behaviour?

MR WILLIAMSON: It did occur to me Mr Chairman, which is why on the 31st of December 1985 I left the South African Police, it's also why I gave notice that I was going to leave the South African Police in the second half of 1985 Mr Chairman and you may remember that there was a state of emergency in force in South Africa and that in fact special permission had to be given to me to be allowed to leave the South African Police at that time because of the fact that there was state of emergency.

And it's something that I thought about Mr Chairman. If you read the article that is in Q2, Document 24, the last one. Read the article that I wrote. You can see that I ...

END OF SIDE A OF TAPE 4

...(Inaudible - beginning of Side B) and that article got me into a lot of trouble so ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: You left the police force ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...it did cross my mind Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You left the police force and you joined Military Intelligence at that time?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was that the time when differences between the police force and the army came to the fore and was the Defence Force in an ascending position been favoured by then President P.W. Botha?

MR WILLIAMSON: I believe that ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Oh with the police.

MR WILLIAMSON: I believe - well I mean that characterisation has been given. It wasn't only President P.W. Botha favouring the military over the police Mr Chairman, there was an increasingly military orientated domination of South African society.

MR BIZOS: Yes and insofar as you may have suggested that it was because of doubts about the inhumanity of your work in the police force that led you to resign in the middle of an emergency, how would that have helped your conscience if you became a Military Intelligence officer with an apparently promoted rank that I had forgotten about and which I had to apologise for calling you Major?

MR WILLIAMSON: Because Mr Chairman I changed the nature of my job. I could have if I wished, and I was offered a position in the CCB, which I'm sure the Committee's heard about, which position I turned down.

MR BIZOS: Who offered that position to you?

MR WILLIAMSON: I was offered it by, through the structures of Military Intelligence Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Who?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Joe Verster (?) and Mr Chairman I turned the job down because I was already, at the time I was offered that job, I had already made arrangements to join Military Intelligence.

I joined the Directorate of Covert Collection and I was given the job as Head of Foreign Intelligence of the South African Defence Force under the Chief of Staff Intelligence.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And Mr Chairman that job was a job related to pure intelligence concentration and in specific Mr Chairman, that job was related to Military Intelligence relating to the military threat against South Africa by the Soviet Union. So it was a job that entailed me being involved outside - from, if I believe my territory to be correct, everywhere north of Tanzania and that included the Middle East, China, North America and the rest of the world Mr Chairman.

So it was a job that I regarded as being necessary and it was a job that I felt was more in keeping with the type of job that I would like to be doing Mr Chairman and if I may just finish, I also Mr Chairman had an intention to go into politics and I was looking for a position, a job which would allow me to spend a couple of years to do this type of job in a covert capacity once again, to get out of public eye and then to go into politics and what happened Mr Chairman is that shortly, much more shortly after I resigned from the police than I expected, an election was called at which stage I left the SADF and became a candidate for the National Party and after the election was appointed a member of the President's Council which at that time was the type of upper house of Parliament in Cape Town and from that time on I became a politician and Mr Chairman I don't need to make the argument here, I can get Hansard to make the argument for me where I made the argument and I Mr Chairman was the first National Party politician in this country to call for negotiations between the ANC and the South African Government.

MR BIZOS: In what year was that?

MR WILLIAMSON: In 1989, publicly. Publicly Mr Chairman during the election.

MR BIZOS: You may be giving yourself again too much credit.

MR WILLIAMSON: I said I was the first one to publicly call for negotiations Mr Chairman and to produce a written document for the National Party calling for negotiations.

MR BIZOS: Negotiations had been going on for 3 years previously to that.

MR WILLIAMSON: And do you think I didn't know that Mr Chairman, I said I was the one who publicly and I got berated for it, but I said at the time that what we're doing in secret we should be telling the public we're doing.

MR BIZOS: The CCB was the SADF ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Special Force Operation.

MR BIZOS: Special Force Operation?

MR WILLIAMSON: Correct.

MR BIZOS: And the intelligence department that you were in have a role to play?

MR WILLIAMSON: In what Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: The DCC?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes the DCC and I would have had a role to play if the, we had, the South African Government had then carried out an operation for example against the Soviet fleet in the Indian Ocean, that was my type of responsibility.

I was for example monitoring the Soviet Ambassador, Orlof, who was co-ordinating the Soviet fleet in the Indian Ocean, that was my job. So if yes, if the South African Government had decided to attack the Soviet fleet in the Indian Ocean at that time I would no doubt have been involved Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: The operation that you were asked to join was described as a cloak and dagger unit with Military Intelligence?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's correct Mr Chairman which is why I didn't join it because I left that behind me.

MR BIZOS: Yes. The DCC is described ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos I don't like to have to remind you of the time again.

MR BIZOS: I'm sorry Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this a convenient stage?

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman I will take up but one minute of your time. The representations I made for the witness to be entitled to read the transcript of the tape and the submissions which you claim to be absolute nonsense would not have arisen Mr Chairman had the pre-trial proceedings and the tapes or the transcript been made available and there has been criticism earlier on in these proceedings for that which did not happen and my submission is this would not have taken place if that was made available and those tapes were available certainly from 1995 onwards.

CHAIRPERSON: I think this is a very valid criticism. We have endeavoured to establish pre-trial conferences from a purposes of avoiding delays of enabling the hearings to happen more smoothly.

And it does appear to me that if tapes of this nature, there's nothing secret about them, they're merely a record of a meeting, are available they should have been made available at that pre-trial conference for consideration by the parties and I would urge all those appearing to please bear this in mind.

They are not here to score points by suddenly producing documents. They should be made available beforehand and if necessary copies should be made available ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman may I just in self defence Mr Chairman say this, that these tapes Mr Chairman were in the possession of Miss Slovo who lives in London. We've had considerable trouble Mr Chairman in getting some of them from London when she told us that they existed when she came here on the day on which these proceedings started.

We've had considerable difficulty Mr Chairman in having them transcribed and Mr Chairman parts are inaudible and we had to go to people with specialised knowledge in order to do it and Mr Chairman may I remind Mr Levine of the volume of documents he introduced for the first time which were in his client's possession for a long time that didn't require to be transcribed Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I would suggest in future when tapes are available an offer could be made to allow people to listen to them if ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: Oh yes that's available as well Mr Chairman ...(indistinct).

CHAIRPERSON: We'll now adjourn until quarter to two.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CRAIG MICHAEL WILLIAMSON: (s.u.o.)

MR BIZOS: ...(Inaudible) army you were part of the Directorate of Covert Collection?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Known as DCC?

MR WILLIAMSON: DCC or in Afrikaans DKI.

MR BIZOS: At the bottom of page 279 of Mr Jacques Pauw's "Into the Heart of Darkness", the following is stated in the last line

"In December 1992 ...",

I'll wait for you to get it.

"In December 1992 Mr Justice Richard Goldstone said in a Commission Report that the DCC had been involved in third force activities and had attempted to derail the peace negotiations between the ANC and the National Party Government. Nineteen Military Intelligence officers and operatives, including two Generals, four Brigadiers, Colonel, handlers and agents were then sacked by F.W. De Klerk in an attempted purge of his Security Forces".

Do you know of this finding by Mr Justice Goldstone?

MR WILLIAMSON: I do Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Where do you know the, or some of the nineteen people that were sacked by President F.W. De Klerk in 1992?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman, despite the fact that it was five years after I had left the DCC, I read in press reports the names of the people who had been sacked and I did recognise a couple of them as being people that I had worked with before.

MR BIZOS: Now, yes. The allegations in relation to third force activities were made from the middle 80's onwards.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I have no information on that, I was never involved in any third force activities in the DCC. As I said before my responsibility in DCC was the, I was the SO1 in command of the section called the "Ander Lande", AL, and this was a section involved with the international Military Intelligence problems relating to South Africa.

I may also just add for the purpose of completeness Mr Chairman that I am aware that there is an ongoing dispute between a number of the people who are referred to in this extract and the South African Defence Force and the South African Government over the correctness and fairness of the action that was taken against them Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now I want to touch on, if I may, on your claim that you really helped the negotiation process to a successful conclusion.

One of the most important issues in the negotiation process was whether or not there would be blanket amnesty or individual amnesty. Were you aware of that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I was very much aware of that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Were you one of those who, together with your fellow or erstwhile officers, were putting pressure on the National Party, who would form the government during your period of service, to either get blanket amnesty or that there would be no settlement?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman to say that, you know I played any key role in the process would be completely incorrect, but to say that I was certainly one of the Security Force members who supported the concept of a general amnesty and to say that I, during the CODESA negotiations, believed that as a negotiating point, the National Party should have negotiated a general amnesty on the basis that the general amnesty was a deal breaker is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And the person that really advocated this position on behalf of the Security Forces was Mr Barnard, the Head of Intelligence?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I believe he was of that opinion, but I would imagine the politician that was in fact was the most supportive of this point of view was Mr Hernus Kriel.

MR BIZOS: Yes. He was Minister of Police?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman, for Law and Order.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now - and you know that the ANC and it's allies at CODESA made it very clear that there would not be blanket amnesty but that there had to be individual amnesty after disclosure?

MR WILLIAMSON: I know that Mr Chairman and I also know, and if we wish to go into it I can give chapter and verse, that in my personal discussions with people at the highest levels of the ANC I was told that their opinion was that at those negotiations the National Party blinked and they got their way and if the National Party had not blinked there would have been a general amnesty.

