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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 18 August 1999
Names EUGENE ALEXANDER DE KOCK
Case Number AM0066/96
CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon. We want to start the proceedings. For the record, it is Wednesday the 18th of August 1999. We are continuing with the sitting of the Amnesty Committee, held at the IDASA Centre in Pretoria. The panel is constituted as has been indicated earlier on the record. We are hearing a number of applications, that of Eugene Alexander de Kock and nine others in relation to the incident in connection with the Nelspruit killings as well as the matter of Tiso. Mr Hattingh, will you put yourself on record?
MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Eric van den Berg, Attorneys Bell Dewar and Hall on behalf of Margaret Mapwashike, the mother of Lawrence Nalinda and Joyce Leballo and Kutluwano Leballo, the mother and brother respectively of the deceased Tiso Leballo.
MR FRANCIS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I represent the Mama family. My name is Alan Francis, I am from the Legal Resources Centre. I will be assisted by Kimeshny Pillay, an Attorney also at the Legal Resources Centre.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Ma'am. Mr Hattingh, it has been brought to our attention that your client might have some difficulties with his health condition, and that for that purpose, you requested that we should start off with his application. Is he in a condition to carry on?
MR HATTINGH: Mr Chairman, he says he is. We received a telephone call from the Department of Correctional Services yesterday informing us that Mr de Kock was suffering from very high blood pressure and they recommended that he be admitted to the Prison Hospital for observation. Mr de Kock refused to go there, because he would have wanted to be present at these hearings today, Mr Chairman. I can place on record that at 11H45, when we received this telephone call yesterday, his blood pressure was 150/120 and at 15H00 yesterday it was 160/115, today, this morning at 08H40 it was 150/110, at eleven it was 160/100, at 12H35 160/110 and at quarter past one today, it was 150/110. They are monitoring his pressure Mr Chairman, they have got the necessary equipment here to monitor his blood pressure, but Mr de Kock assures us that he is feeling fit enough to proceed with his evidence today.
MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, sorry, before my learned colleague proceeds, I may just for purposes of the record indicate that I have received extra documents just prior to the hearing from two implicated parties to this hearing. One is from Isaac Johannes Engelbrecht and the other is from Frederick Douglas Reid Holtzhauzen. My request is that they be marked as Exhibit A and B respectively to form part of the record, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: I think that I have seen quite a bulky affidavit by Mr Engelbrecht, with a number of annexures, in fact, it appears that this affidavit has been deposed to on the 3rd of June this year. I've got that one. What is it that Mr Holtzhauzen has submitted?
CHAIRPERSON: Okay, that is the 6th of August, yes 1999. Yes, that one will then be Exhibit A. I assume that all the parties have copies of this, of these two documents that Ms Patel has referred to, if not, then you must just give an indication. The affidavit, I think it was an affidavit of Mr Holtzhauzen, I can't remember, I don't have it before me now ...
EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you Mr Chairman. Chairperson, may I just give you an indication that we were requested (sic) to use a statement that he used for a previous application and he has given evidence regarding this document on previous occasions, and thus we seek permission to submit this document for the Committee's use during these proceedings. It has been made available to you and I will lead Mr de Kock regarding that. I just want to fix your attention on the annexure to the document, that would be the annexure beginning on page 89 that is the evidence which Gen Nyanda as he is now, submitted during the criminal trial against Mr de Kock. He gave evidence for a while and he was cross-examined and his cross-examination was set aside to enable us to obtain extra documents.
MR HATTINGH: The annexure on page 89 very briefly Chairperson, is not complete. There is a missing section. Upon the hearing of the evidence in this matter, the section which was found lacking, was submitted to the Committee which heard Cluster 1, but unfortunately it has not been incorporated with this Bundle as of yet, we will ensure that it is obtained and appropriately incorporated.
MR HATTINGH: And that application, if I recall correctly, comprises approximately four to five volumes. The first section of that, the first section of Volume 1 contains your personal background and your political motivation for the deeds in which you were involved, is that correct?
MR HATTINGH: Mr Chairperson, it is available to the Committee. I don't think that it is absolutely necessary that it be submitted to you during these proceedings, it is quite an extensive document, but it is available to the Committee. Furthermore Mr de Kock, upon the request of the TRC for the purposes of Cluster 1, you have compiled a supplementary affidavit which deals specifically with Vlakplaas and more particularly with Vlakplaas as an Operational Political Unit?
MR HATTINGH: Very well. I am going to lead you briefly regarding certain aspects of C, but we will get to that as we proceed. At the time of this incident, you were the Commander of Unit C10 as it was known at that time, Vlakplaas?
