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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 25 January 1999
Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman I think we stopped at paginated page 77, typed page 55. But I would like to take Mr Bellingan back to page 75, typed page 53, and the second page thereof. Can you just deal with that Mr Bellingan.
"General Gerrit Erasmus was known for his tough approach. In the Eastern Cape, while he was the commander of the Security Branch there, he had applied the 'rule by fear' concept. In other words concerning any targets of the Security Branch, including also with the assistance of the Riot Police. In Witwatersrand he was a tough and resolute leader. At one stage Captain Oosthuizen had recruited a young sergeant named Hennie Oosthuizen. He had been working at the Soweto Security Branch but had become discredited because he was not available for harde Stratcom. Hennie happened to be well-acquainted with the inner circles of the National Party at the time. In other words Adriaan Vlok, Roelf Meyer, Pik Botha, Rina Venter etc. Captain Oosthuizen was involved at the time as a National Party organiser. However, at a certain point Hennie had been too outspoken about the work outside of the Intelligence circles and this had come to Colonel Erasmus' attention. He was then Colonel Erasmus. General Erasmus said that should Hennie be a problem 'ons sal hom dood maak' - we would kill him.General Erasmus once told me that it was easy to get rid of someone should the situation merit it."
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. Any operation that you are involved in regarding, not only General Erasmus but all trusted leaders in the Security Branch such as General Erasmus, but in particular here I refer to him. It was a great danger to speak about such operations because he, for example, would say, like at the Khotso House matter he said he would personally kill anyone who spoke out about that.
"Minister Adriaan Vlok and myself had conversations on various occasions. Once at his office in Cape Town, twice at headquarters. On one occasion at headquarters he expressed the necessity for us to win the war in Natal. In other words it was quite clear he meant support Inkatha. The same day I had a discussion with General Joubert who had been complaining that we were spending too much money on these large national Stratcom projects, like the National Student Federation and that more money should come from outside sources. At the time he was in charge of sensitive investigations. When I mentioned the possibility of the use of opposition's resources he was in agreement and said it had been done extensively in the past. I also knew this because we had made use of the opposition's resources in the past".
"Brigadier Willem Schoon, who at the time was Colonel de Kock's superior, told me that he could have me destroyed just like that, and he snapped his fingers. This occurred during a minor argument I had with him at Island Rock whilst we were entertaining Nedbank officials".
"When I discussed the possibility of receiving weapons made to order from a German gunsmith in Pretoria with General van der Merwe, he sent me to Brigadier Schoon saying it was his department. I had been in touch with this particular gunsmith and had tried out one of the firearms which was a 9mm rifle with a silencer. It worked extremely well with subsonic ammunition and I did speak to Brigadier Schoon about this contact. I don't know to what extent thereafter he made use of this".
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Can we turn over to the next page, page 79, typed page 57. You deal there with the operations of the Johannesburg Security Branch from 1982 to 1986. Mr Chairman it is important that we draw your attention to certain of these incidents and that is why I have to point out certain of them. Could you deal with the two paragraphs on that page please Mr Bellingan.
"This operation Omega was named as such by a Warrant Officer who worked with me, Paul Erasmus. This involved destabilisation of the left-wing via acts of destruction such as bricks through windows of houses, cars etc. Paul had named this via claiming responsibility in the newspapers on behalf of a certain right-wing group which he named Omega. The newspapers picked up on the story. The idea was to just frighten the opposition. Operations of this nature were either explicitly or tacitly condoned and were encouraged by officers such as Colonel Arthur Benoni Cronwright who was the section head at the time. Many staff members at John Vorster Square were involved. It was generally open season on the left-wingers. There were policemen, even from the uniformed branch, involved. Also private individuals as well as other officers from state departments were involved. It was on a very ad hoc basis. There was no coordination at that stage of these activities. Other activities included putting paint remover or brake fluid or thinners on to vehicles of our suspects. Motor vehicles at meetings of left-wing people would be scratched; wheel nuts would be removed; tyres slashed; equipment, for example a generator at a large meeting would be vandalised. Also trendy left-wing slogans were printed by the head office printing unit in the form of stickers and then - these were highly adhesive and difficult to remove - these would be stuck on to expensive vehicles such as Rolls Royces, Mercedes Benz etc and anywhere basically to annoy the owner and upset and rattle the left and to alienate them.
This is not what they did all the time Mr Chairman, they were essentially an intelligence and surveillance unit, but in the evenings and on an ad hoc occasion they did participate in these so-called right-wing attacks as well.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman, but I was speaking about the broader activities. All these acts of destruction as well I meant, but the stickers in particular, when they were available they usually didn't last long, we used them up pretty quickly. They were quite expensive to make, and they never printed thousands of them. We usually got bundles amounting to hundreds, so they did not last long, but they usually had a very good effect. We would also phone the newspapers on behalf of the owners of the vehicles whose names we could get from the computer and complain to the newspapers you know about these terrible left-wing organisations, just to blow the story up.
MR BELLINGAN: There were, at that stage there were basically two groups of about five or six each working on different sides of the passage that seemed to have a natural tendency to gravitate towards each other in a group form and do the activities.
MR BELLINGAN: I presume there would have to be some type of discussion about that at head office and also at our unit as well. My superior would be aware that I would be requesting such stickers, or it would be Stratcom head office, the people that I liaised with there, that would take the request to the printing unit. They knew the people there. It was just on another floor. But in order to account for the expense etc, etc, I am quite certain someone would have had to put something on paper about that. All that I put on paper was the concept of what we wanted printed.
MR BELLINGAN: Those would have been via the secret fund. Those expenditures had to be approved by Colonel Louis Koekemoer who would be - who would have to discuss this with the, or would have to get general approval, I presume, from one of the generals. But then on the other hand I doubt whether each and every of these things would have been taken up on an individual basis. I am quite certain the printing unit would have ordered say the plastic backing or whatever without saying we want to now print a specific sticker as a campaign against the End Conscription Campaign. Sometimes these type of claims would also be falsified. The real truth wouldn't be set out in the actual claim.
"These type of attacks were branded by the newspapers as right-wing attacks. We encouraged this perception. There were four people involved in the investigation against these so-called right-wing attacks. There was a warrant officer from the CID at John Vorster Square; there was myself; there was a W/O Whitecross and Captain Oosthuizen who then worked at John Vorster Square. There was in fact a docket opened and kept at the CID offices but in reality the docket stayed in my office, and the CID would collect statements from people who were complaining and bring it to myself. I also asked them to find out sometimes perhaps the neighbours of these people who would be objecting to the activities of the left-wing organisations so we could go across at the same time under the guise of these investigations and recruit people to spy on the people at the same time. Suffice it to say that nothing ever came of the investigations.
Actions also included spray-painting slogans ranging from graffiti which would embarrass the left to graffiti which would enrage them. An example would be to spray a slogan calling for violence to spray the slogan in a liberal type of area thus alienating or marginalising the left-wing for which the people of the area may have had some natural pre-disposition or sympathy for the left-wingers but thereafter when there was this call for violence against the National Party or the state or whatever then it usually had the effect of marginalising these groups. An example would be to spray-paint pro-PLO and fascist slogans on Wits campus at an important time for Jewish religion. We had the perception that the majority of Jewish people were liberal. The result is that they would attack the pro-PLO people on the campus. Quite a few times we actually got them to physically attack each other. On this point IJ had once got somebody to shoot .22 bullets into the Chapel door on the campus of the Moslems Student's Association which caused reprisals again from the MSA on SAUJS, South African Union of Jewish Students etc, etc.
We also tied a dead black cat to the door of Mr Anton Harber(?), a left-wing radical journalist from the Rand Daily Mail and fired a shotgun shell into it to unnerve him. He was on the point of a nervous breakdown so we took the view that he would have less time to spend discussing and investigating the Security Branch if he had too many problems of his own. W/O Paul Erasmus at a later stage informed Anton Harber that it was I who did that."
"Officers at head office were aware of the intimidation of the left and from time to time Lieutenant Basie Bouwer and Jaap van Jaarsveldt would come through to Johannesburg and get involved with us. Another popular activity was shooting ball bearings and the tips, the projectiles of bullets at cars' windows or people. It had the effect - people would find these projectiles and believe they were being shot, for example, very unnerving. It also happened, for example, that Basie, who was head of Stratcom Pretoria at the time, would pick up the phone and say to me that something had to be done about, for example the End Conscription Campaign. One particular occasion in fact, on a Friday afternoon he phoned me and said Magnus Malan wanted something done about the End Conscription Campaign Festival at Wits. So we wouldn't have done it otherwise but in order to keep everybody satisfied at head office we went through into the usual tyre slashing, paint thinners on cars etc, just to get media coverage for them to see something was done. If we designed concept pamphlets head office would print them for us. To a large extent this was disinformation for Wits campus. Sometimes they made boxes full of pamphlets for us to distribute. One such occasion was a series of three fake UDF pamphlets. I hired casual labour outside the Bantu Affairs office in Albert Street, gave them UDF T-shirts an gave them R5,00 and promised them more money after the job and they were asked to then walk through town and distribute these fake UDF pamphlets. This was now a series of pamphlets, the first two days had gone well. On the third day the media, in particular the Rand Daily Mail had covered this distribution with photographs of the pamphlets so we were getting wide coverage, but on the third day we were photographed, I think paying one of the fellows who had been distributing pamphlets, but luckily the night news editor worked for me so the newspaper only printed a ruined photograph. You could not see us clearly in the picture and he gave me the good photos that evening. When I phoned him he immediately said, Michael, Michael what have you been up to. He already knew about it. He had already done the necessary.
I also occasionally attended the local Stratcom inter-departmental subcommittee meeting which was usually at the Witwatersrand Military Command, Joubert Park. At that meeting the most active person with any great expertise was a member of SABC radio, but that was all largely soft Stratcom propaganda actions.
When the military government of PW Botha was at its prime Adriaan Vlok as Minister of SAP, the Security Branch head office sent a message through to us requesting names of targets. I understood that the government had reached saturation point with the opposition in late 1985. On instruction we did reconnaissance work for the destruction of certain organisations. The plan was either to blow up with explosives, to burn down, to burglarise and vandalise or to maintain this information until further notice. We photographed places, checked out what locks they had. Drew sketches, checked out the security. A warrant officer on my staff, Nanie Beyers and myself got the plans of these buildings from the Johannesburg City Council. Organisations included the South African Council of Churches, Cosatu, Work in Progress, National Association of Democratic Lawyers, and also the Legal Resources Centre. Those involved at the time or those who had knowledge and/or were involved were Brigadier Erasmus, Captain Oosthuizen, myself, W/O Whitecross, W/O Beyers, W/O Joubert and other members with explosives knowledge like Captain Charles Zeelie.
Obviously the Johannesburg Surveillance Unit, IJ, was also tasked for surveillance as well. At that point the IJ's intelligence function had been transferred to us. They only had a surveillance at that point. The head at the time was Captain Len Nel. Len was later transferred to work with me at Stratcom in Pretoria under Brigadier MacIntyre. Basie Bouwer got me involved with the State Security Council. Via him and another officer, Derek Bruyn from headquarters, I was occasionally invited to meetings at Byron Place whilst I was still at Johannesburg."
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Mr Bellingan you deal further on, on page 83 you deal with the Million Signature Campaign. You don't have to read that. Can you just very shortly explain to the Committee what that was about.
MR BELLINGAN: There was a campaign to collect signatures coordinated by a number of organisations and prominently the Release Mandela Campaign, the idea was to gather signatures and our objective was to discourage the public from signing this, signing these petitions. So there were various things, for example placing of uniform police to discourage the public and give it this idea of linking it with criminality. And we also stole the clipboards once, towards the end of the day once people had gathered a lot of signatures.
"In late '84, I think it was during 1984, Captain Oosthuizen, W/O Whitecross, Sgt Engelbrecht and myself burned down the Wits SRC building. It was a well-planned operation. The idea was...."
"The case of arson was investigated by a warrant officer at Hillbrow Detective Branch and I stayed in touch with the investigation and obviously nothing came of it. We were later invited to a braai at Captain Oosthuizen's house. Brigadier Erasmus was there too. Nothing was said about the operation but it was quite clear it was to celebrate an operation".
"At one stage I overheard planning for the murder of one of the Watson brothers. He was on his way to Gaberone for one or other reason. He had contact with the ANC and one of our agents, by the name of Steve, code name Steve, was tasked to kill this particular activist. As it turns out he tried to interrogate him first before shooting him and Watson got the better of him. Steve ended up in jail in Gaberone and via intervention from Pik Botha he was later released and obviously we looked after him after that".
MR TRENGOVE: Mr Commissioner I wonder if I could appeal to you and perhaps to my learned friend. Evidence is being repeatedly given in the vaguest possible terms. Now theoretically we can of course re-run all of the evidence to get the specifics, but it clearly would prolong these proceedings unduly. If I may use this last paragraph as an example. The witness says something quite far-reaching. He said he heard how the police conspired to kill a Mr Watson, but he doesn't say where it happened, when it happened, who conspired and who gave the order. We can't meaningfully cross-examine without those particulars, and I would urge you to request my learned friend, when he leads evidence of this kind, to tell us where, when and by whom those things were done to make it meaningful to us so that we could approach those people and ask them whether it is true to enable us to cross-examine.