MR BIZOS: Well that may or may not be so, but were you one of those officers who gave instructions to Mr Barnard, who was assisted by the contact man with the Security Forces, Mr Krappies Engelbrecht, that if there was no general amnesty the "manne", to use their words, would not accept the settlement and they would disrupt the proposed democratic election?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I at no time made any such threat and I certainly didn't issue any instructions to Dr Barnard, and I assume we're talking about Dr Barnard the former Head of the National Intelligence Service?

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: No, no ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Dr Barnard substantially outranked me Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I know that, I didn't say instructions, if I did I'm sorry. Were you part of the group that felt that you were not prepared to make public the crimes that you had committed and if there was no blanket amnesty you disrupt the whole democratic process?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I was not Mr Chairman, I was part of those former members of the Security Forces who felt that it would be politically wise to have, both for the ANC and the former Security Forces, to have a general amnesty and I was one of those who - and as a loyal member of the Security Forces in the past and while I was not a member of the Security Forces then, as a loyal citizen of this country I was prepared to go along with the decision that was made in the democratic forum as was made and I made no threats and I certainly never carried out any threats or any planning to disrupt any election Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Lest I be thought that I am not referring to anything that was not part of the public record, are you aware that that was the evidence given by Mr Matthews Phosa in an open hearing in the Supreme Court.

MR WILLIAMSON: No I'm not aware Mr Chairman but I've got absolutely no argument with it, I know there were people in the Security Forces at that time who took an extreme view of the requirement for general amnesty and I can merely add Mr Chairman that the only time that I would have participate in any such - I don't even know how to put it, but any actions by the Security Forces or ex-members of the Security Forces, would have been if negotiations had irretrievably broken down and that the politicians and the commanders of the Security Forces, of which I'm talking now broadly, had the support of the National Party or on the National Party side or on the government side or on the old establishment or regime side, if there had been a co-ordinated and general decision to go across into a full scale war once again with the ANC and South African Communist Party and it's allies.

MR BIZOS: And you would have continued the war?

MR WILLIAMSON: If the war had continued Mr Chairman I would have continued giving whatever assistance I could.

MR BIZOS: And what you referred to as blinking was - do you know that what Dr Barnard said about the loyalty of the forces, if there was no general amnesty his bluff was called by the ANC and Mr Matthews Phosa with ...(indistinct) from that negotiating forum and it was only then that it was agreed that there should be individual amnesty?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm perfectly willing to accept the accuracy of that account. As I say this was happening and what I meant by blinked, I meant the National Party blinked first, they blinked first and I'm talking now in a political context and it must be remembered that at the time I was no longer a member of the Security Forces, but obviously having been a member of the President's Council I was politically aware and involved.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I want Mr Chairman to hand in the first tape. There is only a small section of it that I am going to refer to, but for the sake of completeness Mr Chairman we will make the whole tape available.

We will make the whole transcript available. I have already assured Mr Levine that at the end of the day the tapes will be made available to him and he can then do whatever he thinks are in the best interest of his client in relation to that.

May we put in the first tape, or rather the transcript of the tape of the first meeting between Miss Slovo and Mr Williamson and Exhibit Y, if my memory serves me ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Shouldn't we rather call the one we already have X-1 and this one X-2?

MR BIZOS: As it may please you Mr Chairman. Now could you please turn to page 29 of this Mr Williamson. You will see in what context you are speaking. I'm going to start in the middle of the paragraph, the first paragraph that says

"Where we came in ...",

You see that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Would you mind reading that for us please?

MR WILLIAMSON: "Where we came in because it is part of G-Section. There was a Technical Section who also didn't do it themselves, they the Technical Section took it off to another, you know, the overall - I can't remember which group it was but there was a group, I can find out for you, who actually - it was probably, we were G so it was either J or K or one of these groups".

MR BIZOS: Please carry on?

MR WILLIAMSON: Miss Slovo

"Why didn't the Technical Section to it themselves"?

Mr Williamson:

"No because I mean my Technical Section didn't have, I mean we didn't have explosives you know. I mean that main group, that other Technical - there was one group that was technical completely that did all electronic or explosives things".

Miss Slovo:

"Is it because you know the names but you don't want to give the names to me"?

"I do know, no I do know the names".

Miss Slovo:

"What would be the harm in telling me the name, I'm not going to go out and ...

Mr Williamson:

"Ja, no that's why I said to you that's where, because I have also got to tell you I - you see the way these things work, if somebody ..."

"People have told me and I'm sure you've heard the name Waal Du Toit"?

Mr Williamson:

"No I don't know if Waal made it or not, he was the second in charge, he was the main guy at that Technical Section that did make these things or that did all sorts of things. They may not have even told him what it was for, I don't know either. I mean I know it must sound terrible and strange but it was really done on a - you know there wasn't like it was almost casual, it wasn't that somebody was, you know, responsible for this type of thing. We had a particularly good technical guy and I think you know it was almost luck of the draw that the Brigadier would see somebody in the passage and say well take this and go and do that you know, but then the way they actually, once they had made it, the way they actually delivered it again is a mystery to me".

Miss Slovo:

"They didn't just stick it back in the post"?

"Yes but I mean, you know again, they had to do it in some way that the thing didn't blow up on an aeroplane you know. So the way it was made and getting it back into that you know, I think they, they then probably took some special precautions to get it at least into the Mozambican post. Now whether they just stuck it back on the aeroplane and hoped that everything went alright, or whether they actually worked through somebody in Mozambique, I don't know. But I would suspect that's possible, but the actual, the actual device itself, I mean I'm talking now about the device inside, was made by the Technical Section who then - the envelope was sealed, reassembled and ..."

"By the Technical Section"?

"Ja but it was genuine, it was something that Ruth would not have been surprised to have received. It was something that she was probably expecting. It came from (?) UK as far as I remember. So that was the way that whatever security they had was penetrated. It wasn't some funny parcel that it just arrived and nobody knew what it was".

"How far up do you think the order to kill her came from, did it go higher than the Brigadier"?

"That I, I understand it didn't you know. Brigadiers at that stage was relatively big but then you have to you know, understand the context in which these things were done".

MR BIZOS: Yes, thank you. May I just, first of all where it says UK, is it probably UN?

MR WILLIAMSON: I really don't know Mr Chairman, I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well you know what would you have said then, UK or UN?

MR WILLIAMSON: I really don't know Mr Chairman. It certainly didn't say UK. I saw later when we were discussing in the first one, there's a discussion about Lesotho when the second...

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now would you agree that on an ordinary reading that at the first hearing - I'm sorry not the first hearing, the first interview with Miss Slovo, your statement

"Ja it was genuine, it was something that Ruth would not have been surprised to have received".,

is a clear indication that you knew that this was directed against Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman that is not exactly how I read it. I knew that it had been received by Ruth First because she had opened and killed it, and killed her and I knew that it was going to the University of, at Edwardo Mondlani and I knew also that this was a genuine intercepted communication, which I believed was of the ANC between Lesotho and Maputo.

So in that sense what I was saying here is that it was not a created thing, we were not told create a completely new, fresh envelope bomb addressed to Ruth First and give it to us so that we can send it off to her. This was an item on it's way to the University which had been intercepted and we were asked to construct an IED which could replace the contents in that envelope and it would be sent on it's way.

MR BIZOS: Mr Williamson you say it was intended to go to the University. The University has many people. Here you said that it was something that Ruth would not have been surprised to have received. You are not speaking about your ex post facto knowledge, you are speaking about why things happened at that time that they did.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I think I'm trying to make it completely clear that this was not something that when it arrived would have been a completely foreign or strange thing, it was something that was being expected to arrive where it arrived.

MR BIZOS: No, by the person to whom it was addressed ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Well ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...well obviously indicates ...(inaudible)

in your thinking, that you mentioned Ruth First.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Bizos, Mr Chairman the, Ruth First had been killed in the explosion.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: So obviously Ruth First received that postal item.

MR BIZOS: No but in this statement of yours there is a pre-supposition that it was addressed to her and that she would have received it and she would not have been surprised to receive it, having regard to it's nature if the English language means anything Mr ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ......(indistinct) strange interpretations on it?

MR WILLIAMSON: No and that, I still don't see where that contradicts me.

MR BIZOS: Well ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Because I said that I did not see specifically and I have no recall seeing specifically Ruth First's name on the envelope.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I said that I was perfectly aware or I knew that this was now a communication going from Maseru to Maputo and that I believed when the name Slovo was used that it was going to Joe Slovo but that it was perfectly possible and likely and probable in the ways that secret communications are done, that this could in fact have been going via Ruth First.

And what I'm saying here is the point that I'm making is that the item was something that would, that the recipient would have been expecting to receive or would have know was coming, especially if this was an ANC communication.

It was not a foreign new made up item Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: If you had taken the trouble to find out what the communication was, you may have been able to decide whether it was for Joe or for Ruth?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it was not my job or position at that time to take the trouble to find out what exactly the communication was, it was to carry out an instruction Mr Chairman. An instruction which in the context of the time did not surprise me at all.

MR BIZOS: Why should you think that it was an ANC communication?

MR WILLIAMSON: Because I was told so Mr Chairman, I was told here is a postal item and it is on the way to Slovo.