MR HATTINGH: I think that at that stage the Unit had been subdivided into three sub-Units which were stationed at different places, but nothing is really important regarding that. I think that the section over which you had direct command, is more important. Even though you were the Overall Commander of all three sections, the one of most importance was stationed at a place which was referred to as "Die Grasdak"?
MR HATTINGH: Very well. I would like to commence with the Carousel incident which would have been heard by this Committee during this week if it hadn't been for the fact that the applicants in that matter, withdrew their applications. I would just like to deal with that very briefly. What was your knowledge regarding the Carousel incident?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, very briefly, that there was a group of black men who wanted to commit robbery and had decided that the Carousel would be the ideal target and that there was such an attempted robbery. This attempt however, took place over a period of time, there were three to four times when it would have taken place and it never took place at those times, but ultimately it happened.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I was overall in command of C1 and I was also in control of this group. Some of my members had been deployed in cooperation with the Murder and Robbery Unit of Pretoria in order to deal with these robbers.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I was informed that there would be a robbery, however there was no fixed date and as it went with these cases, we wait for it to happen, we prepare for it in all aspects, but wait until it took place and take it further from there.
MR HATTINGH: Chairperson, there was planning, these people took up position in the offices of Coin Security and waited for them to return and they did return, but they were frightened when a Springbok Patrol vehicle passed that place and they could not continue with the robbery. My question to you Mr de Kock is whether you are aware that the first attempt to rob Coin Security took place approximately a day or two before the Carousel incident?
MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson. I just want to mention that as the Commander of the Unit, one wouldn't only have this one singular attempt at a time. At any time, there could be seven or eight operations which were running concurrently, one could be about weapons, the other could be about falsified money as the information came in, thus robbery was simply one of the facets of infiltrations at that stage.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, that there would be an armed robbery, that it was former MK members or a member who would then execute or handle this robbery. Initially there was a measure of uncertainty about where the robbery would take place, but later it appeared to be Nelspruit. Once again, Sergeant Holtzhauzen was given the order to liaise with Pretoria Murder and Robbery.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, he compiled a list of my own members at that stage, which he wanted to involve in the operation. I changed some of the names, today I cannot recall why, but it is possible that these members were involved in another operation or would have been involved in another operation and that is why I removed their names from the list.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the orders to liaise with other specialist Units, was an order from Gen Engelbrecht, who at that stage was the Head of Vlakplaas. After 1990 the attitude was that we would have to begin liaising with other Units if for example we obtained information about anything. If it was gold and diamonds, we would have to contact the Gold and Diamond Unit, in this case then it would be Murder and Robbery and indeed, a meeting was held at Vlakplaas during which Murder and Robbery or the Commanders of Murder and Robbery and I think I recall four or five various Commanders of these Units who were introduced to us at Vlakplaas and this was done by Gen Engelbrecht.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the purpose was to introduce us to these persons and then pave a way for cooperation among these Units, in other words if we obtained information, we would approach them and then act in cooperation with them.
MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson. Initially not because I had to attend a meeting in the Kruger National Park, it was about smuggling of weapons via the Game Reserve and initially I would have been on the periphery of this operation and along with one of the members who is now an applicant, I would have taken observation, but as a result of circumstances on that evening of the deployment, I was late. Klopper and I were late. I found myself on the scene.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, two of my staff members, the two ladies who worked with us, who had to sort out accounts at the Malelane Lodge which we could not pay as a result of a lack of receipts and double claims which the hotel had included on the receipts.
MR DE KOCK: We went to the Drum Rock Hotel and I was aware that all the members stayed there, they had all been booked in there, and they worked from there. I went there and I found Capt Geldenhuys from the Pretoria Murder and Robbery Unit there.
MR DE KOCK: I did not go into deep detail, I believe that if there were any problems, I would have been approached in order to assist or to assist materially or in any other way. I asked Capt Geldenhuys whether he was satisfied with the arrangements, whether he was satisfied with the information and whether everything was satisfactory and he answered in the affirmative. There appeared to be no problems regarding the matter.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, when we arrived there, some of the vehicles had already begun to depart and in that respect, both Klopper and I were both late. We drove behind the last vehicle, that was me and Klopper, he was the driver, and we almost missed the group as such, however, we succeeded in catching up with them.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there was a brief discussion among the members, the group which was to undertake the operation. I did attend the discussion, however I did not give any input and if I had, I would concede that I cannot recall it. However, I did not make any significant or real contribution. Sergeant Holtzhauzen then began to point out the places where the members would have to take up position. This was not a roadblock, it was an ambush position, as one would set up an ambush when one expected to encounter armed opponents and specifically then, terrorists.