MR DU PLESSIS: Well Mr Chairman I will gladly oblige. I have been trying to go faster and I have skipped certain paragraphs because I do not think it is necessary to belabour the committee with incidents such as this in detail. The reason why I am presenting the background evidence, just to give you an indication, in my view, and that would be my submissions as well eventually in argument, it is important for the Committee to have an exact idea of what Mr Bellingan was involved in. None of us were part of the Security Police. We have all heard lots of evidence about it and we have a general background, but I don't think a lot of evidence has been presented about Stratcom operations and people involved in that section of the Security Police. In my submission it is important to paint the picture for the Committee of the frame of mind of Mr Bellingan and for that reason it is important to sketch a lot of background information to you of operations that he was involved in, things that were sent to him, the whole aura under which he operated and the things he was involved in.
And then further specifically the knowledge that he had of Security Branch operations in general. Because at the end of the day it relates exactly, specifically to the political motive of the killing of his wife. And it is important to relay to you exactly what sensitive information he had in his possession.
Now Mr Chairman I can go into much more detail in respect of this and if you give me an indication that I should I will do so. The only result of that Mr Chairman is that the leading of the evidence is going to take four days or longer. That is the effect of that. We have already tried in the background evidence you can see that we have dealt with certain issues very shortly just to give you an idea of the type of information that he came to hear about. Now I would venture to say that that would be enough for purposes of what I want to place before you. But if I am going to be criticised or if I am going to be faced with an argument, it seems, that my client is not making full disclosure because he does not give details of this, then I will have to go into the details. Mr Chairman that is going to take us four or five days.
MR TRENGOVE: Mr Commissioner let me make it quite clear. I am not asking for more evidence, we would appreciate less. But when evidence is given we complain about the terms in which it is given. It would not take any longer to say on that date, at that place X or Y to kill one of the Watson brothers and he should preferably also be identified. I am not suggesting any more evidence. What I am suggesting is that evidence isn't as vague as this absolute meaningless statement in paragraph 3.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes well Mr du Plessis you have prepared your case along whatever lines you were instructed to do. I can't order you from here to - in fact I would be reluctant to get you to burden the Panel with a lot of detail which is not really going to assist us in the two central enquiries around the incidents that we are, or three, that we are faced with here. But you know you must present your case as you feel serves the best interest of your client and we must try and accommodate the difficulties of Mr Trengove and the other legal representatives as best as we can.
MR DU PLESSIS: I don't have a problem with that Mr Chairman and if that is the case my client's life really depends on this application then I will have to deal with the incidents in more detail and then I will be forced to do that Mr Chairman. That is the most conservative approach that I can take with respective - if I take my client's interests into account and I am not going to allow my client to be faced with questions of why didn't he say this and why didn't he say that in evidence-in-chief. Then I will have to go back to certain paragraphs which I scanned over and we will have to go through that in detail Mr Chairman, then I will have to do that.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no, no, I think you must proceed with your case. You have heard Mr Trengove's clients seem to have raised as a specific example this incident around the Watson brothers, it might be relevant, we are not sure. In this hearing you've heard the sort of issues that he had raised, the particulars around that you know and it is up to you if you want to lead your client on that it's entirely up to you. I am not going to impose on your case at this stage, definitely not.
MR DU PLESSIS: As it pleases you Mr Chairman. Perhaps a solution in this, and this is a Commission, so I suppose this could - it could be dealt with in this way, is for Mr Trengove to give me an exact idea in respect of the evidence that was already given to you and the evidence that I am going to present exactly in respect of which aspects he wants more information, and then we will gladly provide him that information that will curtail going into each and every paragraph in detail.
MR BELLINGAN: I think the main reason why I mentioned this in the amnesty application Mr Chairman is because at a later stage, in 1991, I did an investigation at IJ where information had been leaked. So it will become apparent later the importance of this and then Steve was one of the people there and of course he had taken a lot of psychological strain in prison in Gaberone and he was a person that we looked at as a potential suspect for leaking information to the African National Congress. From my prison cell, Mr Chairman, with the greatest of respect, there is noways I can be expected to remember dates of incidents like this or even exact names. That would just be ludicrous for me to be expected to remember all of that. But the incident took place in Gaberone, in the hotel room where Mr Watson was staying. It will be very easy for anybody over here to check the details up and really that was the purpose of my talking to the investigative unit of the TRC, is for them to be given an opportunity to check these details up and to come back to me with details, to provide me with dates. I can't even remember what year we burnt down the SRC building. It was '84 or '85 perhaps '83, let alone remember an exact date. So failing the investigative unit of the TRC coming back to me with that type of information how would I be expected to do it from my prison cell.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Mr Bellingan while we are on the subject of what you overheard here, can we just stop here for a moment and sketch to the Committee the situation pertaining to information in the Security Branch. And let me clarify the question by asking you by way of example. This type of operation would not have been an operation that you or the unit that you were involved in would have been involved in, but you heard something about it.
Were there other instances where you would have heard of operations before the operation or after the operation, maybe drinking at a bar and people would talk about it amongst the Security Branch policemen about certain operations, can you elaborate a little bit on that.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman there was the danger that with this competitive element amongst the operators in the Security Branch, which was more like the elite core, there would be the occasions during a braai when operations would be discussed; there would be a cross-pollination of ideas; of potential future operations. And then also of course it was usually by default, usually operations that went wrong that we came to hear about first. But in my opinion there was far too much loose talk about these type of operations; far too much bragging; far too much one-upmanship as it were.
MR BELLINGAN: That is true Mr Chairman. And of course at a later stage I specifically looked at counter-espionage as one of my functions. So I would have had to pay close attention to this kind of talk at a later stage in my career in 1991, '92, '93.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman quite regularly, in particular at head office when I was at Stratcom, we would seek to blame somebody in the opposition. And example would be the Shirley Gunn incident just after Khotso House. Another example would be Cosatu House. We tried to blame splinter groups within the Union movement. There was also of course tasking of very many Stratcom agents and of our projects to help to cover up these things and to blame other people to create a climate in which it really was expected that if the public did suspect that it was us that they would accept it as a necessary and important part of the struggle against the revolution.
ADV GCABASHE: But with all these what I might call "mopping-up operations" would you be instructed to mislead the public as in the Shirley Gunn incident, or would you be doing this of your own initiative? How exactly did this work?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman there was never an instruction to mislead the public. We just took it as implied that that was what we needed to do. In some instances, specifically it was requested of us what, for example, what could be done for example Brigadier Joubert asked me in particular about the Khotso House thing as to what could be done. We never sold the Cosatu House cover-up to the public. Everybody still thought it was us anyway that blew up Cosatu House. So there was a specific request as to what should be done about that. And then of course the media via the media relations officer, the police, he was involved there. Our projects were involved in helping to cover that up as well so - that was more of a specific.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Bellingan I think to make the question a little bit clearer, if a Stratcom operation had to be carried out would you have been told to publish this story or that story, or was it your function to take your own initiative to decide how the Stratcom story should look like, how it should sound like, how it should be published? Did you use your own initiative or did you get an instruction from above on how it should be done?
MR BELLINGAN: No they relied upon our expertise for that Mr Chairman. That was the purpose of my work. It would happen, for example - one evening to give you an example, General van der Merwe phoned me at home and said he was very disturbed someone had, some senior member in the government had contacted him and was complaining about a document put out by one of the Church groups, I think it may have been the Kairos document or something like that, he said we must do something about it to counter it. So do something about it and we did basically. We made sure that there was something done about that. I didn't have to get back to him. He didn't have to say anymore and in case he wouldn't have bearing in mind the mode of communication.
MR DU PLESSIS: And in respect of such actions were there ever any comebacks, did anybody come back and say you didn't do this operation right or you shouldn't have done this, or you shouldn't have done that in respect of a Stratcom operation?
MR DU PLESSIS: Right. Mr Bellingan then on page 85 you deal with the period 1986 to 1993 and you say that about the middle of 1986 you were transferred to headquarters. You were second in charge of Stratcom national. Who was your superior then?
MR BELLINGAN: These were the broad national projects that I mentioned previously. The three projects which we had in fact taken over from Military Intelligence were Uwusa, which was the Inkatha trade union; the NSF, which was code-named at that stage "Babushka", and VAT, Victims Against Terrorism, which was code-named "Polemos"(?). The first thing I did was to get permission to start a Stratcom personnel project. In other words to employ RS agents on a fulltime basis.
ADV GCABASHE: Sorry Mr Bellingan you see something like this it's very easy for you to say get permission from X, that just helps us understand who was instructing and who would then be following the orders. You know this is a good example of what Mr Trengove was pointing out earlier.
MR BELLINGAN: Projects such as this any change in them, any expenditures etc had to be motivated to the head of the Security Branch. So at the time it was, if I am not mistaken, it was General van der Merwe was head of the Security Branch at the time. So we would have written the memorandum to him. It would have been given to our group commander which was Brigadier Stadler. He would have recommended it, gotten General van der Merwe's approval and the memorandum would have been sent back to myself. If it was an expenditure of more than R100 000 a ministerial memorandum would have had to have been prepared, a so-called "blou-brief". And then the signature of Adriaan Vlok would have had to have been obtained. After the Commissioner would have had to sign as well.
So in this particular memorandum that I am talking about it was really a policy matter so, and I can recall going and discussing the matter with senior people and the memorandum was approved by General van der Merwe.
"Brigadier Louw Malan was one of the senior brigadiers at the Security Branch at the time working just under General van der Merwe and he had told us, us being myself and Louis van Niekerk, prior to him leaving, he left and then it was myself after that. He had told us to get suggestions from the regions via a national Stratcom conference for the Security Branch. In other words to get the opinion, to get the regions to buy into this, into these projects, into this idea of Stratcom being coordinated on a national basis. So I then arranged the very first Stratcom conference that the Security Branch held, national Stratcom conference. That was, if I am not mistaken, in 1986, at Port Alfred. We invited people with knowledge of or involved in Stratcom to attend. The idea, as I say, was to get them to feel empowered and then also to buy into this concept of getting RS agents and getting fulltime staff involved with Stratcom at all of the regions. Previously the projects had been centralised. The regions wanted to run their respective operations themselves."
MR BELLINGAN: We had run everything and prior to myself being transferred to head office everything had been run at head office, by head office, and the regions of course came to hear about these things and did not like head office by means of a project operating in their region. The regions felt that they had the expertise on the ground level and that their expertise should have been utilised. They were also - in terms of management it was also more practical to do it that way, and in terms of credibility for the projects. And I agreed with that. So when I was transferred to head office I made the point of seeing that we decentralised these projects.
"There were a couple of us involved at the time. Jan Weyers ran Polemos. I accepted Babushka. We renamed the projects - I named mine Jackal; Jan named his Romulus and the trade union project was named Omega. We then divided these further into operations. In other words we had a big budget, we had a project approved, ministerially approved, we then had, in order to better utilise the finances and the resources available we divided it up into operations because once, in terms of the regulations, once money has been approved for a project you can't utilise it for anything else except that project. So to use it most efficiently we divided it up into operations. Then under the operations we had actions in turn. So this also was in line with the suggestions that came out at the Stratcom conference, to be more responsive, to be more flexible, this is what we had in mind, and also to accommodate the regions. Many of them had their own ideas and wanted to run their own operations. So in this way we broadened the scope so that we could better utilise the resources and make the effort more flexible and responsive".
MR DU PLESSIS: Right. Mr Bellingan then you say in the next paragraph, "Janine", your wife, "assisted over that period with the following....". Now before we deal with that can we just go back. Can you just explain very shortly to the Committee how did you meet her and when did you meet her, Janine?
MR BELLINGAN: I met Janine during the eighties. I had in fact been introduced to Janine with a view to recruitment and those were my first discussions with Janine were in terms of recruitment. She had a particular expertise, very highly knowledgeable and educated with chemical matters. She was an analytical chemist and there was a group at the time called Technology Advice Group. It was an advice group - it was a non-government organisation providing advice to, amongst others, trade unions etc, and this is the sort of route that we generally had in mind.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. And in this paragraph on page 86 you deal with what she assisted you with, or the Security Branch with over the period, which period are you referring to now Mr Bellingan before we go to the details of what she assisted with? Over which period did she assist the Security Branch?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman she never was an agent, which is fulltime employment. She worked on the basis of a source which would be motivations that we had to submit either for work performed or every six months, or at a later stage every year for example we motivated for remuneration for sources. Janine worked on that basis.
ADV GCABASHE: Just if you don't mind Mr du Plessis, just clarify that even further. She knew that the work she was doing with you was for the Security Branch, for Stratcom, not for you the person she had a relationship with? Just did she know clearly that she was working for the state?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes, no very clearly. When she was introduced to me she was introduced to me as an officer in the South African Police in the Security Branch and there was never any secret about that. It was a very open approach.