MR BIZOS: Anyway I think that we will argue what the words mean and what you play meaning is, I'm not going to argue with it anymore, about it with you anymore Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: Thank you.

MR BIZOS: Now you say that you came into this as part of the luck of the draw, you persist that the Head of Intelligence became involved in the murder of Ruth First as a matter of luck of the draw.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I have said the only inference that I can draw as to why I was asked to issue the instruction to have the bomb manufactured was because number one, it was know that Warrant Officer Raven had the technical ability to do it, it had been proven.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Number two, that we had also proven that we were able to carry out this type of clandestine operation successfully and quietly without discovery and I would imagine Mr Chairman that somewhere along the line somebody said Brigadier Goosen's people can do this.

CHAIRPERSON: There's an enormous difference surely between taking an explosive device, taking it to a building, setting it there, leaving the country, between that and merely preparing the explosive device and giving it back to someone else to ...(indistinct)?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: They didn't need all your talents.

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I, yes as I said, that's why I said here as well I think this was the luck of the draw, it's the way these things work. It was decided that we should manufacture that, that was the order given.

They could have, as Mr Chairman himself said, somebody could have called Warrant Officer Raven directly, if I hadn't been there that might have happened. They could have in fact gone directly to the Technical Section, they could have gone to the Explosives Section. It's, that's why I said the bottle spun and it rested on me.

MR BIZOS: Well here you say that Raven didn't do it that it was another group that did it.

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I said ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: You took it to another group.

MR WILLIAMSON: No I didn't say I took it to another group Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Raven took it to another group to do?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I think we have to ask Mr Raven what he did. I asked Mr Raven to manufacture it, he came back and told me that it had been done. I assumed, as with the London bomb, that he may well have had assistance from other people and from the overall chief Technical Section, because for example Mr Chairman we didn't for example, as far as I know, store explosives in our offices.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Let us just start off. You're referring to "they"?

MR WILLIAMSON: Where is that Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: Page 29, third line from where we started

"Who also didn't do it themselves, they, the Technical Section, took it to another, you know, the overall...",

now who is the "they" that you are referring to. Names please?

MR WILLIAMSON: I would say that was Warrant Officer Raven from my Technical Section.

MR BIZOS: And who else?

MR WILLIAMSON: No.

MR BIZOS: Well you say "they".

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I, that section was made up of more than one person, so I don't know whether, and in fact as I said, I saw here there was an application from Mr Bosch. The first time that I knew Mr Bosch may have been specifically been involved in the manufacturing of this device came when I read the amnesty application.

MR ROSSOUW: Sorry Mr Chairman can I just correct this. Mr Bosch is not applying for the Ruth First incident.

MR WILLIAMSON: Right well that shows you Mr Chairman so ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well no it doesn't show me anything. I ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: It does Mr Chairman because there were, Mr Raven had one or more members of his staff. Now I didn't, when I issued an instruction to him, I didn't ask him which member of staff he'd perhaps asked to do what Mr Chairman, so that's why ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: You speak ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...I refer generically to "they".

MR BIZOS: You speak of two groups, I want the names of the two groups please. The one that was yours and the one that was the specialist group that you say Raven handed ..., who were the people in these two group?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman again, the one in Mr Raven's section, as far as I know it was himself, Mr Bosch and maybe one or two other people, I don't know.

The Technical Section or the major Technical Section at head office the commander of that was Waal Du Toit and there were many, many other people working there Mr Chairman. And Waal Du Toit is also an applicant in some way, he was involved in providing assistance with the manufacture of the London bomb.

MR BIZOS: You are then asked at the bottom of the page

"Is it because you know the names but you don't want to give the names to me"?

And you say:

"I do know, no I do know the names".

"What would be then the harm of telling me the names, I'm not going to go out and ..."

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I just come in here because my client is implicated in this and it places me in a position that I may want to ask you in any event to ask Mr Williamson further questions on this.

I just want to place this on record that at this point in time we don't have any knowledge of this transcript or the correctness thereof. I would like to check that and in as far as the questions are based on this I just want to state that, that we don't accept the correctness of this now, we want to check that.

MR BIZOS: Well the only person that would be able to dispute the correctness of the transcript presumably would be Mr Williamson and possibly Miss Slovo.

We assure the Committee that to the best of her knowledge and belief and to the, best efforts were made to transcribe it fairly. I think that my learned friend must, will have an opportunity to deal with it and I think the interjection can only side-track the procedures.

CHAIRPERSON: I think Mr Du Plessis we can perhaps continue, but certainly before you finish, you will have a full opportunity of reading this, but ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes I just wanted to place it on record inasfar as my client is implicated here and inasfar as nobody can argue later that I sat by and did nothing about it. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No, no. Thank you. But now you see - can we go down to the last paragraph of, oh yes

"...telling me the names",

on top and then you say:

"Well ...",

give the name of Du Toit:

"No I don't know if Waal made it or not, he was the second in charge ..",

and so you go on, but if we read the passage as a whole, you tell us that there are two groups and you again in the bottom paragraph in the second line you talk about "they" and three lines later you talk about "they".

Can you tell us who you were referring to?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes who?

MR WILLIAMSON: I was trying to explain to Miss Slovo the way the thing worked. The reason I would not give her names is because I had no personal knowledge of the involvement of those people.

I have got, I just can't go and start giving a witch hunt list of names to Miss Slovo. I know that for example the name Waal Du Toit had already been mentioned by Dirk Coetzee in this context. It was a point of discussion and I was trying to explain to her that there was this section, there was that section and when I speak about "they" I'm speaking generically, I'm speaking about the sections Mr Chairman.

And if I say to my technical man, please manufacture a device like that then I assume he will get some or other type of assistance Mr Chairman, but I don't know from who he got the assistance or where he got the assistance or which particular individual was involved in giving him that assistance Mr Chairman, that is for him to tell us Mr Chairman.

I was trying to draw a picture for a family member of a victim of one of our assaults Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: That, the group that did all the electronic or explosive things, give us one name from that group please?

MR WILLIAMSON: I've given you the name Mr Chairman, Waal Du Toit.

MR BIZOS: And anyone else?

MR WILLIAMSON: No you asked for one name Mr Chairman, really he's the only name I can give. He's the man that I used to liaise with and is the man that in the Officer's Club I used to have a beer with. He was more or less at my level, he was the person that I dealt with Mr Chairman but there were a number of other people.

MR BIZOS: You didn't name Gerry Raven in this interview?

MR WILLIAMSON: I probably didn't.

MR BIZOS: Why were you prepared to name Mr Du Toit and not Mr Raven?

MR WILLIAMSON: I ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Because he's told us he name, Mr Du Toit's name had already been, appeared in Dirk Coetzee's ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: In Dirk Coetzee's ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Dirk Coetzee had said a lot of things already about ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: About him?

MR WILLIAMSON: I said here, I'm sure you've heard the name Waal Du Toit and that's what I was referring to because it's the sort of name that she would have already been familiar with because of the allegations of Mr Coetzee.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And then I went on to say but I don't know whether he made it or not.

MR BIZOS: So that - would you agree that you are only prepared to name people that have been named by others?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I absolutely agree with that, that was in the context of this interview, which was the very first time that I met Miss Slovo, which I've already explained was a very difficult experience, I'm sure more difficult for her than it was for me.

It was a very bizarre meeting, if I can put it that way Mr Chairman and it wasn't a meeting at which we bonded and became sole mates and all the deep intimate secrets of the entire Security Police flowed out of me to her Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I'm going to suggest to you that your reluctance to name the other people that you must have know about is a continuation of that frame of mind.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman I disagree. My reluctance - I think I have explained very clearly, my reluctance was to get involved in the situation that would lead to a witch hunt which would unfairly and wrongly accuse the wrong people Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now in X-1, paragraph 47 ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Page 47?

MR BIZOS: Yes X-1, page 47.

MR WILLIAMSON: I've only got to page 1 Mr, page 41.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there a page 47?

MR BIZOS: Page 2, I'm sorry why does it say X-1? Is it X-2? I'm sorry Mr Chairman my copy was wrongly marked. Is this X-2. X-2, page 47 Mr Chairman.

Please look in the middle of the page:

"That you know, as I've told you and I've told other people, I was in the loop at that stage, that train, but the loop was quite big".

The "train" is "chain". In that "chain". Could I ask for an amendment to that Mr Chairman.

"...in that chain, but the loop was quite big".

Did you say that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I did Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now how big and who did it consist of?

MR WILLIAMSON: I wish I knew Mr Chairman, I wish I'd never been in this chain or this loop and I wish I could tell you who else was in it, but that is the point of all the evidence that I've given here Mr Chairman.

I know Brigadier Goosen was in it, I know I was in it, I know Gerry Raven was in it. So I know who was above me and who was below me.

MR BIZOS: Would you consider a group of three people a train, or a loop? A chain or a loop.

MR WILLIAMSON: No I wouldn't Mr Chairman and I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Then tell us, who was in this chain or loop?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman many people have got experience of clandestine operations, not only us in the South African Security Forces, but members of the South African Communist Party and members of the ANC also have got a lot of experience of clandestine operations and of cut-out and of methods that are used to prevent an operation and the responsibility therefore unravelling.

And Mr Chairman I was involved in a need-to-know, cut-out, clandestine security operation about which I asked as few questions as possible and it's quite - it's not only probable or likely, it's a fact that I asked far too few questions Mr Chairman and the fact is that I don't know who else was in the loop or the chain.