MR DE KOCK: No, I have no such recollection. If I was requested to provide weapons, I would have done so, and it may be that my memory fails me in this regard, that doesn't mean that I did not provide weapons, however, I cannot recall whatsoever that I provided weapons.
MR HATTINGH: Perhaps I could put it somewhat clearer, Mr de Kock, by preceding you somewhat. We know that after the shooting, two AK's were found in the minibus that these persons had been traveling in, that they had been planted there?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I did not have a position, I am sure I could have pushed someone out of the way as a result of my rank, however, that was not part of the planning and further up in the road, next to the bridge, I took up position.
MR DE KOCK: Six magazines for an R5, everyone of them with a capacity for 35 rounds, but which I loaded with 33 rounds for every one. Then I had two 50 round magazines with 48 rounds each, which was concealed in the car case section of my case, it was a chest webbing, that is the correct term for this.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, at a stage it appeared or it felt as if these vehicles were not going to arrive or that the robbery was not going to be executed and there was already a general feeling that this was another one of those cases in which the robbers had decided otherwise or had experienced a problem or received incorrect information. At a stage I observed that the members suddenly began to attend to their environment and I don't know which one of the members said it, but he said "they are on their way" and from the position where I was seated, I could see that two vehicles were under way from the Nelspruit direction.
MR DE KOCK: When these vehicles chased through underneath the bridge, I could see that the first vehicle was a BMW sedan, I am not certain of the colour and behind this vehicle, there was a minibus, some sort of a closed minibus. It wasn't the usual taxi type of minibus.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, this was one of the vehicles which I had already begun to collect for actions in the Transkei and particularly in the Sterkspruit vicinity, where APLA members regularly shot vehicles off the road, vehicles that were in transit to the Transkei. This vehicle I had obtained from a person that I knew for a great number of years, I stole it from him so to speak.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I knew about it. In discussions with the owner of this vehicle, I determined that he was insured and that I wouldn't cause him any damage. I did this by nature of the situation, he had two keys which could be used on this vehicle because the vehicle had already been previously stolen. There was one key for the door and another for the ignition system. And by means of a device with which one could make copies of keys, I made copies of both these keys by means of melting lead into the device and I had two keys cut for this bus later on. I then used those keys when we fetched the vehicle that evening.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it was myself and Warrant Officer Vermeulen who drove the vehicle and there was another person with me, and in my recollection I have the idea that it may have been Mr Chait who was with me, he was the driver.
MR DE KOCK: Mr Holtzhauzen requested a vehicle, he had a registration 80 vehicle, but however, this vehicle had been used on a previous occasion, among others the Carousel incident and he requested me to obtain this vehicle for him or a vehicle at least and because I had this vehicle available, it was the one that I made available to him.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, a regulation 80(6) vehicle, there were actually three categories, (a), (b) and (c), these are vehicles which had been repossessed, in other words vehicles that had been stolen and of which the owner could not be traced, and with such vehicles, the police would repossess them on their State property account and these vehicles could then be issued for use to various branches of the Force. Regulation 80(6)(a) indicates the sort of vehicle which was in a very good condition, or a relatively new condition with which one would have to keep a file and submit monthly reports as one would do with any regular police vehicle. Regulation 80(6)(b) was similar to this. There were some or other classification regarding 80(6)(b) and then regulation 80(6)(c) would be the kind of vehicle for which one did not have to keep a file. If the vehicle was to be written off in an accident or if the vehicle could not longer be used, it was not necessary to repair the vehicle. It wasn't necessary for a whole official report as in the cases of 80(6)(a) and 80(6)(a).