The type of work - what transpired Mr Chairman is that because a relationship developed between Janine and myself I had in fact pointed out to her that if we were to go ahead with this fulltime work as an agent she would have to be handled by somebody else because it would be wrong for me to go through the motions of employing an agent, it was quite a process at that time, if she was closely involved with me. There was already rumours of this type of thing in other regions and I didn't want to do it. Alternatively she could work then on this lesser basis, call it part-time and I could still continue to handle her as such, and then that is the option that Janine opted for.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Mr Bellingan let's just stop there. How did you deal with her or explain to her the sensitivity of the information in these documents? Did she understand the sensitivity? Can you just elaborate a little bit.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. All of the sources and agents that we dealt with were fully aware of the Protection of Information Act. In fact there was a form which we had which they were required to sign stipulating the details of the Protection of Information Act. It was loosely referred to as the Official Secrets Act.
MR BELLINGAN: At a later stage after I realised that some documentation was going missing I made a point of talking to her about that. And then again after I had been confronted by an attorney, Mr Charles Mendelow, the first thing I did was to discuss in great detail the matter with Janine, the sensitivity of the information and the aspect of her playing with fire. But in the early stages of my marriage Mr Chairman, it was not a great point, it was just accepted as fairly obvious.
MR BELLINGAN: She assisted with the administration of projects. In particular she assisted us with trade union staff and at one stage she was approached to again work on a fulltime basis by a colleague of mine who was involved with the project called Omega. She accepted to work as a source with him, but she at a later stage refused to sign any contract or any other documentation relating to the work. I got the impression she did not want to be bound, she didn't want to sign anything.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman, that was in particular the pamphleteering and that type of thing at Wits University. That was while I was in Johannesburg. I was transferred to head office around the middle of 1986, so all of this would have been '85, which would have been prior to my marriage.
CHAIRPERSON: Now was this the general nature of the kind of work that she was doing, typing, assisting with the administration of projects, as you have put it, dropping off pamphlets and so on, was that the sort of general nature of what she was doing?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. Also there's the media projects, two of the media projects in Johannesburg she was assisting me with those over there as well. I couldn't type and we needed to sometimes type these things very quickly and the cover that I was using with the false - the people working for us on a false-flag basis I was supposed to be a journalist of some note in Europe somewhere and I couldn't even type, so I relied upon Janine for that. And some of them even met her. She maintained the cover of myself, being working under cover for papers, lecturing papers overseas etc. She assisted me sometimes with meetings. For example I mentioned this Mr Rohan(?), Rafiek Rohan earlier from Irna(?) paper. At one stage it was necessary to persuade him of my credibility and I had a dinner meeting with him with Janine present as - she posed as my wife but to give me credibility to back up what I was saying about this particular media agency, which was called Alternate Media Services.
CHAIRPERSON: This was sort of, if I may put it that way, duties of a, tasks of a fairly general nature, but for what purpose were you going to recruit her in the first place when you approached her in the eighties?
MR BELLINGAN: That was as a penetration source Mr Chairman with Technology Advice Group which would be in line with her expertise, qualifications, and that would have been a fulltime penetration source.
MR BELLINGAN: No we opted against that because of the relationship that developed between us. It would have looked bad for that to happen. Janine appeared to be - let me put it this was Mr Chairman, I did not want to, also from my side, involve her in something of that nature so I was holding back, and in the end she was happy to just work on a part-time basis and not to go for this penetration source.
MR BELLINGAN: Between the administrative people at the office who were over-burdened and Afrikaans speaking. You can't type a Nusas pamphlet with the odd Afrikaans word and grammar which is quite obviously done by an Afrikaans person, mistakes of that nature. Plus we couldn't get it done quickly. These people were over-burdened with work. If we needed to respond to some issue when an opportunity arose we needed to do it quickly and really the administration was a huge problem.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes but I mean how did this develop because I mean this is removed from the expertise that she apparently had and which the police were interested in? Was it more of a girlfriend helping out the boyfriend? I mean you know you've got a couple of hundred of pamphlets that you must go and drop somewhere and she helps you.
MR BELLINGAN: You see Mr Chairman I also had to make sure that Janine was fairly productively employed because she was unemployed at the time but she wanted to and I did encourage her also then to get work. So she got work at a company in Randburg using her expertise fulltime, a fulltime job using her expertise with analytical chemistry and then working part-time for us. She had a flat, she had expenses. The company went bankrupt and then again she had to work fulltime for us for a period and then I would have to motivate that work at the office. So I also looked for work for her and there was plenty of work. We needed all the help we could get. At the same time I was her boyfriend Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes because I mean she, if I understand the position correctly, she didn't have any special skills as a typist or a particular skill of a person who can drop off pamphlets, that's just general stuff, anybody can do that.
CHAIRPERSON: Because I mean it wouldn't be correct to refer to her as somebody who is of a real - a person who is really involved with the Security Police either as an employee or on some other sort of basis, as a source you say, but I mean even that, as a source, I have difficulty to understand that. I mean it looks to me as if she was basically helping out.
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman as far as the media operations were concerned there I would regard her as a source because she was an integral part of the operations. It was more than just an extra pair of hands there. There she had to use a bit of initiative. There was a bit of input required from her. Some ideas of hers etc etc. Even with the pamphlets, it was a bit more than just typists kind of thing. But she was no - she was not fanatically, ideologically committed, but she did see the need for the work and she did make herself available for that. But she had no particular political expertise which we could have immediately drawn upon other than her studies where she had observed the little bit of politics. But she even during her studies she never was involved as a student activist or anything like that.
MR BELLINGAN: The Security Branch would then, at the end of the month you would receive an envelope, various envelopes, each one with your sources' money in it and there would be a receipt attached and you would give the person the money, cash, and they would sign and you would return the receipt. That's how the payments were made.
MR BELLINGAN: And the - it would have to be recommended and I think on an ad hoc basis the commander could approve, but as a source for any long term, six months or a year type of contract if you like, that would have to go to Louis Koekemoer's unit in Pretoria and they would then give permission for that. And then that would be a standing motivation for the local standing advance to pay out money and then for them to fill up that standing advance.
ADV BOSMAN: Can you just clarify this for me please Mr Bellingan. You said that Janine was not politically or ideologically committed, how did it come about that she was identified as a possible agent or source?
MR BELLINGAN: I think I perhaps expressed myself incorrectly there Mr Chairman if that was what was understood. She was committed to our struggles. She had no particular political expertise or - but she was most definitely committed, I mean I would never have recruited her if that was not the case. She was committed to the National Party's ideas; she was committed, at that time, to the objectives, as I portrayed them of the Security Branch to her; she saw the need for intelligence work; she saw the need for our Stratcom that we were involved with. The things that came to her attention we used to talk about and sometimes she used to laugh about the reaction of the people in the press etc, etc.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Bellingan if I can just interrupt there. I understood you to say that you were introduced to her because she was or she had been identified as a possible agent. So before you got to know her why was she identified as a possible agent or source? Can you assist us there?
MR BELLINGAN: No I don't know why. But with intelligence work Mr Chairman there was what we call "spotters", people that would identify potential agents. These were a wide range of people and we would then check the people out. We would then do a background check, we would then see is there some need, some specific area that we could in fact utilise the person in, bearing in mind their particular field of expertise; their qualifications; their circumstances; and then we would develop a person as it were, the targeted person, and then the approach would be made. Of course this was a little bit short-circuited in this case. I remember someone approaching me, I remember talking to Janine. I remember being satisfied. We didn't always work according to the book Mr Chairman.
ADV BOSMAN: May I just put it in a different way. I am not so much concerned with what you got to learn about her subsequently. I am concerned about her identification prior to you having hand any knowledge of what type of person she was. And I am quoting what you said, you said she was not fanatically ideologically committed. What I would like to clarify is this, would the Security community not have looked at people who were fanatically and politically and ideologically committed in their identification of possible, of potential agents or sources? This is where I have difficulty in understanding.
MR BELLINGAN: I understand you. I did not want to create the impression that Janine was some type of right-wing activist. That was not the case, but certainly in terms of the best type of agent is one whose motivation is based on political ideological factors. That is your best type of agent. And Janine had the necessary ideological approach. She was committed enough to fit into that category, but at the same time she was no fanatic. Sometimes, I don't know if I am answering the question now, but sometimes there was a problem with people that offered their services but they were fanatics. They were already known in the community as fanatically opposed to left-wing politics, or to the African National Congress or to anything liberal for that matter, and then how would you possibly take such a person and then use them as a penetration source. So there was no connotation like that attached to Janine. She was not regarded by anyone as being involved in some conservative group and then suddenly the next day she's involved with a radical trade union outfit.
MR BELLINGAN: I suppose that some potential agents are also motivated by financial considerations, by money. They don't do it for ideological reasons, they'll do it for anybody provided the price is right.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes. In fact if I am not mistaken she had had a dispute with the organisation for which she was working and she had returned back to Johannesburg from Cape Town and, yes, that is correct. She was in fact unemployed at that time.
MR BELLINGAN: I think everybody needed money to live. Janine needed the job Mr Chairman, but I don't think Janine was actuated purely by financial considerations. I don't think so. It's not something I considered in any great detail then. She was available, she needed the job, we needed somebody, she was English-speaking, she had no connections with any right-wing groupings etc, etc, so she had the necessary motivation to do the work, but I never gained the impression then that she was motivated purely by financial need.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman I don't want to testify but I can tell you that from my experience in the South African Defence Force to get any typist to type anything is one heck of a job.
Mr Bellingan page 87, paragraph 4. Now the statement you make there is a very wide statement. Could you perhaps deal with it and then deal with the knowledge that she would have had or would have obtained in respect of the Security Branch operations. And I want to draw your attention to the fact that you say SAP Security Branch which is very wide. Could you perhaps just clarify that.
MR BELLINGAN: This is in respect, in particular, of the Stratcom operations which I spoke about. In other words the trade union operations, the projects that is, Omega, Jackal and Romulus. The agents, the handlers would meet at my house regularly. Janine knew about these things. She typed memoranda. So I am referring here to my work in Pretoria.
MR BELLINGAN: Janine was a very curious person by nature and she knew about certain covert activity of the Security Branch from things I had been involved in, from projects, general methods of operation, and at a later stage I noticed that Janine was going through my things and that at a later stage I realised that she had knowledge of operations, for example the Numsa matter.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right. Now Mr Bellingan then you say "We were also involved with ad hoc operations", did these operations include Janine or does that refer again to your normal operations that you were involved in?
MR BELLINGAN: No these ad hoc operations at Stratcom did not include Janine. She did know about, for example the Cosatu House/Khotso House, the Cry Freedom incident; she knew about the - a further burning of the Nusas office at Wits which had been done by people on the staff at Pretoria, that type of thing she came to know about.
MR BELLINGAN: A little in the beginning, just enough to what I consider to be sufficient information to satisfy her curiosity but at the same time not enough to compromise operations which she was not involved in.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right we'll get back to that, to the point, the question I am going to ask you later on in the evidence again. Can we just deal with that now very generally. Later on did that change, did you speak to her more in detail?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman, in particular after the visit to the attorney who had phoned me and invited me to come to his office, Attorney Mendelow, who had confronted me with the fact that Janine had a lot of knowledge of the Security Branch, of operations. He mentioned also the defrauding or irregular transactions, let me put it that way. And then after I had spoken to General Erasmus at his house he had informed me that - I had said to him look if this is the case I don't mind getting a divorce. That's the way I felt about it. He said to me that that would be a mistake because there were too many leaks already, there was too much pressure on the Security Branch and that that would in no way ensure that Janine did not speak or disclose her knowledge in any case. He advised me to keep Janine happy. So obviously to do that I would have to then to explain the work in a lot greater detail if I saw that there was a possibility that on a personal level we could reconcile, that is Janine and myself.
ADV GCABASHE: Just a bit of clarity on a point you mentioned a minute ago. General Erasmus asked you to keep her happy. Your decision was to tell her a little more about your work, a lot more about your work in fact, but that was your decision, that was not an instruction from Erasmus to bring her further into the Security establishment by divulging certain things to her. Just clarify that for me. Your decision or an instruction from Erasmus, which one was it?
MR BELLINGAN: It was my own way of handling the situation Mr Chairman. And that was only after I was satisfied that we were reconciled. It would have been extremely reckless to do it before I was satisfied with that.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Mr Bellingan could we then deal with the next paragraph on page 87 - "Perceptions of illegal acts perpetrated", could you deal with those two paragraphs and the rest on page 88 please.
MR BELLINGAN: "Operatives had a strong belief in the justness of their actions". When I speak about operatives here I don't mean each and every person involved in the Security Branch. There were those that basically thought that they had office jobs but there were others that were committed and were involved in covert activity and that is what I mean over here.
"I believed in and had a strong sense of a just cause. The enemy posed a threat and was evil. The sum of action and counter-action amounted to a civil war within the context of an ideological struggle. However, the government could not admit that there was a civil war due to political expediency. The security forces were fanatically loyal to the government. Avoidance of embarrassment to the government was believed to be vital. Actions for which I and my colleagues apply for amnesty cannot be ascribed to systematic aberration by the security forces. They took place in the context of government policy. By this I mean a general plan of action, not each and every specific order. We all knew that the acts were unlawful, many of the acts that is. Not all covert work was unlawful but we all knew, when it was we knew, however, none of us considered these acts to be blameworthy. On the contrary during the heyday of counter-revolutionary activity these actions were highly commended. With the transition these acts were no longer commendable and blameless".
"Suddenly the hunters became the hunted. The National Party's ruthless approach in and the run up to the negotiations left us feeling betrayed and vulnerable. Stress and paranoia became common".