MR BIZOS: In order to be able to describe it's size as big, to describe it as a train ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Chain.

MR BIZOS: A chain, I beg your pardon, you see how the wrong word becomes ...(indistinct).

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman speaking in the same sort of way as I was speaking to Miss Slovo then, if I describe clandestine operation and we take this one hypothetically for example, obviously the envelope had to come from somewhere. So there must have been a beginning of this chain.

Was the envelope obtained fortuitously or was the envelope obtained as part of a specific operation? That would mean that the chain was either longer or shorter at that stage.

The envelope would then have to travel in some way from Lesotho to Security Headquarters where I got hold of it. That Mr Chairman involves some planning, some organisation, some individuals. Then Mr Chairman once I had it, once I gave it to Gerry Raven - well it went to Brigadier Goosen, there's one of the links in the chain then I'm the next link in the chain, then Gerry Raven's the next link in the chain, then the thing goes back to Brigadier Goosen and it enters again, perhaps down that same chain where it came from the Lesotho, I don't know Mr Chairman but it got to Ruth First's office at Eduardo Mondlani University in Maputo and that was the end of the chain. The way it got there.

It could have got there innocently, it could have got there in an organised way Mr Chairman. All I was trying to do to illustrate to Miss Slovo was the complexity of this type of operation and the way that you could not pin responsibility down on one person, that it was a loop and the loop - being in the loop Mr Chairman is a, I think it's an Americanism and that's why I used it, I was in the loop.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Miss Slovo was not interested on how envelopes may have come from Lesotho to Johannesburg or to Pretoria, nor other matters that you have mentioned. She was obviously asking you who had made the decision and to kill her mother and how that decision was put into effect.

Would that be a correct way of describing the purpose of the interview that she sought from you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman and therefore I would question the first part of the question because I thought that is what she was interested in and I thought that I was attempting, going to some trouble explaining to her and to sketch to her how exactly this type of operation happened.

MR BIZOS: In answer to her question as to who was responsible for her mother's death, who sent the envelope from Lesotho would have been irrelevant to her.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well you know I'm ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: She wanted to know who had decided to sentence her mother to death?

MR WILLIAMSON: So what if, what if the security branch in the Free State had an agent that they were handling in the ANC structure in Lesotho who grabbed hold or it could have been in the post office in Lesotho, who got hold of this envelope and they decided to have the envelope fitted with explosives and send it to her mother?

MR BIZOS: That didn't happen, it happened at the head office.

MR WILLIAMSON: But they may have sent it to the head office to have it fitted with the explosives Mr Chairman. I was trying to explain to her this ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Are you, are you going to, are you suggesting that the decision was made in the Free State?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I'm trying to illustrate to you where the decision could have been made and in previous cross examination we got to the point where we decided that the probabilities went all the way from Brigadier Goosen being on a frolic of his own right through to that the State President, Mr P.W. Botha, gave the order personally and I said that those were unlikely, that the reality and what happened was probably somewhere in the middle Mr Chairman and the point is that I cannot tell Miss Slovo ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Would Brigadier ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: There was no ...(indistinct) or Committee of Twelve or people who sat and passed sentence of death on Mrs First, to my knowledge.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Of course you would deny that General Coetzee was part or a link in this chain?

MR WILLIAMSON: All I can say Mr Chairman is that I do not know if General Coetzee was part of this chain.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I am going to put to you Mr Williamson. Well let me ask you this. Did you know that there were attempts made to kill Mr Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: That they proved unsuccessful?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well he died of natural causes very many years later, so obviously they were unsuccessful.

MR BIZOS: Yes. A simple yes would have been enough. And were you and your colleagues in the Security Police frustrated by these unsuccessful attempts?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm sure some people who were involved in those attempts were frustrated.

MR BIZOS: And you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well you know I had a sneaking admiration for the "Grey Fox".

MR BIZOS: Did you not, were you not frustrated by the failures of the Security Police to kill Mr Slovo, the arch enemy?

MR WILLIAMSON: I can't ever remember being frustrated Mr Chairman. I, you know we didn't see it in that way.

I can remember when he avoided the Matola Raid I in fact remember commenting to people that it showed, and I used it in my training of members of my staff afterwards, that here was a man they obeyed his trade craft so well that he obeyed a rule which was - apparently that night, he used to sometimes change the place where he slept at night in Maputo twice a night and this is how they missed him Mr Chairman.

And I must say professionally I had the greatest respect for that and the fact that he evaded, all those years, all the efforts of the South African Security Forces to kill him.

MR BIZOS: Right. In your ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: It didn't mean I was in my office foaming at the mouth, pulling out my hair saying, good God, you know we failed to kill Slovo.

MR BIZOS: Now frustration can be of a lesser ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No but Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Don't dramatise it unnecessarily, it's enough for my purposes that you were frustrated. In the Security ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: I didn't say that I was frustrated.

MR BIZOS: ...Forces - I beg your pardon?

MR WILLIAMSON: I didn't say I was frustrated.

MR BIZOS: Oh, disappointed?

MR WILLIAMSON: Exasperated, let's ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Exasperated?

MR WILLIAMSON: Exasperated, yes.

MR BIZOS: Oh, that's even stronger than anything that I would dare to suggest, but I'll take it thank you.

In your evidence at the Armed Forces Hearings you are recorded as having said, on page 105:

"Thirdly the psychological effect of what we call terrorising the terrorists was important, both in the negative sense for them and in the positive sense for the Security Forces and the target civilian population of the Republic".

ADV DE JAGER: Page 105, bundle?

MR BIZOS: Armed Forces Hearing. Mr Chairman I ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: 9th of October 1997.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Was that in response to a question Mr Chairman or was it my statement?

MR BIZOS: It was, it look as if it's your statement.

MR WILLIAMSON: Ja but then it would be in Q-1, document number 1, page ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: No this was supplied by the Commissioner.

MR WILLIAMSON: Ja but the statement would be in Q-1.

MR BIZOS: Evidence that you gave at the Armed Forces Hearings ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes which is in Q-1. My copy of my memorandum, so it should accord. If you just read the piece then I'll look for it quickly.

MR BIZOS: It looked as if it was your memorandum but it appears that it was during your examination by Mr Goosen.

MR WILLIAMSON: Okay.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman if I may be permitted to interrupt, we have, as you know now, a different paginated volume but we found the passage. May we be permitted to give it to the witness?

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct).

MR VISSER: In our addition it is page 99 of the Armed Forces Hearing.

MR BIZOS: Have you got it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes I have Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: "Thirdly the psychological effect of what we call terrorising the terrorists was important, both in the negative sense for them and in the positive sense for the Security Forces and the target civilian population of the Republic".

Would killing Ruth First be an act of terror in the mind of the person you would call the arch terrorist, Joe Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I'm going to put to you that there is high degree of probability that you and your colleagues decided to kill Ruth First in order to get at Joe Slovo in pursuance of this philosophy of yours?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it is entirely possible that whoever decided to target or do that had decided that and if I had seen and been told that this was specifically going to Ruth First then I would have been in accord with that.

This would have been in the framework of the counter insurgency strategy in place at the time Mr Chairman, but I was told it was going to Slovo and as I said, it could have meant to Ruth Slovo and to whichever Slovo it was going Mr Chairman, it would have accorded with our strategy.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Did you believe that killing the wife of the Commander in Chief of Umkhonto weSizwe and the wife was an ordinary member of the organisation and not involve in planning or policy or active support directly of the armed struggle, that this was a permissible target to kill his wife in order to punish him, to terrorise him?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman to kill any high ranking member of the South African Communist or ANC was a legitimate target as far as we were concerned. The idea was the psychological destabilising of the organisation, as well as the disruption of the practical logistical infrastructure and organisation.

And I'm surprised at the description of Ruth First as being so uninvolved in ANC structures Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well there will be evidence about it from people that knew and didn't have to rely on a file that you hadn't looked at for a long time.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: But let me ask you this.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I just enquire in respect of this question, as I understood it, the statement was made that Ruth First was not involved in the active support of the armed struggle.

MR BIZOS: Actively involved.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, yes I just want to know what my learned friend's case is here Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: I think he did say actively engaged.

MR DU PLESSIS: Should we then accept that he said actively engaged in the armed struggle?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: The record will speak for itself, I don't have to be centre in derogatories Mr Chairman.

Which wife of which cabinet minister or General the fighting the battle on your side was targeted for execution by the ANC Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: We'd have to ask the ANC Mr Chairman, I do not know of any such instruction to anybody in the ANC.

MR BIZOS: Now let's be serious please, let's be serious Mr Williamson. Do you know of the wife of any General or any cabinet minister or any high ranking politician that was targeted to be murdered in order to get at her husband?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I said I did not know, you could not ask me that question, we would have to ask somebody in the ANC Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was the wife of any cabinet member or any General deliberately targeted by the ANC and killed or injured?

CHAIRPERSON: Leave out the word targeted Mr Bizos. The applicant has explained he doesn't know who targeted anyone.

MR BIZOS: Oh that they may have been targeted but never happened?

CHAIRPERSON: Happened.

MR BIZOS: Oh I see, if we're going to be ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well keep it to kill.

MR BIZOS: Kill, yes. Do you know of the killing of any wife of any of the persons I mentioned, cabinet minister, high ranking politician, General?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I don't Mr Chairman and I know, but I know and I refer to the evidence I gave previously that in the 1982/1983 annual intelligence review I, my section was responsible for issuing a warning that such a thing could possibly happen.