MR DE KOCK: No, the idea was there initially. I do recall that he mentioned that the person who was known as Tiso, would borrow a vehicle from a family member, I think it was an uncle of his, who resided in the Nelspruit vicinity. However, I cannot recall the full detail regarding that. This vehicle was however, used during the Carousel incident as well, but he didn't necessarily want to use this vehicle during this incident which we would have dealt with here.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, just after the BMW had moved passed, the minibus kept up at a relatively similar speed, and if I recall correctly, Mr Holtzhauzen and Mr Gouws then initiated the shooting. I may be wrong, but that is my recollection thereof. And all the members upon that initiative, then opened fire.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, all the members opened fire, or at least all the members that I could see, were shooting. It then appeared, and I am not certain whether the idea was that as soon as fire was opened, the minibus would stop in the ambush, but it wasn't like that, it appeared to me as if the minibus accelerated and from where I stood, I ran down the embankment in order to be placed in line with those members who were on ground level, and if I recall particularly, I was in line with Mr Gevers and Mr Swart. I fired a full automatic round on the minibus and the angle from which I fired, was in line between the passenger on the left and the driver on the right, in front, but I aimed lower to see if I couldn't hit the machine or the driver. After I had emptied my magazine, I switched magazines and fired another seven or eight shots. That was semi-automatic, I changed from automatic to semi-automatic at that stage. At that stage, I looked to my right hand side and I saw that the line of the members was confused or disarrayed. I saw a member that was kneeling down and shooting with another member directly behind him, he was firing above him. In other words if the person in front had stood up, he would have had a shot in the back of his head. I then moved ahead and reorganised the members to form a line again. Capt Geldenhuys from that point, moved ahead with the members and they moved ahead as they were shooting at the bus.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, I took a few steps towards the minibus with the members, as they were in line to assure that they were still in line. I turned around and moved back towards the bridge and stood below the bridge.
MR HATTINGH: Chairperson, we have copies of photographs which were used as official Exhibits during the criminal trial and it may be of assistance if we could place this at your disposal just to give you an indication of how the scene appeared. We do not have this here today, but we can make it available to you tomorrow.
MR HATTINGH: My Attorney has informed me that this is the road which leads to the showgrounds Mr De Jager, apparently the showgrounds are on the left side of the road. Why did you move back to the bridge?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there was continuous fire which ceased at a certain point. There were further shots, I think three or four and then there was a loud crash. I turned around to see what it was, but it wasn't a shot or an explosion as if explosives had been used.
MR DE KOCK: As the minibus began to burn completely, there was a detonation of high charge explosives, it was quite a violent explosion. It hurled one of the passengers of the bus, out of the bus to the road. He landed on the left side of the road.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it wasn't much. I waited there and at a stage I was approached by Mr Nortje who informed me that not all the terrorists or robbers had been inside the vehicle. Later it appeared to be this Tiso, later the discussion was about whether or not Tiso was to be killed, and by nature of my actions, I conceded and then gave the order for the arrangements to be made with Mr Vermeulen from my Unit in Pretoria, that he was to bring explosives. I don't know who telephoned him, I cannot recall whether it was me, and I also deployed Gevers, Swart and Chait to take Mr Tiso to a point where he would then be taken by Vermeulen and whoever accompanied him, to Penge Mine and that would be where he would be killed and blown up.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, if we had not killed him, by nature of his position and his background and his whereabouts within the ANC, he would certainly have exposed the action and Vlakplaas consequently. Even though there was a dispute between Mr Nortje and me regarding whether we could detain this person or send him to Swaziland preferably, we realised the futility of that. The futility of hoping that this person wouldn't speak out or leak out information or that no fingers would be pointed to Vlakplaas and I then took that responsibility.
MR DE KOCK: I am not certain, for me it was about Vlakplaas and it was a highly sensitive situation with a highly sensitive Unit. The identity of the source may have played a role because if the source was identified, Vlakplaas would also be identified.
MR HATTINGH: Did you later receive an order that this operation at Penge Mine had been completed and that the person had been killed there by means of explosives which would completely destroy the body?
MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson, I stood there just after the shooting. I am not certain what the duration of time was, but it wasn't long before a person arrived and introduced himself as Mr Alberts or at least Colonel Alberts. I didn't know him, this was the first time upon which I saw him. When he asked me what had taken place there, I referred him to Capt Geldenhuys. I was uncertain of whether I should say anything, because I didn't have the full script of how the story would run.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it would have created the impression that shots had been fired on the Security Forces or the policemen then and that counter-fire of that nature, would then have been justified.
MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, but later I became aware that it had been Sergeant Holtzhauzen and I think that Mr Gouws also fired some shots, although I am uncertain of Gouws in this regard. I have a very vague recollection thereof.
MR HATTINGH: Thank you Chairperson. Mr de Kock, you have already stated that this was not a roadblock and that it was an ambush. What was the version which you submitted after the incident for official purposes?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Gen Engelbrecht did arrive at the scene, there was another person with him. I went to him and briefly explained to him what had taken place there, not the full version including the firing of the shots from within the vehicle and so forth, but I did tell him that something was terribly wrong here, in other words it did boil down to something not being right.
MR DE KOCK: That is correct. I cannot recall whether this was at the scene or during the meeting which we later held in the Game Reserve, but I heard from Gen Engelbrecht that he told certain people not to make statements, in other words we would not make any statements at the scene. I think there was something else, the shooting report regarding the number of shots which had been fired by the persons, was amended. There was something about that.