"This was no time for anyone to betray one in this work, especially someone in a position to do great harm by virtue of having much information. Being so close to the Security Branch and being on a mission there is no clever strategy that can be implemented to avert such a dangerous situation".
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan. And then the next paragraph you list the list of matters which you say Janine was aware of, incidents where you were not directly involved in but you say that she was aware of. We are going to get back to that evidence when we deal with the application of the murder of Janine. From page 89 to 91 you list a whole list of incidents which have, most of them I think have served before the Truth Commission in one way or another, do you confirm that Janine had knowledge in one way or another or in some way of these incidents?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman I made up a list of potential problem people, potential problem areas during the course of my work in the early nineties. There were leaks, there were people - I visited the regions on a national basis, there were dissatisfied people. There were people that were threatening. There were agents that were going across to the ANC. There were policemen that were doing that. There were those that felt threatened because of the actions that they had been involved in. There were policemen whose telephones we were tapping. There were scandals taking place, Inkathagate etc, etc. I was involved in these investigations. I was involved when things had come to a head and there was a leak. I would be involved in - I introduced the polygraph test for example, to the police. I would be involved in them assessing, analysing, together with other experts that we hired, to try and see after a leak who had done it, and then in some cases to see what we could do to prevent this type of thing from happening. And as such I had prepared a list of potential problem areas, and it is a list quite similar to a list of these matters, and which Janine at a later stage referred to as a list of hits. She got it from me Mr Chairman, aside from some of the things that Janine knew about that some of my colleagues had done. For example the bomb blast in Lusaka; burning the ANC offices. These were discussed amongst my very close colleagues including in Janine's presence. So those things she knew about directly from the source and in other instances it was from my own notes which were in a locked briefcase.
MR BELLINGAN: Not at all Mr Chairman, I most definitely did not give it willingly, this particular list. But Janine had been going through my briefcase apparently and she must have taken it from my briefcase.
"Throughout my time at Security Headquarters there was active assistance to the Inkatha Freedom Party. The idea was to facilitate the causes of the IFP politically as well as militarily. Attacks on the UDF and ANC targets were regularly carried out by sympathisers. We at Stratcom labelled this 'black-on-black' violence.
It is really in that context that I mention this, the fact that it was so easy to get the firearms. Chris Kendal just picked the telephone up and he asked someone at the stores, presumably a uniformed person, that we need some firearms for our people in Natal. They are under attack, they are under threat and the next day there were firearms in the office. In fact I even got one for myself.
"The Pietermaritzburg Security Branch was active in the Natal war. Certain of the Indunas were actively encouraged to overcome the UDF in the area. From about 1990 Vlakplaas got involved via supplying arms and ammunition. Some of our agents also resigned and joined the IFP fulltime in one or other capacity".
"There were also in this time many campaigns to discredit people such as Winnie Mandela and Alan Boesak. For example Boesak's affair, Alan Boesak's affair was made public via what I believed to be concocted tape recordings and fake investigation diaries. Hasie Bouwer and Lieutenant van Wyngaardt at John Vorster Square were involved in that".
MR BELLINGAN: Well although the hotel room was bugged where Reverend Alan Boesak was to meet the lady that later became his wife, the tape recording was apparently not very clear especially the lady's voice, so somebody was got to elaborate the breathing and these type of sounds that one would expect to come from the room. So Stratcom elaborated that tape and then leaked it. Investigation diaries were made and leaked to the press as if a private investigator had been following these people around for kind of a marital type of problem, had been hired for this type of thing. That was done by the Security Branch.
MR BELLINGAN: No not directly, I was still at Witwatersrand then. This was just prior to me being transferred to the Church desk. I was still on the student desk. But I was fully aware of the entire matter. I was a bit critical of it because for example the hotel door had not been locked so it would have been possible to do it in a much more sensational and better manner, but this is how it happened.
"During the investigation by the Soweto Security Branch into this incident I was sent to Soweto, to Protea by Colonel MacIntyre, to go and assist Brigadier "Ig" Coetzee and the team to see what kind of mileage Stratcom could get out of this in terms of discrediting the Mandelas. At the time the investigating officer told me that there was in fact no evidence against her but that - I mean that did not deter us from looking at the situation to see how we could possibly exploit it anyway. It most likely was at an early stage of the investigation Mr Chairman. We had long discussions about it. A W/O Dave Walkley from Stratcom also went with me to Soweto at that stage".
"Actually it was after I became an officer and after I had been, in particular after I had been on the Stratcom course that I managed to consolidate Stratcom at Witwatersrand so that there would not be so much ad hoc Stratcom that in fact it would be coordinated by myself. After my transfer to head office in the Stratcom unit, in 1986, I was the architect of the new consolidated approach which was to consolidate via permission from the General to appoint fulltime personnel for Stratcom and to give the operations credibility and to see that they were a little bit more efficiently and effectively run, but then at the same time to decentralise this approach to the regions.
From the nineties it became apparent that the African National Congress had started recruiting civil servants on a large scale. Members of the security forces were also becoming very disillusioned with the National Party. A large-scale but very secret cover-up of past activities was under way. At the same time it was evident that scapegoats could be sacrificed.
With the era of negotiation politics well entrenched there was of course no turning back. The international policy of sanctions and disinvestment, combined with the internal struggle policies, in other words ungovernability, attacks on military targets etc, had been extremely effective in bringing the National Party to its knees. When you have the carpet pulled from a strong authoritarian government chaos is bound to follow.
With financial bankruptcy and heightened demotions of different groupings in the country chaos would have meant the slaughter of thousands of people on a massive scale. This would have included the hated Security Branch. It was therefore imperative that the government be allowed to continue with negotiations without critical scandals in the media, sensational scandals. Had Janine made the disclosures she threatened to it would have created a massive media scandal and the government would not have pulled off the peaceful transition to democracy.
As it was the various scandals and actions of the South African Police were creating serious hurdles. There is no way the country could have afforded an unguided missile with a hostile mission, whether that be directly to the government or to the government via an agent of the government destroying the negotiations".
MR BELLINGAN: There was a huge cover-up Mr Chairman. MR DU PLESSIS: We've heard evidence before Committees of this Commission over and over again about that. Did you know about that cover-up and the lying?
MR BELLINGAN: I know that from the perspective of members of the Security Branch there were senior officers involved in ensuring that secrets of the Security Branch were not willy-nilly exposed. Officers that were called to testify had spoken to me about it. Nobody approached me because I was not involved in the Harms Commission. I was not called to testify about anything at all.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right. Mr Bellingan and you say on page 94 "had Janine made the disclosure she threatened to, it would have created a massive media scandal". Can you recall at that time the attitude of the media and specifically the left-wing media towards the security forces? Can you elaborate a little bit on that?
MR BELLINGAN: They were extremely hostile to anything connected with the Security Branch. Very untrusting and very obsessed I would say with anything to do with the Security Branch and the slightest of rumours would be elaborated on for a number of days in the press. Whenever they picked up on a story they also would not let-up on a story. They would investigate. They would see if they could get to the bottom of it.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right. Now we deal on page 94 further with the general background of operations of the Security Branch. We don't have to go into detail in respect of that. Can we turn to page 95, paragraph 6. Could you deal with that paragraph please.
"The first time I went to Vlakplaas was while I was still based at Witwatersrand and that was to meet Roelf Venter, who was then a lieutenant and Captain Naude. My objective at that time was to interrogate a captured new Askari. I remember the man was cooperative. Then the last time I was at Vlakplaas was some months before Janine's death.
General Johan Coetzee was instrumental in starting the RS programme. That is "Republiek Spieonasie", that is the programme of fulltime agents working in a covert capacity. It was then referred to as "Operation Crocus". Colonel Oosthuizen and Major Derek Botha later in the early nineties changed the name to "Detegere".
It kept the same reference number, if I - from memory I think it was 28/2/1/27 for what that's worth. The African National Congress' reference number, if my memory serves me correctly was S, meaning Security Head Office, 9/126.
General Coetzee was Craig Williamson's handler when, as I understood it, together with National Intelligence Operation Daisy was launched, which was the stealing of funds from the International University Exchange Fund for, amongst other reasons, to buy a farm near Pelindaba, about 15 kilometres from Vlakplaas. The farm was referred to as Daisy Farm. It was used for training of sources and agents. It was in fact where I attended my intelligence training course.
General Coetzee was especially fond of the army and encouraged contact with the Department of Military Intelligence. He was also friendly with Minister le Grange. General Johan Coetzee had a close relationship with Captain Louis van Niekerk, who was the one who drew me across to head office.
General Coetzee was also very friendly with very senior operators like Jacques Buchner who also attended many functions at Daisy. Brigadier Buchner later became Commissioner of KwaZulu Police. Prior to this he was the head of Pietermaritzburg Security Branch and he was always an honoured guest of Minister Buthelezi. Jacques Buchner and Colonel Louis Botha from Durban got along very well with Minister Buthelezi.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Page 98 until page 100 it deals with your knowledge of events, propaganda and your view on propaganda. And then you state in the last paragraph on page 100 that you will elaborate in respect of certain facts when you give evidence before this Commission, which you have been doing up to now, do you confirm the correctness of what is stated from page 98 to page 100?
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Can I refer you then to Bundle 3.1, page 92. Mr Bellingan these are, from page 92 up to page, approximately page 240, contain certain documents which I just shortly want to deal with, we don't have to elaborate a lot. These documents Mr Chairman just give a broad background view of some of the information available to Mr Bellingan, some of the courses he attended, some of the seminars, and various other lectures he attended or was involved in. I am just going to deal with that very shortly.
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman after the unbanning of the ANC MK continued their preparations for war by way of Operation Vula. They continued infiltrating trained personnel and weapons. They spied on us. They built their underground intelligence structure. They expanded their intelligence capabilities. All of this despite signing the Pretoria Minute.
The Vula investigation took place and certain information came into our possession, amongst other things this document which I attach over here from page 92, and which I refer to in terms of my - included in my political motivation.
Alright then. Page 157, that is a document by Mr Wim Booyse, I think he later became Professor, which sets out the role of the ANC in "aarbeids onrus" and it was a seminar in March 1987. Does that, Mr Bellingan, does that reflect the view of the security forces, the trade unions and what they were involved in at that time?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman I see I have written quite a few notes over here on this document. Certain issues were raised, personnel issues which I had to attend to then including the problem of what somebody raised as, in paragraph G, as ...(intervention)
MR BELLINGAN: On page 184 by way of substantiation in my amnesty application I refer to Major Derek Botha having been in charge of Project Omega and there it is clearly set out that he talked about that at this particular conference.
MR BELLINGAN: That is correct. I can also point out Mr Chairman that during, I think it was during this course over here, Captain Johan Putter had spoken on covert Stratcom, somebody had in fact tape-recorded his talk and exposed it to the media. It was in one of the major newspapers where he had spoken about approval by Minister Vlok for elimination of people as an accepted Stratcom method etc, etc. It was reported in the media I's sure we could make a copy available if necessary.
MR BELLINGAN: Again Mr Chairman on page 197 Major Derek Botha and Project Omega. Project Jackal had, at this stage, been taken over by Captain Putter from me. He took over my desk when I moved - when I started the national personnel desk, evaluation of agents etc, etc. Captain Johan Putter took over.
MR BELLINGAN: Sorry Mr Chairman also on page 197 the person who later joined Inkatha, Mr Philip Powell, is mentioned as well and one can see that he talked also on running election campaigns on campuses, because when I recruited him he had in fact been - I had intended him to become the chairman of the National Students Federation, so he was an expert in those matters and there one can see his expertise reflected.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right Mr Bellingan the document on page 202 and also the next document from page 205 to 206 and the next one from 206 to 208, can you just very shortly explain what they are? What do they portray?
MR BELLINGAN: These are some of the goals that I set in 1991 for people in my unit Mr Chairman, pertaining to testing and also I think, ja recruitment, point number 5, "Management of a cover agency". I also ran a recruitment office which was situated at Midrand.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan and then page 209, "training seminar, covert information training programme", 2 May 1991 and the next document refers to certain statistics, page 211 I think up until page 218, can you just deal with that please.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman from around April 1989 until 31st December 1991 this reflects the extent of the work that my unit did in terms of the number of people evaluated by the unit via psychometric testing, in-depth interviews etc. I can just draw the Committee's attention to the fact that this is a huge amount of candidates that was in fact assessed. I point it out simply for the fact that we were extremely busy.
MR BELLINGAN: This was apart from other covert activities. For example the recruitment - I think that these statistics included the polygraph assessments, in fact they did. If we would hook someone up on the polygraph and give them a series of tests and interviews it would be registered in these statistics as well.
"Strong motivation for the specific task is needed. It is important that there is absolute commitment to the task as well as to the organisation".
"They should ideally have a broad, unbiased, even progressive vision of the world. This vision should include setting goals for the future, cautiously calculating risks to reach them, making the necessary decision towards action in this regard (independent within parameters); must have initiative, creativity for new ideas and the freedom to act - in other words a self-starter. Should not be content to follow an established work pattern to perfection. In other words not being static or working in a rhythmical, steady, repetitive manner. Should be a need to progress and grow. Various interruptions and changes to the main function or routine are frequent and call for a quick response".