MR BIZOS: Yes I know, you wanted to create a mass psychosis that everybody was in danger, that even counsel's bags had to be searched coming into court, but do you know of anyone in that class of person that was successfully targeted or a known attempt was made to kill people or to injure them or to maim them for the purposes of getting at their husbands?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman I don't, I repeat I don't and I repeat I warned that the possibility existed and it was not to create some type of climate of fear, it was because I felt that if this type of South African action was going to take place, we could expect retaliation Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well did you warn them after you had participated in the murder of Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And despite your act and despite your fears it never happened?

MR WILLIAMSON: It didn't happen Mr Chairman but I cannot comment as to why it didn't happen. If we're going to get into debating points here I could also say it's possible it didn't happen because our security was too good.

MR BIZOS: Oh I see. Do you know of any instance of a letter bomb being sent by the ANC?

MR WILLIAMSON: Not offhand Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you know that as a matter of policy made publicly known by the ANC, the ANC deliberately decided that despite your conduct and your colleagues conduct that it was not considered appropriate by the ANC to attack people in government or their relatives or to retaliate in the manner in which you expected them to retaliate after you had killed Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Again Mr Chairman I have no knowledge of any such decision by the ANC and perhaps they decided that those targets were too difficult and they'd just stick to Wimpy Bars Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You know that they said that Wimpy Bars were contrary to the policy of the ANC Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: Alright.

MR BIZOS: Did they not make a statement to that effect.

MR WILLIAMSON: Okay well then the Hyde Park Shopping Centre or member of Mtoti Shopping Centre.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Was that not during a short period of time when young undisciplined cadres had lost control, their handlers had lost control. Don't you know that that is the evidence before the Courts and that is the evidence that was placed before the TRC?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I must say that I don't know that Mr Chairman, but then I could refer also to land mine explosions blowing up families, taking their children to school in the morning Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Well let us ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: And that doesn't mean that I'm trying to justify what we did.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Well then I don't know why you mention it and also we can't always be sure ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Because Mr Chairman I don't want this one sided Stratcom Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes, and we also don't know whether your Stratcom friends might not, for their own purposes, planted any mines in a similar manner as the weapons that they produced.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman there are plenty of ANC and Communist Party members who have applied for amnesty and who've been granted amnesty and who've admitted what they did do and I'm sure that was not a Stratcom on our behalf Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes I know. Now if you did not know that this was addressed to Ruth First, and believed that it was for Joe Slovo, the motive for your participation was to kill Joe Slovo?

MR WILLIAMSON: My motive Mr Chairman was to obey an order to have an explosive device manufactured that I believed, from what I'd been told, was going to Joe Slovo.

The fact is that in fact I may have misunderstood and it may have, I may have been, they may have meant that it was going to Ruth Slovo.

On the other hand Mr Chairman it may also have been - as I've said that this was a communication going to Ruth, Joe Slovo via Ruth.

MR BIZOS: Ja. Well we will ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: So whichever Slovo it was going to, and in fact were it - as I gave the example this morning, were it an arms cache that was booby trapped, any ANC person who then opened that arms cache or interfered with that, or perhaps opened that communication, could possibly have been a victim Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I now want to turn to the Schoon murders.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry one point before you do.

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you put to the applicant Mr Bizos that he hadn't mentioned Raven at the first interview?

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: If you look at page 52 you will see the references to Raven.

MR BIZOS: Is that in X-1 or X-2 Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: X-2 the first interview.

MR BIZOS: No, no. No we, no we did say Mr Chairman that in X-2 he mentioned Raven, it appears elsewhere as well.

CHAIRPERSON: The first interview we're talking about. My recollection is you said he did not mention Raven.

MR BIZOS: He did not mention Raven in the first interview.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: That's X-2.

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: If you look at page 52 you will see the reference to Raven.

MR BIZOS: There is a ...(indistinct), I'm told Mr Chairman that there is a problem that I don't know about. Can we leave the matter over until I have ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well look at page 52 and you will see there that he's talking about Gerry Raven. I'm merely correcting something you put to the applicant in saying he had not mentioned Raven before.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Mr Chairman I believe that there is a technical problem in relation to the transcription which is going to be cleared up. May we defer this matter Mr Chairman in order to try and find out what happened.

I had been given an instruction, or rather I'd been given some information but I want to have it checked before I actually respond to that.

ADV DE JAGER: But Mr Bizos all the way around the one was a first interview and the other one was a second interview, now when it's pointed out that you've made a mistake now suddenly it appears that there's some confusion about the interviews.

MR BIZOS: No Mr Chairman I am informed Mr Chairman, I am informed Mr Chairman that there is some explanation in relation to the matter. I put what I put in the belief that it was not there, I want to investigate Mr Chairman as to the correctness of page 52 and I will come ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: We were given this as a record of the interview.

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: We were not told of any confusion but as my colleague puts, when I raise a problem we're now told oh there's a confusion in the transcription.

MR BIZOS: Well Mr Chairman there may or not be. If it was there then obviously it is there. If there is no explanation ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well on page 52 it is there Mr Bizos. He says, at the bottom of the page

"The point of view, I mean I was there and then Brigadier Goosen was of course, he was the Head of the, he is the one who's basically giving the orders. And you know we made or Gerry made the device and then we gave it back to the guys and the next you heard it was in the newspaper".

And higher up the page, the middle of the page he says it's Gerry Raven.

So he's - well the only point I'm making is that he did mention the name Gerry Raven.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Mr Chairman that what appears to be, there is apparently an explanation which I would like an opportunity to speak about. Can we leave it over Mr Chairman for the time being and if in fact it was mentioned then we will apologise to the witness and we can proceed from there Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bizos that shows the reason why documents should be given to us so that we could at least read it and check whether counsel is putting the fact correctly to witnesses.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman I agree, but Mr Chairman some of these tapes had to be flown in by courier from London during the course of the week Mr Chairman and we have been working under tremendous pressure in order to transcribe them.

MR LEVINE: Well Mr Chairman if there is an error and an explanation for it surely that should be furnished before we go to the trouble of listening to both tapes?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman I want to add to that. As far as I'm aware of the practice, one usually adds an Affidavit of the transcriber stating exactly that she listened to the tape properly, that she transcribed it properly and surely that would be the minimum to expect. So I strenuously object against referring to this at all until these problems have been cleared up.

MR BIZOS: I am specifically instructed Mr Chairman that that page is not part of the first interviews.

CHAIRPERSON: Well what other pages are not part, will you please tell us?

MR BIZOS: Well this is what I want to investigate Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: You've given it to us.

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman but done, but done under tremendous pressure Mr Chairman and I had to wait for it until tea time almost. Under pressure, it may well be Mr Chairman that there was confusion between the tapes or the end of the tapes of the one interview with the other, which is a matter of record and what I am asking is not an unreasonable request Mr Chairman.

We can hand over the tapes and the people can satisfy themselves Mr Chairman as to whether or not there was such a confusion or not. And in any event Mr Chairman the witness has actually said that he did not mention Mr Raven's name at the first interview, so I don't know Mr Chairman why our request, in order to investigate the matter and clarify it under the difficult conditions under which we have been working, is not acceded to so that we can proceed with ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Nobody is preventing you clarifying it Mr Bizos, I'm merely suggesting that your attorney should take steps to check himself before he gives you documents.

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman, even for attorneys and attorney's clerks and transcribers Mr Chairman, if it's done under pressure mistakes can happen. It can be that something was transcribed from ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Well let's just get on with it and let somebody here check it Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: This is what I'm appealing for Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman could we be advised in due course of the name and contact address of the transcriber?

MR BIZOS: Yes Mr Chairman we will give it to Mr Levine Mr Chairman, it isn't necessary to hold up the proceedings for that purpose Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bizos I think the Chairperson had requested you to proceed.

MR BIZOS: Oh may I Mr Chairman. Thank you.

Mr Williamson how many ANC people were there at Lubango in 1984?

MR WILLIAMSON: I have absolutely no idea Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was there what one may call an ANC presence at Lubango in 1984?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well we would have to define presence but ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well let me ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: There was a - at the very minimum there was Jeanette and Marius Schoon Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was there an ANC office at Lubango in 1984?

MR WILLIAMSON: I have no idea Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Were there any ANC military personnel anywhere near Lubango in 1984?

MR WILLIAMSON: I cannot comment Mr Chairman, I don't know, it's possible. From my knowledge there were no ANC bases near Lubango but ANC military personnel acting in support of Angolan for elements against UNITA were active in various stages of the war and they may well have been close to Lubango at one or other time.

MR BIZOS: Well that's just sheer speculation on your part?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well that's what I was asked to do Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No I asked you whether you knew that there were such people?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes and I said there may well have been Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Who asked you to speculate?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I gave, I said there may well have been and I gave a possible example Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. For how long were the Schoons at Lubango before the two, Jeanette and Katryn were killed?

MR WILLIAMSON: I have no idea Mr Chairman. Not long I don't think.

MR BIZOS: You, are you able to admit or deny that there were a total of, that there were only 4 adult South Africans in Lubango in 1984, South Africans?

MR WILLIAMSON: I've got no idea Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you know that the 3 adult South Africans that were there, Mr and Mrs Schoon and one other - and two others, do you know what they were doing in Lubango?

MR WILLIAMSON: I said Mr Chairman I've absolutely no idea. I said previously in my evidence that, or I think I said that Angola was a military area.

The major responsibility for intelligence gathering in Angola was a military responsibility and I know that from a general perspective the fact that at that time Lubango was virtually a garrison town Mr Chairman and that there were a number of Cuban forces present in that area Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Are you able to deny that the adults were teaching at a University or University College in that town?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I'm not Mr Chairman because I believe I have already said that as a result of a request made to me, well first to the Security Police and then specifically to my section at one time, we were requested at that period of time if we had any information on what the Schoons were doing in Lubango, because there was some information available to the military that there was some connection between the Schoons and the Cuban forces and this could possibly have had something to do with language teaching Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: And I went on to say that I replied that I had not intelligence information Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Language skills, do you know whether they spoke Portuguese of Spanish or Ovambo?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman they spoke English, which is the language skill that the Airforce Intelligence was concerned about Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I see. Now did you know that attempts had been made to kill Mr Schoon whilst he was in Botswana?

MR WILLIAMSON: Passage talk, yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What's passage talk?

MR WILLIAMSON: The same as I did with Dirk Coetzee at one stage about Ruth First Mr Chairman. I can't say that I was specifically informed but I knew that Mr Schoon was a target and I also knew that from intelligence reports that he and Jeanette had in fact left Botswana after having been advised to do so in order to avoid an attack on them by South African forces.

MR BIZOS: Would those attempts have been made by the same chain that you were in that tried to kill or succeeded in killing Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: It's possible Mr Chairman, but it could also have been a chain with a number of different links Mr Chairman, and seeing as the one chain stretched from Lesotho to Maputo and the attempts or plans against the Schoons were in Botswana, I would imagine that a number of the links in the chain would in fact be different.

MR BIZOS: Did you consider the possibility that as a result of the threats to their lives, that they may have withdrawn to a remote part of the continent to merely teach English at the request of either the ANC or the Angolan Government or both, did you consider that as a possibility?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I did not Mr Chairman and I don't think I would have at that time considered that anybody would have considered Lubango as some type of quiet, backwater from which to retire from the armed struggle Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You were in charge of intelligence?

MR WILLIAMSON: I was in charge of security police intelligence, yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: If you had known that they were doing nothing more than teaching English, would you have still sent a letter bomb?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it might be useful to know to whom they were teaching English.

MR BIZOS: Does that matter?

MR WILLIAMSON: It could matter. If they were Cuban troops Mr Chairman it would make big difference.

MR BIZOS: And if it were not Cuban troops, who else?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well that's what I'm asking Mr Chairman. Obviously it would make a big difference who they were teaching English.

MR BIZOS: Angolan University students. Would you have still sent them a letter bomb if you knew that they had taken positions to teach Angolan University students English, would you still have sent them a letter bomb?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I did not send them the letter bomb but I would still have participated in the operation. Again I have to say that - and perhaps it's not what the Schoons intended, but the fact that there were only 4, as has been put for South Africans in Lubango in 1984, would not have made the security forces more relaxed, it would have made them even more convinced that those 4 South Africans were of a special nature and that had the type of backing and authority of the ANC and the revolutionary alliance and the Angolan Government of the time to be allowed to be in an area such as Lubango.

MR BIZOS: Did you know that there was a university at Lubango?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you know that young Angolans were trying to improve their minds at this university?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman as young South Africans such as myself were attempting to improve their minds at university at 1982 and 1983 in Pretoria studying counter insurgency warfare Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: The fact is that people studying at these universities could well have been people related to the military and security structures of the State.

MR BIZOS: But that's speculation, you had no intelligence as to what they were doing, who had asked them to do it, what the purpose of their teaching was. You ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman what I've said very clearly is I had not intelligence and I reported that when I was requested Mr Chairman, but the suspicion about the Schoons as a result of their activities in Botswana, as a result of their high level activities in the ANC and then their movement to Angola, which was the heart of the armed struggle against the Republic at that time and was the heart and contact point between the international ...(end of tape) ...(inaudible - beginning of tape 6) such as the Cubans and Soviet advisors and the ANC Mr Chairman, did not and would never ever have served to lessen South African Security Force suspicion about the Schoons, it would merely have in fact increased it.

MR BIZOS: Were people killed on suspicion or on intensive intelligence?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I'm sure that people have been killed on suspicion.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Williamson you've just said that Angola was the heart of the armed struggle against South Africa?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I understood it was a civil war taking place in Angola.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman but the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: The South African Forces were supporting one side and the Cubans and Russians the other?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman and the main ANC military bases were in Angola. All the main ANC military camps were in Angola. The entire ANC military infrastructure was in Angola and the ANC forces were in fact participating in that civil war in direct combat on, with the Angolan troops against UNITA Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: So other areas, Botswana, Mozambique etc did not have ANC military forces were not engaged in the war, they were all in ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: No they had the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Angola?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Angola was the rear base, the military bases from where, if you say that map that I did present Mr Chairman, the military cadres were then sent to infiltrate through the front-line states into South Africa, but the main, the main military command and control structures of the ANC were in Angola Mr Chairman.

And in fact there were - I don't think an exaggeration to say, I hesitate to make figures, but I would imagine possibly in excess of 10 000 ANC soldier in Angola.

MR BIZOS: You told us that people were eliminated on suspicion?

MR WILLIAMSON: I said it's possible that it happened Mr Chairman. Well and here we are not talking about your suspicions, we are talking about the suspicions presumably of other South African Intelligence officials.

MR WILLIAMSON: That is possible Mr Chairman, as I was told - as I told the Committee, I had no information on what the Schoons were doing in Lubango, I do not believe that they had been Lubango very long before I was requested, from the Military Intelligence side, whether there was any specific information to confirm some information that they had Mr Chairman, that is all.

MR BIZOS: Who asked you, who from the other South African Intelligence Service told you that they were, had suspicions that the Schoons were there for the furtherance of the struggle?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I have no idea which individual. I would imagine that, and I believe that the actual request on the Schoons was in writing and came through the normal structures from the Military Intelligence side Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: To whom?

MR WILLIAMSON: Pardon?

MR BIZOS: To whom was it made in writing?

MR WILLIAMSON: It would have come to the Security Branch and then it would have ultimately gone, probably to the different desks and it would have come also to me.

It was the type of request that routinely flowed to and from Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Now I'm assuming that you are going to tell us that those documents no longer exist?

MR WILLIAMSON: I have absolutely no idea Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I may add, if we're talking about suspicion, that the contents of the envelope which was on it's way to the Schoons did nothing to lessen suspicion that the Schoons were still involved in ANC activities Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What were the contents?

MR WILLIAMSON: The contents were ANC documents.

MR BIZOS: What sort of documents?

MR WILLIAMSON: General ANC documents from Botswana Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What, newsletters?

MR WILLIAMSON: Newsletters and some type of a report about what different people were doing Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you go through those?

MR WILLIAMSON: I did Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you put them in their file?

MR WILLIAMSON: I put them, I sent them for filing Mr Chairman and that's one of the specific things I asked, whether we could have the contents of the envelope Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: That is inconsistent with your having said up to know that you had no intelligence about what they were doing in Angola?

MR WILLIAMSON: No it is not Mr Chairman. This was about what was going on in Botswana.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Did you keep those documents?

MR WILLIAMSON: I did not keep them Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you open the envelope and see them?

MR WILLIAMSON: The, I saw them Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You studied them?

MR WILLIAMSON: Ja, I'll say I saw them and sent them to the desk Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Why didn't you treat them with the gentility that you treated the envelope that was addressed to a person unknown to you that led to the death of Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Because Mr Chairman on that occasion, as I said, the first time that such a thing had happened, I was not really 100% sure of what was going on, I didn't see in the documentation anything that was of particular interest to me.

When it came to the Schoon documentation Mr Chairman I had, for a number of years, been monitoring the Schoons and the ANC activities in Botswana. These documents related specifically to something in which I was particularly interested Mr Chairman.

And finally of course Mr Chairman, as I said, I'd been monitoring the Schoons for many years.

MR SIBANYONI: In the Ruth First incident were you not afraid that going through the documents would leave fingerprints?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR SIBANYONI: Was it not a concern in the Schoon's issue?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman because I asked whether I could actually - in the first case I left all the documentation in the envelope that I left with the Brigadier and the second case I asked, could I have these documents once the IED had been made to replace those documents in the envelope Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you actually see the names of the people that it was addressed to?

MR WILLIAMSON: I actually saw the names, it was addressed to Jen and Marius or Marius and Jen, it was addressed to both of them.

MR BIZOS: The Brigadier didn't tell you this time?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman he told me, here's a communication from the ANC in Botswana to Marius and Jeanette Schoon and then when I looked at it I saw it clearly.

MR BIZOS: He didn't tell you what it was?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman he told me, here's a communication from the ANC in Botswana to Marius and Jeanette Schoon. I then looked at it and saw it clearly Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: It came to you in the same brown official envelope?

MR WILLIAMSON: He had it in a big official envelope, yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And I think the question was, why didn't you treat it as gingerly as you did the Ruth First one?

MR WILLIAMSON: I gave the answer Mr Chairman that I had - first of all when the Ruth First one happened it was the first time that I'd had experience of such a thing. The second time I had a specific interest in not only the people involved, but also the documentation and specifically where it had been coming from.