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. The document on page 224 to 226 sets out the goals for 1990, the psychometric component. And then on page 225 you relate the goals of 1990. Did you draw this document, were you the author of this?
MR BELLINGAN: Perhaps paragraph 11 and paragraph 10, just the fact that we conducted follow-up visits in order to keep up-to-date with the progress of agents. Not specifically their operational productivity but more especially their emotional development and whether they were coping; whether they were under too much stress; whether there were any problems with respect to leaks etc, etc.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right Mr Bellingan, and then could you turn to page 232 please. This is a document referring to an officer's course. Is there anything in respect of this document until page 235 which you want to draw the Committee's attention to?
MR BELLINGAN: I see this was a lecture at Potchefstroom Mr Chairman and my specific - the tasks that we lectured on is mentioned on page 235. The topics dealt with establishing and building an effective information system, psychometric testing, psychological perspectives, building on the RS programme; counter-espionage and security. That was what Unit D was required to lecture upon.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan. Can we then turn to the first incident you apply for amnesty for, that is in Schedule 8 of Bundle 1, the application pertaining to the Numsa funds which you find on page 389 of Bundle 1.
MR BELLINGAN: Largely Mr Chairman my evidence there would be substantiation of my application for perjury at a later stage. There was very little truth, very little direct answers, a lot of vague answers, a lot of answers which I attempted not to allow people questioning me to dead-end, and at the same time trying to provide some type of answer so as not to look too much like I am unwilling to testify about it.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. And what was your attitude especially pertaining to evidence of your involvement with the Security Police, the Security Branch, what was your attitude towards evidence of that nature?
MR BELLINGAN: The attitude was that the covert activities had to be covered up. Other than those that were, for example, already elaborated on to a greater or lesser extent before commissions such as the Kahn Commission, and even then it would have been completely inappropriate to comment upon it for fear that one said something that was not told to the Kahn Commission.
MR BELLINGAN: That is correct. As far as I was concerned the Protection of Information Act in any case still applied to me. Nobody had given me any written permission, no one had given me any indemnity so that I could speak openly about these things.
MR DU PLESSIS: And Mr Bellingan have you ever testified the truth before any court or commission or inquest or anywhere else about the actions pertaining to specifically your wife as well as the Numsa incident?
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Now Mr Bellingan can we start then on page 389. You apply for amnesty of the acts set out on page 389, would be either fraud or theft. And then on page 390 you start with the nature and particulars of the operation.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan, and you have already testified in your general background evidence to the background of this kind of operation or this operation itself as reflected in the affidavit of Major van der Merwe in Bundle 4, is that correct? The WH10, is that correct?
"Theft of money intended for the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa - the acronym being Numsa. Cheques destined for leftist organisations were regularly obtained by mail interception. To my knowledge most of the regions were involved with this practice".
MR BELLINGAN: And the reason I know that is because I have recently, yesterday in fact, had an opportunity to look at the date that I opened the account and that is, I think, the 1st of March 1989, and a couple of days prior to that General Erasmus had approached me. So when I say 1988 I was just a bit confused as to the exact date. At the end of 1988 in fact I was transferred from Maritime House to Unit D when I then worked again under Brigadier Erasmus. And then shortly after that, in this particular incident, it must have been a couple of months, he approached me on this matter. So it is a mistake. It should read 1989. That will be obviously the end of - I think it's either the 1st of April or the 1st of March that I opened that account. I can't remember now, it is here in these things somewhere.
Anyway I was approached by Brigadier Erasmus who was then head of the Intelligence and Stratcom Section which is D, Group D to see if my contacts in the banking world could help us do something with these cheques. I then approached an ex-colleague of mine, Basie Bouwer who then worked at Nedbank.
MR DU PLESSIS: Can I just stop you there Mr Bellingan. At that stage you were not - were you involved in the interception of cheques, the banking of the cheques, did you know about it? What was your knowledge or involvement?
MR BELLINGAN: I knew about it obviously Mr Chairman but I wasn't involved. In fact what had happened is, as I had explained earlier, I had now started this personnel component involving psychometric testing etc on a national basis for agents and sources for Intelligence and Stratcom. Captain Johan Putter had taken over from me and General Erasmus in fact said to me that they had been unable to come right at - through Captain Johan Putter's contacts at Volkskas and there was some problem over there and couldn't I maybe see if I could do something. So then I approached - I did a few things, one of them was approaching Basie who I knew very well and who was then a chief investigator at Nedbank for things like fraud etc, etc for certain of the regions ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but they were going stale, so Numsa would in any event not have been able to do anything. So he approached you, as you say, to see whether you could do something with these cheques, what was it that he wanted to do with the cheques?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman these cheques were not sent to Stratcom for purposes of information. They were sent to Stratcom for purposes of cashing them. Now had they gone stale as they were the drawer would simply be called upon to make out another cheque and payment would have taken place. Had we cashed them then that wouldn't have occurred. The drawer wouldn't have had the opportunity he would have considered the matter as being finalised.
MR BELLINGAN: It was more like fraud Mr Chairman. There was no intention for an appropriation for personal use. It was a misrepresentation which would prejudice Numsa. So the appropriation was not for personal use, it was for operational purposes. So theft is a strong term to use. I would be more comfortable with fraud.
Before we go on Mr Bellingan let us just stop with the instruction of Brigadier Erasmus. Did he say to you that the intention was that the money should be used for private use or did he say anything about the intention or the use of the money when he instructed you to open the account? Did he say anything about how the money was to be used?
MR BELLINGAN: There was no discussion as to the use of the funds, but bearing in mind what Brigadier Joubert had said to me previously about utilising the opposition's resources bearing in mind that that is something I told people on Stratcom lectures that we must utilise the resources of the opposition bearing in mind that we did it regularly. We took the opposition's money and we would use it to discredit people, for example paying it into people's bank accounts and at a later stage recruiting them, giving them the option, tell them that there is a rumour that they have been stealing funds from the organisation and of course none of them ever went to the bank to query where the money came from, and then saying to them we could protect or we could tell their colleagues they stole the money. And if they didn't work for us they were blown from the struggle as it were. If they did work for us that was just as well. So it was using their money for devious purposes like that.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Bellingan just to add to that, do you have knowledge of, for instance weapons, caches of weapons which were unearthed by the security forces and which were later used by the security forces, do you have any knowledge of that?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman there were incidents like that. There were arms caches that were utilised against the opposition, for example handgrenades with their detonation time was set to zero and people were left to blow themselves up etc, etc, or people were set up.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Now Mr Bellingan you yourself, when you received the instruction to open an account or assist with opening an account knowing that the cheques would be banked in that account, what was your perception of the reason therefor, and what was your perception about what the money was to used for?
MR BELLINGAN: Anything Mr Chairman that could further the objectives of our unit or the Security Branch at large, anything would have been acceptable. It would have been what we would have termed a bona fide use of that.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes. This to me was a safe option because Basie was an old Stratcom operator. I could be very straightforward with him. Brigadier Erasmus and Basie were on familiar terms and Nedbank was, at the time, very helpful to the Security Branch. Captain Jerry Raven gave me a passport to use with the correct stamps etc. I, of course, gave him a photograph to put on. I opened an account at Nedbank at the Main Branch in Pretoria.
MR BELLINGAN: Most likely he would have known Mr Chairman. I don't know how much he knew. The name on it, I can't remember, it must have been Nicholas Umsa, it may not have been immediately apparent but if it was Mr N Umsa Jerry would have just laughed. He would have known immediately what it was about. He may or may not have known.
MR BELLINGAN: That's correct. That account was in the name of Nicholas Umsa. Basie went shortly thereafter and removed the photocopies of the passport etc from the file and then this account was used to deposit the Numsa cheques. It was opened in the name Nicholas Umsa, in other words N Umsa.
MR BELLINGAN: Well anybody could really do it Mr Chairman once I had shown them how. Anybody could do it. As it was I took that responsibility upon myself, but at other times other people also deposited cheques into the account. It was very easy. One just put them in envelopes and put them in the autobank.
MR BELLINGAN: From Colonel Vic MacPherson's office. They were always sent to him from the library, from Colonel Horak's section, and then either Derek Botha or W/O Dave Walkley would give me the cheques. On one occasion I collected them directly from Colonel Vic MacPherson.
MR BELLINGAN: Firstly just regarding this particular incident let me just say that I was then not at Stratcom, I was simply helping Stratcom to show them how to do this in a very easy, effective manner. So one of the people that was at Stratcom, a W/O Walkley, he had gotten hold of some ID books. We arranged to get his photograph nicely and neatly stamped in these ID books. One of the names in the ID documents he had was a Philip Geldenhuys. So in conjunction with Basie Bouwer we went to Nedbank at Sandton, which was also one of the banks that was covered by Basie's jurisdiction as it were and an account was opened there in the name of Philip Geldenhuys. So primarily so that money could be transferred from the Nicholas Umsa account because I was not prepared to go into the bank all the time and draw money. It was one block, two blocks away from our office and with the autobank cards one can only draw, at that stage I think R300 a day. So it was a very inefficient way of perpetrating this fraud just via the autobank cards. So we needed what could be termed, I suppose, laundry accounts and then W/O Walkley then opened the first of these accounts.
MR BELLINGAN: I was personally involved with the Nicholas Umsa account Mr Chairman. After I closed the Nicholas Umsa account they went and opened the Namedi Umsa account because the channel for cheques, the primary source to funnel them into the banking system was now lost to them because I closed the Nicholas Umsa account so they then needed a similar thing so they tried the Namedi Umsa thing after that.
MR BELLINGAN: I don't think so Mr Chairman. It must have been in the course of their work, but it was Stratcom's responsibility that, it had nothing to do with me at that stage. It couldn't have been private, it must have been work related.
MR BELLINGAN: My wife Janine had made disclosures to people about that so it had become a hot potato, it had become very sensitive so I needed to close that down and ensure that that thing was wiped out.
MR BELLINGAN: They were unhappy with me Mr Chairman about that, even Basie, he couldn't understand at all. I think it was the last time he ever spoke to me in fact about that. General Erasmus knew and he knew that it was a problem because I had been to speak to him about the disclosures that the lawyer made to me and it was quite clear that the lawyer was referring to this.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I perhaps just come in here. I understand the question and I have no problem in answering the question. I am just a little bit perturbed that evidence which will be presented in respect of the application of Janine's murder will now become intertwined and we'll lose the thread of it. I will make a note of Ms Bosman's question and I will deal with that specifically during that evidence.
"Numsa's administration was in an extremely poor state and they would not know if they received the cheques or not. This would obviously lead to conflict between them and the - that should read drawer - should any discovery be made of the fraud."
So in other words should they discover this fraud then it would lead to conflict between them and the drawer. The drawer would then claim that they've paid. Numsa would claim that they haven't received the money. The drawer would most likely accuse them of corruption because clearly they had paid. They would get a returned cheque back, with on the face of it, nothing odd about it. It would still have "Numsa" written on the front of the cheque. And it would have been Numsa's problem because the ownership would have passed to Numsa. So the onus of paying would have been discharged by the drawer. They wouldn't have had to pay at all after that. Numsa would run the risk after the posting of the cheque.
"Others involved in the operation included W/O Dave Walkley, Major Derek Botha and Colonel Vic MacPherson, that is from Unit D's side".
"Money not used by myself for operational purposes directly went to Major Derek Botha and Brigadier Erasmus. I do not know what sum of money I was responsible for defrauding in total, neither can I say how much my colleagues were responsible for. This was a bona fide operation. I withdrew from it in 1989 and I never benefitted personally".
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan. Let's deal with some of the issues raised in this paragraph. You say money not used by you for operational purposes directly went to Major Derek Botha and Brigadier Erasmus, did they ask you for money?
MR BELLINGAN: For amongst other purposes establishment and running of false-front companies. This was an established trend in the Intelligence community. I know that the CCB were doing it. We were doing it as well. And I saw a need for it. The false-front companies were approved and it's not each and every expense that can be motivated to run these things efficiently and effectively and also it's with some sense of satisfaction to know that the opposition was paying for this. There were other things, printing, there were a lot of things related to these things.
MR BELLINGAN: For example printing, for example anything to make the cover succeed which was not in the mainstream of the approved motivation from the secret fund. For example the operation or the company which was registered, Industrial Information Services, Midrand, that ran seminars for career guidance etc, etc, but essentially it was a recruitment operation. So any expenses pertaining to the rent, any expenses pertaining to basic furniture were covered, but not fancy furnishings, not paintings, not nice plants, not seminars for career guidance, but without those things the front would have been very shallow. It wouldn't have stood up to scrutiny. And when these people are busy having meetings at Shell House there is noways you take a risk like that Mr Chairman. So - also the motivation was, save for a R1 200 for rental of the premises and the agent upgraded the premises without consulting me to, for example say to R2 500 premises, and then just presented me with a fait accompli. And the standing motivation is for one amount and now if there is a discrepancy, so that type of expense I always a "schlenter fund" if you could call it that. It was a word used in the Security Branch for these type of expenses.