I was not particularly involved in the Lesotho theatre of operations Mr Chairman, Botswana I was very involved.

MR BIZOS: Yes. No let me just ask you this. Was your participation on this occasion as minimal as it was with the item that killed Ruth First?

MR WILLIAMSON: Why I don't know how we will define minimal Mr Chairman. I passed on an order and the order was complied with, the device was made and as far as I know, the device was then dispatched back to Lubango, well dispatched further on it's way to Lubango and I did say that I was not, if I can put it this way, a very enthusiastic participant Mr Chairman, I knew the people involved.

MR BIZOS: Right. But on this occasion where you had the advantage of personal contact with the person you say initiated this, as far as you were concerned. Did you ask Brigadier Goosen why are we doing this?

MR WILLIAMSON: If I'd had any doubt in my mind I would have asked him Mr Chairman. I had absolutely no doubt.

MR BIZOS: So you didn't ask?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You, did the Brigadier know that the Schoons had two young children?

MR WILLIAMSON: He may well have been aware, I'm not sure Mr Chairman. Perhaps, it's doubtful.

MR BIZOS: Weren't you concerned that if the envelope was addressed to both of them that it may be opened in the presence of the children and tell the Brigadier, Brigadier we may have four dead bodies as a result of what you are asking me to do. Did you ask him that?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I did not Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Why not?

MR WILLIAMSON: It did not cross my mind that the Schoons - the Schoons had gone to London when they fled from Botswana. It did not cross my mind that they'd taken their children to Lubango.

MR BIZOS: From Botswana they went to Lusaka. Did they take their children with them?

MR WILLIAMSON: I assume so Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well if they were in Lubango what do you think that young parents would have done with their young children?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I didn't sit and think about it, it did not cross my mind. I would not have taken my children to Lubango in 1984.

MR BIZOS: Yes but then you were an officer in the oppressive regime service and they were refugees. What would you suggest that the refugees would have done with their children if they were left Botswana in order to avoid being killed by your regime?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I think council is perfectly aware that numerous members of the ANC upper structure and echelon had their children safely in cities such as London and schools all over the world away from the front-lines and away from the so-called oppressive apartheid forces.

MR BIZOS: Who with young, young children did that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I said numerous, I can't ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Who, give me one example, one or two or three examples of these people?

MR WILLIAMSON: Well were where Oliver Tamboís children Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: In London where Mr Oliver Tambo lived.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well that's correct.

MR BIZOS: Young children, two years old.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well when Mr Oliver Tamboís children were young, where were they Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: With their mother in London and Mr Tambo in Lusaka.

MR WILLIAMSON: Exactly Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: No, but you knew that both parents were in Lubango, what did you think they did with their children?

MR WILLIAMSON: Both parents were members of the senior organ of the ANC and were active Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And whether or not they had their children with them, would have been a very simple matter to verify by a simple enquiry in view of South Africa's presence in Angola. Simple enquiry, are the children there or not?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as far as I am aware it was not done. As I've said this debate that we've had now didn't go through my mind, it never crossed my mind they'd taken their children to Lubango.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: And as I think we've all agreed they had not been in Lubango very long.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you have made enquiries at Lubango?

MR WILLIAMSON: I could not have made enquiries in Lubango Mr Chairman. Obviously certain other intelligence agencies related to the South African State could possibly have Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: That was on the other side of the firing line wasn't it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but you had intelligence, you had intelligence in UNITA, you had intelligence to people who gave you information. You knew that they had gone to Lubango, how difficult would it have been for you to find out whether their children were there or not before you decided to take part in an operation that may have killed both of them?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman it would have been obviously extremely difficult for me to have done it. I conceded that it would have been possible had it crossed my mind to do it, to have done it and I have to say that this is something that I've thought about virtually every single day since the incident happened and I also want to say that in the following attack which I was involved in, in the Gaberone Raid of 1985, as a result of the death of Katryn Schoon I went out of my way and made sure that every single target in Gaberone which could possibly have had families and children in it was removed from the list Mr Chairman and I think that is well known amongst the target selection committee that operated at that time and Mr Chairman there are certain ANC people that are alive now today as a result of that decision.

But at the time in 1984 it was not my operation and it did not cross my mind that the Schoons had taken their children to Lubango Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Did you have agents in UNITA giving you information?

MR WILLIAMSON: I did not but South African Intelligence Service did.

MR BIZOS: And there was close co-operation if the need arose between the two of you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Absolutely Mr Chairman. As I said, it would have been difficult but possible.

MR BIZOS: But now you know here we're not dealing with strangers. We were dealing with people that you knew, with whom you had a personal relationship. Didn't you think you owed it to them to make sure?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman the fact that I knew them as I think I've said before, did not make it easier, it made it far more difficult and ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well I ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...as I'm sure with the Schoons, there was a division between them as people and them as activists and operators of the African National Congress, there's a difference between me as a human being and me as the intelligence agent working for the State.

And Mr Chairman as far as I was concerned, they had been made a target of a strike. This decision had been made as a result of their continued and high level involvement in ANC structures and I carried out my order.

MR BIZOS: If you had no intelligence how do you know that they continued working in ANC structures?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I've said, the very fact that they went to Angola, which was the military command centre of the ANC, the very fact that they'd gone to Lubango and then finally Mr Chairman, if I needed any further confirmation, the last, at the time we were asked to construct the device, the contents of the envelope, the envelope was an intercepted communication, an ANC communication from Botswana going to the Schoons in Lubango Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: I had at that time absolutely no doubt that the Schoons remained high level ANC operatives. I really Mr Chairman, in my experience, have no example that I can readily bring to mind of anybody in the ANC/Communist Party alliance who at some a particular time along the road actually retired from operational duty as it were Mr Chairman.

It didn't cross my mind that these people had retired and gone to some non-involved safe haven from where they wished just to continue their lives peacefully Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well either your intelligence was not correct. Did you not hear of many people who actually, after having had military training, nevertheless withdrew and went to Universities all over Europe and the United States and the United Kingdom ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: They withdrew.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman there's a big difference between having ANC military training and then not being an active member of an ANC/Umkhonto weSizwe unit and continuing to do other work in a political or other capacity Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: You knew of the attempts to kill Marius Schoon?

MR WILLIAMSON: Which is why Mr Chairman I was even less surprised that there was a continuing effort to kill him.

MR BIZOS: There was no attempt that you knew of to kill Mrs Schoon, Jeanette Schoon?

MR WILLIAMSON: No Mr Chairman the, as I said, the attempt that I had heard about or the talk that there'd been was aimed at Mr Marius Schoon and at a later stage when the Schoons left Botswana I heard that there had been a threat against both of them and that they had been advised to withdraw from Botswana because they were both potential targets of the South African Security Forces and they subsequently left Botswana.

MR BIZOS: We're not talking about the warning which would probably have been in wider terms, we are talking about the two attempts to kill Mr Schoon. In none of them have we heard that Mrs Schoon was a target.

MR WILLIAMSON: I heard the questions Mr Chairman and for the sake of completeness I said yes I had heard about an attempt or I believe, to kill Marius Schoon and I had also heard of another attempt or threat against both Jeanette and Marius Schoon.

MR BIZOS: Would you not agree that there is a difference between an attempt to kill one of the parents of these two children and a cautionary widening of the warning to include both possibly, if you are correct that there were warnings about both?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman all I can say is what I heard and knew and the effect it had on me and the effect it had on me was that I was totally convinced that both the Schoons were a target of the South African Security Forces ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Why did you ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: ...and that somebody was after them.

MR BIZOS: Why did you consider it irrelevant that the two previous attempts were against Mr Schoon only and now ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I don't know of two previous attempts, I know of one.

MR BIZOS: Oh. Well there are documents which suggest that there were two. One ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That's fine Mr Chairman, I'm not saying there were less than two, I'm just saying I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: You didn't hear about the botched attempt where the man was actually caught and exposed and thereafter an attempt that was countermanded. Which one of the two did you hear about and which one did you know about?

MR WILLIAMSON: Now that you say botched attempt Mr Chairman, I this awakens the bells of the past, but I'm not sure whether that was - was that attempt against Mr Schoon or against some other ANC member in Botswana?

MR BIZOS: Mr Schoon are my instructions.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well I would need to - I can't say that I know specifically it was against Mr Schoon, but I believe there was one or more attempts against Mr Schoon.

MR BIZOS: Well we know, Brigadier Schoon has applied for amnesty on the botched attempt and Mr Coetzee, Dirk Coetzee - ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: I thought that was the same ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: Oh has told us about it, apparently he's not applying for amnesty but he has spoken about it, but and Coetzee did try to do it with a gun. Those were the two.

MR WILLIAMSON: I thought that was the same incident Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well I want to, an answer to, did you query that if you knew that there was an attempt against Mr Schoon only, why it was now being extended to both of them?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I didn't Mr Chairman because when the Schoons left Botswana it was well known that they had left as a result of the fact that they were both in danger of an attack from the South African Security Forces.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now is there a difference between people retiring from the ANC or from the struggle and being re-deployed by the ANC to activity other than that which they were previously performing?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I doubt very much that we in the Security Forces would ever have taken much cognisance about a re-deployment that perhaps was now into some type of a peaceful job.