MR BELLINGAN: If it was part of the original motivation, or a year later the new motivation, but it would have been a hassle, it would have meant that most probably we would have had to lie in the motivations and the prospect of defrauding the opposition was far more appealing to me than the prospect of defrauding the government.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Mr Bellingan you have been asked this, or this issue has been raised during the inquest and the trial in one way or another and in Major Steyn's investigation into the murder of your wife, did you benefit personally from this money. Now you say here
MR BELLINGAN: Well within certain limitations Mr Chairman. At any point in time Brigadier Erasmus could have asked me to account. Major Derek Botha was a senior person, he could have asked me to account.
MR BELLINGAN: Well at one stage I discussed with General Erasmus the consequences of Janine's disclosures to people and we had agreed that I would, as a matter of urgency, close the - you know get rid of the funds that's in there, close the account and that would be that.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes Mr Chairman, we have gone through the documents provided to us by the Commission and Mr Bellingan has had a chance of looking at that. We simply did not do the exercise of calculating it.
MR DU PLESSIS: We will do that. Mr Bellingan during the course of going through the documentation there was one specific amount that you wanted to comment on specifically. That was an amount of R9 750 I think, can you remember that?
MR BELLINGAN: Sorry to interrupt the Advocate Mr Chairman, there is something that's troubling me here that I think I need to say as well. This thing of benefitting personally. I don't see it that way but in the spirit of openness I need to say this, and that is that from time-to-time I would use this money for entertainment and then in the light of that, while I am entertaining of course I have to eat and drink at the same time. So in terms of benefitting personally I suppose I never saw it that way and I don't think it's true but the fact that I did eat it could be argued that this was some type of personal benefit, but it was all work related. And even when I took my staff for lunch the purpose was to motivate them, to lift their morale and of course that was one of the Stratcom goals was to make sure that our morale was very high. It was one of the Stratcom projects. I was aware of that and I saw it in that light Mr Chairman.
ADV BOSMAN: May I just come in here if you don't mind Mr du Plessis. Mr Bellingan perhaps this question can be answered at a later stage but what is puzzling me a little now, are you saying that you never asked General Erasmus or Botha to acknowledge receipt of payments in any way whatsoever?
MR DU PLESSIS: Right Mr Bellingan you wanted to - sorry, I wanted to ask you a question about General Erasmus. Were you ever reprimanded or was there ever any indication that you did not have authority from Erasmus or Botha to do what you had done in respect of this account?
MR BELLINGAN: That was from the Geldenhuys account. It was in fact supposed to be R10 000, but when Dave Walkley went in to draw the money they deducted certain fees and he came out with that specific amount, R9 700 odd.
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman this was remuneration for Basie Bouwer for his services. He had asked to be registered as a source and I had discussed this with people and really there was no real ground to register him and it would have been - the amount of money he could have got for casual services, providing information from a bank, really it would have been an insult to Basie. So I decided to give him R10 000. In the end I didn't give him R10 000 because we got this R9 750 and then I still paid for the lunch out of that money, which we had lunch across the road from Nedbank in Sandton City. There was a restaurant, I think it's called MacRib, myself and Basie and Dave Walkley had lunch there. Dave went across, drew the money, Basie was there in case something went wrong he would have gone in and sorted it out if something went wrong. Nothing went wrong. Dave came back with the money, gave it to me. I paid Basie, we had lunch and that was what happened with that money Mr Chairman.
MR BELLINGAN: I don't know Mr Chairman because Stratcom was involved with other accounts and they may have paid Basie still further. They may have paid other people too from this money, I don't know. This is the only amount that I know about. It's the only payment to Basie that I know about.
MR BELLINGAN: In particular I think W/O Walkley, Major Derek Botha, the people involved with Stratcom at that time. And then of course Basie had white contacts in the Intelligence community in general. I don't know if anyone else was that he would have helped.
MR BELLINGAN: The idea was simply to transfer funds across to the Geldenhuys account so that Stratcom could get more ready access to this money Mr Chairman. I can't at the particular moment think why these amounts were odd amounts like R5 361, I see one amount of R20 005, I suppose the R5 was some type of service fee. I really can't recall.
"Regarding the Numsa fraud it is noteworthy that during court proceedings I was still under the impression that we had to stick to the plausible deniability theory. I also felt obliged to lie for numerous reasons. For example there was no finalisation of indemnity from prosecution at that point. I also knew that the investigation into the Numsa matter was messed up. And furthermore an attorney, Mr Nick Roodt, from the firm Bell, Dewar and Hall had told me at the time that they would be pursuing myself and/or the Commissioner for the payment of R1.8 million to Numsa".
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Could we stop at number 2 where you say that the investigation into Numsa was messed up. Do you have any further information or knowledge which you can provide the Committee with in respect of that?
MR BELLINGAN: From the point of view of a discussion with General Erasmus he said that I must not concern myself with that, that was not a problem. From the point of view of discussions I had with policemen, including the investigating officer I knew that that was the case. And also from the point of view that even though the investigating officer persisted with the investigation into Numsa the investigation was eventually given to a friendlier unit to investigate. The Organised Crime Unit investigated it. Nothing ever came of it and the other angles of Namedi Umsa, Geldenhuys and these things they were never followed up. The only handwriting that's ever been produced is that of mine.
MR DU PLESSIS: Did Major Steyn, who was the investigating officer to the murder of Janine, did he mention to you exactly what happened with the investigation, how was it messed up? Did he give you any details?
MR BELLINGAN: He had said that General van der Merwe had told him to stop that line of investigation. He had some problems with General Erasmus as well. He told me personally. I think he explained that he had explained this to the family of Janine as well, the in-laws, I think he explained all of that at the inquest. He was being blocked basically, that's what it came down to.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes we will deal with that evidence when the time comes. I just want to ask you if you can recall anything about dockets which disappeared during the investigation into the Numsa incident?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. In the Eastern Cape for example Major Steyn had gone down to the Eastern Cape and it had come to the Security Branch's attention and those dockets had been removed from the police station where they were being investigated and that was, I think, similar type of frauds, including, I think, fraud on the Eastern Cape Council of Churches.
MR BELLINGAN: Only obstructive from the point of view of not giving him the truth; not being helpful at all in that regard, but no threats to himself, his family, no intimidation, no - I did not personally remove his wheel nuts from his car and this kind of thing. No I did not do that personally but I know it was done.
MR BELLINGAN: I was told he was having a very difficult time with his investigation and then he complained to me too at one stage, he asked me to stop, and I told him, I gave him the assurance it was not I who was doing that. I suppose I could have spoken to my colleagues but I obviously didn't want to at the time.
"To counter and resist the revolutionary onslaught which South Africa was facing and to promote all of the dimensions of the total strategy of the State Security Council as well as the objectives of the government and the Security Branch. To cause conflict between business and leftist Unions".
MR BELLINGAN: Well there was a lot of corruption in the Unions and big business was aware of that, so had these cheques - had this matter been exposed, as I think initially when Mr Potter had phoned one of the companies they were very hostile and so on and they would have blamed Numsa for stealing the money. Also the - I mention a bit further down there, their supporters and their donors were less inclined to support them and we did receive information about this via telexes which I think some of them are attached in this bundle over here.
"To neutralise the ANC, SACP and Cosatu alliance by reducing resources and sowing dissent amongst themselves concerning their bad administration; to promote the morale of the security forces; to reduce the ability of organised labour which was Marxist orientated; to agitate and cause unrest; to divert radical Unionists' time and resources away from the State and where possible against each other".
"To make them look ridiculous in the eyes of their supporters, the general public and their donors."
MR BELLINGAN: Firstly I would like to point out that this was sent or received by Major Smit, who is the same person I'd referred to earlier and it is booked out to the Intelligence Unit to Derek Botha. You can vaguely see it at the bottom. It concerns a source report and it's about the financial crisis, the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa and it is dated - it was received at head office on the 2nd of October 1989. It is sent from the Northern Cape, from Kimberley, from a Major van Wyngaardt who is the same person who had been involved with the Reverend Alan Boesak, and at the time - I made a mistake earlier today, it was Di Scott he was involved with then, not his present wife. That is the same Major van Wyngaardt. He says here
It's a telephonic interception. He says on the 28th of September the administrative secretary of Numsa sent the following telex to all national and regional secretaries. They are informed that Numsa has a crisis with their cash reserves and that they've been reduced to R80 000. The following recommendations are made during a financial committee meeting. No region will receive any "voorskot" in the future. My copy is pretty bad Mr Chairman ...(intervention)
"Purchase of fixed assets is limited to essential equipment. Attempts will be made to liquidate certain investments and if that is not possible salaries for the months of October and November 1989 will be halved. On 29 September 1989 the Eastern Cape region sent a fax that they were not satisfied with the idea of decreased salaries".
MR BELLINGAN: I think it speaks for itself. I think it also shows that this particular action, this particular Stratcom action of these irregular transactions of defrauding of Numsa did have an effect and that it is also against as a background of this poor administration of Numsa that this was perpetrated. I think to this day Numsa is unable to pick up the fact that money of theirs went missing.
MR DU PLESSIS: And then Mr Bellingan could you turn to page 230. This is a copy of a fax which was sent from Numsa head office to Numsa regional offices and at the bottom, or paragraph 2 in the middle of the fax, of this fax, states that
And then right at the bottom the contents of the Numsa fax appears over to page 231 repeating the same information in the previous fax. Is your comment the same in respect of this fax, on the financial situation of Numsa?
"The liberation movements showed that they accepted a Marxist/Leninist approach in organising workers for a place in the revolutionary struggle. The objective was to use Unions to bring South Africa to a standstill and to cause its destruction. They saw the workers as the main pillar of the revolution and wished to manipulate this strength.
With the destruction of the state via organised labour as an intention that is, the liberation movements wished to replace the system of capitalism with communism. It follows that the efficacy of the Unions had to be reduced. Numsa is a large Union and it is affiliated to Cosatu. If I am not mistaken at that time it was the largest Union. It has always been active in politics. If the administration could be ruined, and they could never be a successful component in the greater element of the liberation struggle then that would - we would have reached an objective. At very best they would be ground down to a mere struggle for the economic rights of workers with which I don't think we had a problem. It was well-known that a certain amount of corruption was occurring within the labour movement. We exploited this in order to cause internal strife within Unions which were active in the struggle. The partnership between liberation movements and the Unions would be weakened if they were inefficient. Intelligence and strategic communication, (psychological warfare) was regarded as a vital element to counter the revolution and maintain the government. Unconventional methods were called for and from the nature of my training and my work I regarded it as my loyal duty to respond accordingly. The action was intended to diminish their resources and to cause conflict between Unions and the companies, amongst other things".
MR BELLINGAN: They were actively involved in the struggle, so much so that we had to have a whole project and we even had to - the State that is, had to start and spend a lot of money on operations such as Uwusa to counter that.
"Brigadier Erasmus requested me to assist with the cashing of cheques destined for radical organisations".
If I can just mention Mr Chairman that it was I who selected the Numsa cheques. I was given a lot of cheques to cash from a wide variety of leftist organisations. I selected the Numsa cheques, I went ahead with that.
"These cheques were intercepted via Operation WH10 and handed to Unit D by Colonel John Horak, or his staff that is, but he was in charge of that unit. The diverting of resources away from the enemy was a long-standing practice of the Security Branch and this was no isolated event.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I just come in here, the annexures to the application constitute a whole bundle of documents which I believe should have, or must have been presented to you as part of the application, may I...(tape ends)
MR CHASKALSON: Mr Chairman, maybe I can help out here, I don't think you are in possession of these, as far as the TRC is concerned, they weren't handed in with the original application. I have been given copies of them subsequent and I have them, but you don't.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, it seems that they in some way went lost in the offices of the TRC, because they were handed in with this application, but that is neither here nor there, they have been handed to Mr Chaskalson and they are available.
MR DU PLESSIS: The only excerpts that I am going to refer to at this stage Mr Chairman, in the evidence, are those quotations which are contained in the application, but it may be important for you to have regard to the whole document and if I could perhaps request Mr Chaskalson if they could be made available to you.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we have had regard already of course to these extracts in the application before us. Some of it appears at various stages in the bundle that we have, so we have read all of that, we are aware of these quotations but Mr Chaskalson indicates that it is now in his possession, so it would be made available to the panel then.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes Mr Chairman, so I will not refer to the document itself, but it may become important. I don't know if my learned friend would want to use some of those documents in cross-examination.
Right, Mr Bellingan, you said that the following extracts from documents caused you to believe that the action was justified. I don't want us to go into each and every one of them. I just want to point your attention to specific excerpts. Could you deal with the first one on page 397 please?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman, this basically just talks about WH10, that is all, the fact that these things must be sent to Head Office. I quoted here only in the context of that, and for the fact that Johannesburg Security Branch used to intercept a lot of post and it had a nickname, it was called "Die Gat", in terms of post interception and they also assisted, that is all.
MR BELLINGAN: This was given to me around 1984 by Security Branch Head Office, it is Annexure D, it is titled Strategic Communication, and it in fact contains some examples of some propaganda actions, it was drawn up by the Strategic Communication Unit at Head Office in Pretoria and I quote on page 1, paragraph 1.1.1 "active measures can be defined as special actions which are aimed at weakening the opponent by the undermining by his political, military, economic and moral power."
MR BELLINGAN: Page 398 Mr Chairman, sorry, it is a concept lecture if I remember correctly, which was drawn up and which I had a hand in as well, by the Stratcom Unit at Head Office and I quote over here, firstly we must realise that the communists are experts in the field of strategic communication.
Our best method to get to know the way in which we must develop our own strategic communication campaign, is to learn and imitate the methods of the enemy, we must counter the strategy with the aim of isolating the enemy and then I think the relevant paragraph is, we must get to know and exploit the differences between the main enemy and smaller, hostile groups such as the PAC and its internal front organisations like AZAPO, AZASIM, etc. The idea is to divert the enemy's time and resources away from us and against each other.
MR BELLINGAN: Brigadier Stadler says in order to be able to oppose a revolutionary onslaught, a State must wage a counter revolutionary war on two fronts, firstly a military State security struggle aimed at identifying, isolating and destroying the revolutionary powers, their leaders, logistical support, communication channels and secondly political, ideological and psychological struggle with the object of cultivating, maintaining and expanding support for the government and to destabilise the revolutionaries on psychological and political grounds.
On page 7 he says further, the South African Police and particularly the Security Branch, has since the formal inception of the so-called revolutionary armed struggle in 1961, without a doubt, played the most important role in the identifying, isolating and destruction of elements of the enemy's military and security services, as well as the political and psychological structures.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, then the next document is the Security Perspective on the Trade Union Industry in South Africa. You don't have to deal with the first part on page 400, it only relates to the relationship between the Trade Unions and communism.
MR DU PLESSIS: Paragraph 6? Ideological division with regard to especially the political policy direction, which the RSA Trade Union Industry ought to follow, as well as factors such as amongst others, financial mismanagement and irresponsible or unconstitutional activities of certain management officials in COSATU and its affiliate Trade Unions, are still reasons for the dissatisfaction among certain COSATU affiliates towards the federation.
MR BELLINGAN: In Numsa there are also discussions under the ideal of (indistinct) Managerial Officials with regard to the possible disaffiliation of COSATU, but there is uncertainty regarding the affiliation with NACTU or the establishment of a new federation.
Remark, as a result of the fact that Numsa has the greatest membership of all RSA Trade Unions in the urban/metropolitan area, it is expected that it will establish itself as the leading Trade Union in COSATU.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Bellingan, then from page 402 to page 406 really contains excepts of documents which state more or less the same than those that we have read, and I don't want to belabour the Committee with the reading of them. It is available and can you just tell the Committee in summary what your perception was pertaining to these documents, the influence they had on you and what beliefs did it cause?
MR BELLINGAN: The Annexure D of the same "Studiestuk", on page 402, just basically reinforces the idea that the donors of the Trade Unions were tightening up, they were aware that there are some degree of problems, so they wanted to know in greater detail. That is all on page 402. Until where?
The other document is a document that I handed up to all of the legal representatives, and I have already given you a copy of it. It is a document dated 15 January 1997 and it is a report by a Truth Commission Investigator, Jan (indistinct) Shelberg, relating to the applicant. It is not specifically dealing with his amnesty application and it was actually relating to information he had provided to the Commission around HRV details.
EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: (continued) Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Bellingan, could we turn to page 420 of your application, Bundle 1 please, that is the application relating to the death of your wife.
MR WAGENER: Mr Commissioner, we have thus far, simply because it is convenient, not taken any objection to the way in which the witness is being led, but we do now turn to the heart of this enquiry on which this witness has over the years, given very many versions. I do feel that it is now inappropriate that he should be led by simply having him read out a statement prepared by his lawyers, and I would ask for a ruling that he give evidence in the normal way, without any leading questions being put to him.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that is a fair comment. Mr Du Plessis, I am not saying that you have erred in any way up to now, but will you be particularly cautious when you deal with this and let him tell us the story?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes Mr Chairman, I have no problem with that. Whenever I have asked leading questions, those were questions that I was of the view, that the issues were not in dispute up to now, and that is why I asked leading questions.
In respect of the reading of the application Mr Chairman, it has in previous applications also been raised frequently, it has been the way these applications have been dealt with in my experience up to now, at least the applications that I have dealt with.
There is a lot of information and a lot of evidence that I would lead around the contents of this affidavit, but I would really like to lead the evidence in the sequence as it is set out here. I will deal with the paragraph, namely let him read the paragraph and then we will go into detail in respect of that, unless you tell me that I should not make reference to this Mr Chairman.
MR BELLINGAN: My first wife, Janine Bellingan, was recruited by me with a view to placement in a left wing radical organisation. She was unemployed at the time, and living in a flat in Randburg. Because we fell in love, a decision was taken for her to look for work elsewhere.
Janine moved in with me and only worked peripherally for the Security Branch on a part time basis. The Security Branch, Witwatersrand, took over Janine's flat in Randburg, which was used as a safehouse.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, Mr Bellingan, you have elaborated on your relationship with Janine at that time. Can you just elaborate a little bit on the use of the flat as a safehouse, for what purpose was it used?
MR BELLINGAN: No Mr Chairman, this was now at her flat. She had moved in with me, so while we had the safehouse, unless there was some after hours meeting at my house with an agent, she would not be present after we took over her flat. She would not be present at those meetings.
It was my understanding that they were not satisfied with the political dispensation in South Africa at the time. Despite mentioning problems at his work place regarding radical Trade Unions, the brother declined any help from the Security Branch.
MR BELLINGAN: The one that I can recall with Janine's brother, Keith, I have mentioned that that related to some sabotage at his warehouse, at his place of work, and he, although he was upset about that, he didn't want any involvement from the Security Branch, so we never had any lengthy discussions of an ideological nature other than that.
The effect was to temporarily take the heat off agent Joy in the blowing of Sylvia. I was upset by this development and made the mistake of talking to Janine about it. Janine knew Sylvia and Janine knew Joy's handler.
At a later stage, I mentioned to Janine that Joy had been blown, she laughed and told me about the phone call. I was extremely angry with Janine as she had put Joy's life at risk, as well as my career.
MR BELLINGAN: This incident took place prior to our marriage. According to my recollection my discussion with Janine took place after we were married, where she made the disclosure to me that it was in fact her who had blown Joy as it were.
They were involved in other organisations too, for example I think Joy was involved in the Five Freedom's Forum, Black Sash and so on as well. Sylvia also helped us with other administrative tasks especially relating to the media.
She was also curious about relationships between handlers and agents and office politics. She believed that one of my colleagues had married his source and she came to believe that one of the Eastern Cape handlers, had an affair with his agent.
MR BELLINGAN: Although Janine did not at first admit it, when I persevered, she admitted to having mentioned this agent's name, it was Olivia Forsyth as well at the time of her telephone call to the newspaper. She never told me exactly what her motive was in naming Olivia. This latter agent was later detained by the African National Congress.
I am not hundred percent sure what role Janine's indiscretion played in Olivia's downfall because if I remember correctly, Olivia was detained some time after Joy was blown. I should imagine it was a substantial role.
She could have been eliminated by the African National Congress. As it was, I think I mentioned yesterday that she had spoken at some length about her handlers and about methods of operation to the African National Congress, upon her being detained by them.
MR BELLINGAN: It was basically the revival of an existing company called Fitzgerald & Associates, it was an elderly gentleman, I think his name was John Fitzgerald who lived, I think somewhere in a flat in Hillbrow.
They would have for example found that Olivia, if I remember correctly, was related to Major Derek Brune. They would have perhaps found such information, perhaps they would have taken other steps to check out the veracity of that, and certainly at a stage, there were allegations pertaining to both of these people in newspaper articles.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman, he actually answered my second question, because I would have asked are there any indications on which he bases his previous evidence, that that could have led to that situation, so - but in any event that was the question.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, now Mr Bellingan, was this the first time that you became aware of the fact that Janine had told anybody else or given anybody else information of a sensitive nature? Was it the first time that you became aware of that?
MR BELLINGAN: Just let me add, prior to that Mr Chairman, I was aware that Janine had also spoken to my boss at the time, Brigadier MacIntyre, Colonel MacIntyre and that she had already said then that she can open a can of worms, this was her words to him.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, Mr Bellingan, at the inquest and at the trial, there was mention made, I think more at the inquest, we don't have the record of the whole trial, just a few pages, but at the inquest specifically, there was mention made and I think in some of the affidavits forming part of the bundles, of a tape recorder that you put in the ceiling of that house, and the tapping of the telephone and Mr Trengove must object if he thinks I am leading.
During that discussion with him, he informed me that Janine either wanted a divorce with a R30 000 divorce settlement or for us to enter marriage counselling with his wife, that was the Attorney's wife.
He insinuated that the alternative was that Janine would blow the illegal activities she had knowledge of. He specifically mentioned fraudulent bank activities. Obviously I denied that in the strongest terms. I also can add that I gained the impression at the time, that Janine was not terribly serious about the divorce, but that she wanted to exert leverage over me.
What happened Mr Chairman is, I came to speak to Gen Erasmus about this, in fact Janine had been in touch with Gen Erasmus and he had spoken to Colonel Oosthuizen who said to me that I should go to Gen Erasmus' house on a particular Sunday morning, I should be there at ten o'clock on Sunday morning. He did not say why.
I make the presumption that Gen Erasmus had told him about Janine's phone calls to him. I went to Gen Erasmus' house as instructed and Gen Erasmus then spoke to me about Janine's phone calls to him regarding in particular, the matter of money laying about the house and the Numsa matter.
I also informed Gen Erasmus about the visit I had had to Charles Mendelow. Gen Erasmus was concerned about Janine's allegations, in particular the fact that she was making these allegations on the telephone to him.
I spoke to Gen Erasmus about the Numsa matter and I suppose he summoned me and spoke to me about it, aside from the fact that Janine had phoned him, because it was he who had made the request to me regarding the Numsa matter in the first place.
I mention this because at the time that this discussion took place with him, he was the local Commissioner of Police in Witwatersrand, he was no longer at the Intelligence and Stratcom Unit in Pretoria, he had been transferred to be the local Commissioner of Police in Witwatersrand.
He said to me furthermore that the security establishment had enough problems as it was, with leaks, that I should manage this problem of Janine and that I should keep Janine happy in terms of my suggestion to him that I should, that I was quite willing to get divorced because I was very upset about the discussion I had had with Mr Mendelow.
He said to me that would not be a good idea at all. I was left with the impression after my discussion with Gen Erasmus, that I had some work ahead of me regarding Janine, in terms of reconciliation with her which was not entirely on his advice, it is just that it made sense what he was saying firstly, and secondly, I felt inclined to do it anyway, although I was angry with Janine.
The next Monday, actually what I can add as well is as I was leaving Gen Erasmus' house, Colonel Oosthuizen arrived on the Sunday. I just greeted him and left. I presume that they must have talked about my visit there. I don't know for sure.
However, on the Monday I went to Colonel Oosthuizen and I said to him are there any problems ... (tape ends) ... could become a problem and that I should sort it out. I understood very clearly in the context of the discussion and the context of having seen him at Gen Erasmus' house, that he was referring to Janine.
You testified that he insinuated that the alternative was that Janine would blow illegal activities. Did he mention the specific activities by name or did he, how did he deal with it, how did he speak to you about it?
MR BELLINGAN: After my discussion with Gen Erasmus, I did two things Mr Chairman, I have actually got them in the wrong order here, the first thing I did was to make an appointment to see an independent marriage counsellor, Ms Lorraine de Ray. I did that by making an appointment with our house doctor, explaining to him that there was a lot of stress at the home and could he suggest somebody. He then recommended that, and I think he got his secretary to make an appointed with Lorraine de Ray who stayed in the vicinity.
MR BELLINGAN: Upon reconciling with Janine, she explained to me that it was her lack of insight into and understanding of my work, which caused her to go to the lawyer, together with my dissatisfaction with my long hours and constantly being away.
I then took Janine on holiday and basically told her everything that I knew about the Security Branch, in return for her returning some documentation that she had taken and promising not do anything so reckless again.
I think the holiday was kind of after I was satisfied that there was reconciliation and that we could go away and talk in comfort away from the home, and I could basically remotivate Janine to get her happy with the Security Branch, to get her happy with what was happening with the National Party, to explain something about reform, to explain something about the policies of the country, to explain to her, to try and motivate her to understand that my being away on long trips, long hours, etc, was not something that I did to be away from her, but rather because of my commitment to my work.
MR BELLINGAN: The steps I took, the marriage counsellor, the telephone tap, that was fairly soon. The going away, I think that was much longer, the holiday. I think that was, if I could just find some documentation to guide me Mr Chairman, I am sorry.
MR DU PLESSIS: We are trying to find the documents. Mr Bellingan, apart from the tap on the phone, there was mention in the I think the inquest, about a tape recorder in the ceiling. Do you want to comment on that?
MR BELLINGAN: At a later stage during one of my trips, Janine in fact discovered the tape recorder and she was very unhappy with it. She was very irate with me about that. I told her at the time it was to listen to the maid's conversations, etc, etc, and make sure she wasn't doing anything funny.
MR BELLINGAN: It was because I knew that I had problems on my hands, this was now the second time that there have been a major breach of security as a result of Janine and I needed to monitor what she was saying, I needed to do what I could to observe who she was meeting, who she was talking to, who her friends were, if she was possibly going to give documentation to someone else, to perhaps talk to other Attorneys.
MR BELLINGAN: Unfortunately Janine's brother and parents had made up their minds that Janine should get a divorce. I know that caused Janine a dilemma, but she did agree to minimise her family's involvement in our marriage.