If the Schoons had been re-deployed, as they put it, to London or to somewhere in the United Kingdom where our intelligence network was good and we had known exactly what they were doing and they'd become academics at some university and all they were involved with was anti-apartheid activities with the British public etc, then obviously Mr Chairman my attitude would have been different, but the Schoons went to Lubango Mr Chairman, that was one of the key factors behind this entire operation as far as I'm concerned and secondly Mr Chairman, there were, in certain cases and I can give an example of Mr Maharaj again since his name has arisen so regularly at this hearing, that he withdrew from open structures and he put out a story that in fact he'd gone to the Soviet Union to receive treatment for cancer or some other very serious illness when in fact Mr Chairman, he had gone under deep cover and was busy with specific penetration operations in the Republic Mr Chairman

So we knew that a re-deployment by the ANC was not necessarily what it appeared to be, if it just appeared to be some type of a semi-retirement and a re-deployment to the UK to a University would have been one thing. A re-deployment to a University, a language course in Lubango in Angola in 1984 in the circumstances that pertained at that time Mr Chairman would in no ways have been seen by myself or any other member, I believe or contend, of the Security Forces as some type of a retirement from active service Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was ordinary life not going on, at least under difficult circumstances, by the Angolan people at the time. Were there young people to be educated?

MR WILLIAMSON: Of course there were Mr Chairman, but there were also 30 600 Cuban troops in and around the environs of Lubango.

MR BIZOS: Yes but before you sentence somebody to death or you sentence two people to death or potentially four people to death, you must ascertain whether they're there in order to teach Cuban troops, which you suggested in your evidence or young student which we didn't know about and if you - you could have ascertained precisely what they did there within a reasonable time, couldn't you?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as I said before, I think very clearly, that I would not have ascertained. It could have perhaps, through South African Intelligence structures, been ascertained with great difficulty, it would have taken time and I personally wonder, in the circumstances of the time, whether the resources would have been allocated to make such an enquiry before such an attack.

I believe Mr Chairman ....(tape ends)

MR BIZOS: ...(Inaudible - beginning of tape) and if in fact they were re-deployed to teach English, not for any of the ...(indistinct) purposes that you suspected without intelligence, but for the purposes that they state. If you knew those facts or if you troubled yourself to find them out, would you still have taken part in sending them a letter bomb that killed Jeanette and Katryn?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman had the intelligence been available at the time that I was asked to have this device constructed to attack the Schoons, that the Schoons had in fact been re-deployed and retired and that the Schoons were in fact generally not involved in ANC activities and as I gave the example for example that had they gone to the United Kingdom where we would have been easily able to obtain this, of course I would not have participated in the operation or I would have certainly made a strong recommendation against such an operation, but that was not the circumstances at the time that I was given the order Mr chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Whilst they were in Botswana, they were under intense South African intelligence scrutiny?

MR WILLIAMSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Who sent the postal item from Botswana to them?

MR WILLIAMSON: I have no idea Mr Chairman, it was one of the ANC structures. And in any case such a communication wouldn't have had the person's real name.

MR BIZOS: Where they asked to do anything, were they given any instructions or was it just new letters and other ANC information that was sent to them?

MR WILLIAMSON: It was feedback from the activities of the people in the ANC in Gaberone Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Gaberone to Lubango is how many kilometres away?

MR WILLIAMSON: A thousand, one and a half thousand, something like that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: With probably the poorest communication system in Southern Africa, between the two of them?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chair, I would imagine so.

MR BIZOS: So that - and at the time, according to one of the exhibits before us, during this period in monitoring Angola, in an ANC document, in Exhibit N, the last page we are told that between 1983 and 1985 Angola was a military zone under a regional command.

MR WILLIAMSON: Page 40, ja the last page of the exhibit, page 49 of the actual original document.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman, paragraph 5.3.7.

MR BIZOS: Angola was a military zone under regional command and we are told who the commander is and we know who the commissar was and what does NAT stand for?

MR WILLIAMSON: It was the Angolan, the ANC Department of Intelligence Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I see.

MR WILLIAMSON: Security and Intelligence.

MR BIZOS: Yes. The Schoons are not mentioned there at all.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman out of many thousand of ANC people, definitely the one country in the world where the most ANC people were at any one time, these were only the top three Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes I accept that.

MR WILLIAMSON: If there names had appeared here they would have been a lot more senior than even I suspected Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes well, yes, no that is accepted. But in Botswana in 4.6.2, page 43, 4.6.2 we see how senior they may have been. Henry Magoti was a Chairman.

MR WILLIAMSON: Squires.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR WILLIAMSON: Squires, yes Henry Magoti, ja his MK name was Squires.

MR BIZOS: Squires, yes. Succeeded by Lambert Maloi.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes also MK.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: Leading figures in this - SO stands for what?

MR WILLIAMSON: Senior Organ.

MR BIZOS: Billy Masela, Masetla what role did he play?

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm not sure Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And Keith Mokoapie (?)?

MR WILLIAMSON: High level, both of them, functionaries, organisers Mr Chairman. I'm not sure about MK training but I believe both of them had MK training.

MR BIZOS: And Damklomi (?).

MR WILLIAMSON: Damklomi extremely senior, Senior Central Committee of the South African Communist Party. National Executive Committee of the ANC, one of the old guard of the struggle Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: I think far better known to counsel than to myself Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes, he was an accused in the treason trial in which he was acquitted and ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: That's correct.

MR BIZOS: ...he was a very nice elderly gentleman.

MR WILLIAMSON: Veteran of the struggle Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes, yes. So that you know if you want to remind me of it I might as well tell you, that's why I know Mr Damklomi as a gentleman who was at the adoption of the Freedom Charter.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: It was far back, a veritable gentleman, yes.

MR WILLIAMSON: ...(indistinct) I'm just going to illustrate his seniority Mr Chairman that's all.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Marius and Jenny Schoon, there's no suggestion that they had any military training?

MR WILLIAMSON: There is a suggestion that Marius had military training, yes.

MR BIZOS: Military training?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: Where?

MR WILLIAMSON: Nfunda (?) Camp in Angola.

MR BIZOS: When?

MR WILLIAMSON: I don't know when Mr Chairman, but there's that suggestion.

MR BIZOS: Do you know when more or less?

MR WILLIAMSON: I've no idea Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: And what he was trained in, you don't know?

MR WILLIAMSON: Basic military training Mr Chairman, I don't know if he took specialist training. What they did is they normally had the basic Infantry Course and then of course they went on to specialised training who would have been engineers that dealt - in their ...(indistinct) engineers were people that dealt with landmines, military combat work. There were all sorts of specialists Mr Chairman, I don't know.

MR BIZOS: Wally Serote?

MR WILLIAMSON: Very ...(indistinct).

MR BIZOS: Patrick Fitzgerald?

MR WILLIAMSON: I knew him well Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: What was he concerned with?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mainly propaganda Mr Chairman. Wally Serote I think the same well know poet, artist. Thaban Makwetla (?) I have no immediate information on. Hassan Ibrahim I believe Umkhonto WeSizwe Mr Chair.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And on your information what work were Jenny and Marius Schoon doing in Botswana?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mainly involved in the - I mean their specific task was involved in what was called internal reconstruction Mr Chairman, which was the rebuilding of the underground structures of the ANC inside South Africa Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. That was a political activity?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes Mr Chairman and the political activity was the business of overthrowing the State Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now when you visited them did you hear any suggestions that you were being suspected of being a policeman or police informer?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman I regularly heard that suggestion, so it's quite possible that I heard it there.

MR BIZOS: Did you get the impression, shortly before they moved out of Angola, that the ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Out of?

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon out of Botswana, that the weight of evidence was mounting up that sooner or later you would be exposed?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman as far as I believed, they only left Botswana after I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: When you visited them there.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes but they didn't leave Botswana at that time.

MR BIZOS: I'm sorry I ...(indistinct) the question. When you went there ...(intervention)

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes.

MR BIZOS: When you went there did you believe from the conversations that you had with them that the weight of evidence against you was piling up, that too many people were compromised by persons that were working with you, supposedly for the ANC when in truth and in fact you and your colleagues were working for the police?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman on which occasion, in 1979 or...?

MR BIZOS: Particularly shortly before your exposure. How long before your exposure were you in Botswana?

MR WILLIAMSON: No very, probably two, three months, four months.

MR BIZOS: Ja.

MR WILLIAMSON: There was certainly an incident that had occurred and there was almost like an official accusation made against me that I was a spy Mr Chairman, and that was some time before in fact I was actually exposed and the cause for that accusation had in fact nothing to do with the ultimate problem that arose that I described to the committee about the defection Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Do you know that the Schoons were reporting their fears that you were a policeman?

MR WILLIAMSON: No I did not Mr Chairman but if they, if you tell me they were I accept it. Many people in ANC structures at that time, in fact I was even asked what I thought about the Schoons and Fitzgerald and their loyalty Mr Chairman so I accept that they may have reported on my, yes.

MR BIZOS: Well we will refer you to more specific matters as time goes on. Mr Chairman I don't know whether you want to continue for some while? It's been a long day for ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I would have no objection but I know ...(indistinct) much support by everyone else here. 9 o'clock tomorrow morning gentlemen?

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh what are views on our time tomorrow?

MR BIZOS: We will most certainly finish with this witness. We will not take the full day tomorrow Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well shall we adopt the same procedure as last week, we'll not adjourn at 1 o'clock, we'll adjourn at 2 o'clock for the day?

MR BIZOS: Yes thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we'll now adjourn until 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.

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