This was also in consultation with and after consultation with the marriage counsellor, because Janine's parents had refused to attend any consultations with us at the marriage counsellor, so then Janine had agreed to just basically keep them out of it, because she advised me they were pushing her for a divorce.
MR BELLINGAN: Well, Janine discovered it and I then took it out, I said if it makes her happy, she wouldn't bite fully on the story of listening to the maid's conversations, so I took it out temporarily. We then moved from the one house on the property to another house, and I then had an opportunity to put it back in again without Janine noticing.
MR BELLINGAN: From the telephone tap and other information, I realised that Janine had not been truthful and that she had kept some documentation and that she now had more detailed knowledge of Stratcom and Intelligence work.
MR DU PLESSIS: Right, Mr Bellingan, what was the situation with your marriage relationship which you had with Janine, after that trip? Was it good, was it bad, did it deteriorate, did it get better, what was the position?
MR BELLINGAN: I think it was a combination of things Mr Chairman. I think on the one hand the changes in the country, on the other hand, the fact that I continued to be committed to my work, I continued to go away on trips, I continued to be out late.
MR BELLINGAN: Around the middle of 1991, I tried everything to keep Janine happy. I agreed to sell out home and buy one which Janine liked. I can also mention in this regard, that some time before in discussions with Janine, she had in fact said to me wouldn't it be better if I just left the Security Branch altogether, so in fact, I looked in the newspaper, identified a job offer, went for an interview with a company in the East Rand in the personnel field, and in fact was offered the job.
I then took two weeks' leave from the police and started work at this company and Janine was equally unhappy Mr Chairman. She said to me after I had, the company had some problems at the time, their personnel department was in a bit of a mess, and I was forced to work late and on a weekend.
She said to me Mike, weren't you just better off in the Security Branch then, and I said to her well, I could speak to the people and see if they could disregard my discharge, in fact I never put my discharge in Mr Chairman. I simply just left the company, said to them, sorry, I couldn't continue with the employment, went back to work, no one was any the wiser about it.
The company's name was Standard Brass Iron and Steel. I just mention it in the context to the fact that I now was faced again with this problem, I agreed to sell our home, Janine was unhappy about us renting out part of the house, people coming and going. She wanted a house just on her own, one where she could have a room to do sewing, one where if we were going through a rough patch, we could get out of each other's hair and I could do my thing in my section, in a study and she could do her thing in a spare room herself. We found a house like that, we sold our house and as I say, we found one that Janine liked. It was with a shock that I realised in September, that Janine had been persuaded to leak her knowledge. She was having conversations with someone and had already mentioned some of the Stratcom operations.
MR BELLINGAN: The Operation Liaison was in fact quite reasonably, extensively exposed by the Vrye Weekblad and it was via, if I could perhaps anticipate the question, via my telephone tap that I found out that it was Janine who gave this information.
I can also add that we had a break in. What happened with the premises at Liaison, there was a break in, computer disks were stolen, which indicated a link with the Security Branch and then I think, if I remember correctly, that is what the Vrye Weekblad used. At my operation in Midrand, the recruitment agency, the same thing, break in, computer disks stolen, nothing else.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, Mr Bellingan, what you mentioned here, Liaison and your operation in Midrand, were those the only operations that were referred to in her conversation, or did she refer to other sensitive information as well?
MR BELLINGAN: I was extremely perturbed about the situation. I also knew that it had assumed critical proportions now, this matter with Janine and leakages and not only that, conditions in the country had changed for the worse in regard to the need for secrecy as well.
MR BELLINGAN: Although I searched around the house whenever I got the opportunity, I could find nothing. The further problem was that whenever Janine was not at home, Lydia, the domestic servant, seemed to be watching me.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan, page 428, the first paragraph you refer to a trip to Natal. From when to when would that trip have been, could you just elaborate a little bit on the times and the dates?
MR BELLINGAN: There were some lectures that had been planned in Durban Mr Chairman, to the Intelligence Unit in Durban and then on Friday, there was meeting with some of the agents from the Security Branch in Pietermaritzburg.
MR BELLINGAN: Just prior to my going on this trip to Natal to lecture and see agents, Janine had another conversation with the person whom I presume to be a member of the African National Congress, wherein she declared that she was still reluctant to meet.
MR BELLINGAN: It occurred to me that this was my list of incidents which I had kept, for counter espionage purposes. It was a list of certain killings, there were some sources, some reference numbers, etc. These killings had been performed mostly by my colleagues Mr Chairman. Some of the incidents, Janine knew about from discussions I had no had with her.
It would be very easy for her to know exactly what this list was about. This was covert information, it was highly sensitive information Mr Chairman. It could have destroyed the whole operation of my Unit if it was exposed.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright Mr Bellingan, this specific list, you say it was drawn up for counter espionage purposes. Can you elaborate a little bit? What was on the list, what did the list entail, why was the list drawn, what was the purpose of the list?
MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairman, for some time I had been seeing agents, sources, handlers all around the country. At this point in time, there was a lot of talk about leaks to the ANC's department of Intelligence and Security.
There was leaks to newspapers, there were various problems in that regard. The investigations which I was involved in, there were threats from some of the handlers as to the fact that should the country as they put it, be handed over to the revolutionaries, there would be trouble.
In terms then of knowing who the people were that were involved in these operations, so that we could be aware of potential problems and existing problems, and how they network together, I made such a list. It was in my handwriting, it was in my briefcase. Some of the people on the list, I had in fact been already tasked to investigate. For example there was an investigation around that time, into someone who had been a member of Unit D and who had or who was transferred just after this secret investigation that we did, which only a few people at the office knew about.
It did involve taking the contact person, who was making the allegations, that he had heard this member, this senior member of the office who was involved in, and linking him up to the polygraph, asking him questions and testing the veracity of the information.
This same person was involved in quite a number of the incidents which I had on my list, including the bombing of the ANC offices, including the bombing of by one of his sources, in the Chachacha offices of the ANC in Lusaka.
MR BELLINGAN: I can also mention that it was very clear to me that it was not just my family that was at risk over here, if information like that had gotten out Mr Chairman, there would have been an escalation of violence in this country.
MR BELLINGAN: Janine had hinted further that she would organise to post the documentation that she had, the following weekend, in other words the 21st, 22nd. I presumed the worst from this, and was certain that a massive scandal would follow.
MR BELLINGAN: She said it, but Janine was a fairly temperamental person. There was a degree still of perhaps uncertainty, so that for me it was something between it being said as a fact and perhaps hinting that she would in fact give all of these documents to this person.
I decided to do it during the trip to Natal. I had no choice. With or without a divorce or any action, she was a threat to the Security Branch and the government as well as the political situation at that time.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. Mr Bellingan, before we go on, because you start there with the night of 20/21 September. Who exactly went on the Wednesday, the 18th with you to Durban and how did you get to Durban?
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. My administrative assistant had already booked me a ticket, in fact if I am not mistaken, Diane Boyle, that is who I refer to now, booked the tickets. She also booked a ticked for Colonel Taylor who was flying back from the conference not with me, but the Friday or the Saturday, I can't recall.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman, as I say I was scheduled to meet some agents for the Pietermaritzburg Security Branch in Pietermaritzburg, arrangements which they would make and that was then after I was finished the lecturing in Durban. I would then be at their disposal to do what they needed done.
MR BELLINGAN: I understand that the course finished around four or five o'clock, but I finished at around half past eight. I lectured briefly in the morning, and then was given a vehicle from Pietermaritzburg Security Branch and I left, so my functions had finished Friday morning early.
MR BELLINGAN: To basically see how, it was what we called follow up visits. In this particular instance, if I am not mistaken, two of the agents concerned specifically redeployment, they were Stratcom agents, the project had been cancelled at that stage and how were we going to redeploy them, because they were full time members of the South African Police, but one can't take such people, one day they are a member of some political organisation, the next day they are working in a charge office Mr Chairman. It would be completely the wrong thing to do.
Then another one was an infiltration agent, and again in his case, I had to make a decision what we were going to do with him, were we going to let him carry on with his work in relation to his productivity, in relation to his demeanour, in relation to his make up at that point in time, what would our decision be about this chap.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman, I left to go and get some food to eat. Not just for myself, I think I bought for everyone that was there at that stage, I can't quite recall, but I left to get some food. I also left to go across to the OK Bazaars to buy a couple of things, including a plastic raincoat type thing with a hood.
MR BELLINGAN: Yes Mr Chairman. I had phoned Judy to confirm that I would be clear for the Saturday, that could go on ahead because the work was lined up in Pietermaritzburg, so I had a reason to go to Pietermartizburg which would justify my staying over on the Saturday.
MR BELLINGAN: During the conversation, Judy said to me are you leaving the Security Branch Mike, so I said well, what makes you say that and she said well, in view of Janine's plan to sink the Security Branch and to get you out.
MR BELLINGAN: I asked how things were at home with the children, how she was, whether everything was okay and she I suppose must have picked up a note of concern or something in my voice, because then she said to me, I must not worry, she knows what she is doing.
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, let us deal now with how you got to Johannesburg, could you deal with it step by step please? That is now from the Selgro Flats in Pietermaritzburg, how did you get to Johannesburg?
I got a lift on the on ramp, the individual in this Golf gave me a lift to the intersection of the South Coast/North Coast/Durban/Johannesburg high way. I had to take the South Coast road to the airport. Once again, I did not walk far, it was still on the on ramp, when a got a lift again. These two people took me directly to the airport.
At the airport, I went in, neatened myself up a bit, booked a plane ticket to Jan Smuts airport, a return ticket and I basically bought a newspaper and went and sat and waited in the departure lounge for the plane to leave.
MR BELLINGAN: I informed the cashier that I had lost my ticket, I then was asked to pay a fine, I gave the cashier some extra money because I explained I was in a great hurry and the cashier let me through immediately.
I took out a wheel spanner from the boot, walked back to the house. I first walked around the block and then I went through the neighbours' gate and over the wall between the two properties being careful to avoid the flood lights that he had.
MR BELLINGAN: I took the key from under the mat, went inside, took off my raincoat and shoes in order not to make a noise. I satisfied myself that Janine was sleeping and I then struck her on the head with the wheel spanner.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, my client doesn't feel very well, I know him well enough by now to have seen that. It is a very emotional situation, I want to finish this part of the evidence today. Can I perhaps ask just for an adjournment of two minutes please?
MR DU PLESSIS: (continued) Mr Chairman, could I perhaps just deal with these notes? My client has informed me that, we have had various consultations, that he had drawn for himself certain notes, to assist him with the evidence, so that he does not leave anything out.
The notes are for his own use during the evidence. I haven't had a chance of studying the notes, my client also wanted to go through the notes now in the adjournment, he informs me that he didn't have time to go through the notes.
There are certain issues or certain things which he wrote, which he drew lines through and in principle I wouldn't have a problem to provide it to my learned friend, but I would want to have an opportunity to look through those notes Mr Chairman, to see exactly what it says.
MR TRENGOVE: No Mr Chairman, the rule is absolutely clear. If a witness refers to documents in the witness box, then the opposition is entitled to see it and there is nothing to consult and to consider about it. We would like to see those notes now and secondly, we object to the witness giving evidence with reference to those notes.
The rule is equally clear, a witness is entitled to refresh his memory from a contemporaneous note, unless he says that these notes were made at the time of the murder, he is not entitled to refer to them when giving his evidence.
MR BELLINGAN: From - actually I had a key, but the point is that there was a key left under the mat because we had a safety chain on the door as well. It would have been pointless to attempt to use my key or to try and sneak in, because of the chain on the door.
MR BELLINGAN: Then I took off my raincoat and my shoes to minimise the noise, went through to the main bedroom, saw that everything was quiet, that Janine was asleep and I struck her with the wheel spanner. Janine woke up and so I hit her two more times with the wheel spanner. I had intended to use the - a belt or something like that to strangle Janine once I had rendered her unconscious. In fact, there was a hairdryer standing on the table right next to the bed, so I picked up the hairdryer and strangled Janine with the cord of the hairdryer.
I then realised, although it was dark, that there was a great amount of blood and this had gotten onto me as well, so I went to, I went through to the kitchen and I scrubbed my hands and I changed my clothes as well Mr Chairman, before I searched through Janine's cupboard and her briefcase, and then her vehicle.
I then got the envelope under Janine's car seat. I took a spanner from the garage as well and I went back inside the house, and after looking briefly through the contents of the document, I broke open the burglar bars of the dining room window. The window was already standing slightly ajar, I had in fact intended to use the window in the kitchen, because it always stood open anyway Mr Chairman.
As it turns out the other window was open, so I just broke the burglar bars at that window and I took the bundle of clothing that I had on, the raincoat, in fact I put the raincoat on and the documentation, I took some fire lighters, some matches, climbed out the window, went around the house through the gate, the front gate, I opened it up on manual, left it open and I went back to my vehicle.
MR BELLINGAN: I think it was six o'clock. In Durban I got a lift at the airport, once again back to the intersection of the two highways, got out, walked a little bit, waited a little bit, got another lift and basically back to Pietermaritzburg.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I am going to lead certain evidence still which is going to take some time with specific reference to the record at the inquest, and I am going to ask Mr Bellingan certain questions about that.