MR HATTINGH: And these statements, did they contain exact versions or did they contain the versions which were presented, indicating that it had been a roadblock and that fire had been opened by the passengers of the minibus, which then led to the counter-fire?
MR HATTINGH: We heard during the criminal trial that Sergeant Chait had traveled with Sergeant Gevers on their way to Nelspruit and that they had been involved in a car accident as a result of which his arm or his shoulder had been injured to such an extent that his right arm, I think, was in a shoulder band at the time of the incident?
MR HATTINGH: And for that reason then, it was decided to use this version because you knew that your gun could be connected to the shells on the scene and for this reason it was decided that Mr Chait would say that he fired shots with your gun?
MR HATTINGH: Some of the members who were involved in the Penge aspect of the operation, say in their applications that they gave evidence during their trail and that you had given authorisation to them to put in false claims as a reward for their participation in the Penge Mine aspect of the operation?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, as I regarded it, it was an exceptional situation. A situation which had not been foreseen and right or wrong, I gave such amounts to members or allocated such amounts to members. It was for a longer period of time that what they initially claimed. I told them to submit that amount for five or six months, but I think with the second or the third month I told them to stop. Gen Engelbrecht had told me that our expenses were too high and I then instructed the members to cease with the submission of such claims. They did not expect this money, they did not know about it and it was simply my way of assisting them in whichever manner possible.
MR HATTINGH: You have already stated that these persons did not expect the reward, therefore they did not know prior to the event that they would be rewarded for their participation in this operation?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, no, a permanent informer was somebody who received a salary, a monthly salary as a permanent informer then, and then there may have been an additional bonus which would be allocated if that person had delivered exceptional information or additional information, while an occasional informer such as Mr Van Zyl, would for example be paid only in the event of a success. In other words if there had been no robbery, he would not have been paid.
MR HATTINGH: Just to round off that aspect, the fixed remuneration informer would receive a monthly salary regardless of whether he had provided information in the relevant months leading to an arrest or a conviction?
MR DE KOCK: Let me just give you an example of the informers who I had in neighbouring countries. When we were acting against the ANC and the PAC, two or three months may have elapsed during which this person may have provided no information because there was no information, depending upon the person's level of access. But one wasn't paying this person off, this person would be a permanent ANC or PAC member and then after three or four months, the person would begin to generate information once more. So such a person would receive a fixed salary if I may put it that way.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the role which was presented to us was that we were to switch over from political work if I may put it that way, to combating crime. However, it did not manifest as such ultimately and some of these unbanned organisations did not cease in their actions. The former Security Police which was then called the Crime Information Services, collected information and there were subsequent actions against some of these organisations.
MR DE KOCK: Yes. Upon various occasions I asked him why they didn't rather disband the Unit. We were not an Investigative Unit, we were an Operational Unit and we did not qualify in one specific direction. We worked in general, it was as if we didn't really have a place and Gen Engelbrecht's response to me was that it could be that the negotiations would be unsuccessful and that we would have to be prepared for immediate action against the organisations such as the ANC, SACP as well as the PAC and that is why we were to remain in that organisation as such.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it is difficult to recall that time without the relevant documentation, but the information was that former military trained persons were involved in these actions. I mention it in that regard because the information that we collected where ANC or PAC members were involved, would be documented with the mention of an ANC or PAC label and we were requested to remove that name or that acronym and not to refer to any kind of political organisation, because we could be accused of trying to stigmatise the organisations. In this case, I specifically took the matter up with Gen Piet Viljoen who was in charge of the Security Police at that stage, and he told me that we were to use other references and that we were not to use ANC, PAC or SACP references in the documents.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I had no doubt that there were elements of the ANC and the PAC who were operative in these cases. If one studies one of the situations which emerged after the formation and the increased standard of the operational capacity of the SDU's, it appeared that there were definitely persons who had a more advanced knowledge than the regular member.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there was an increase in the smuggling of weapons, especially from Mozambique and there the Unit who was under my command, obtained successes. In a period of six weeks to two months, we took possession of 400 to 600 AK47's which had been smuggled in from Mozambique.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, on many occasions Mr Nortje also worked in this regard. When I refer to guns or weapons, I am not referring only to sub-machine guns and Tokarev and Makarov pistols, it also does not include rocket launchers or such machine guns.
MR HATTINGH: Very well, we should not deal with it in such extensive detail. This weaponry which was smuggled and which you took possession of, did you have any information regarding what this weaponry was destined for?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, it was destined for so-called conflicting parties. The mentality of the weapon smugglers was not connected politically in any way, for them it was not about the colour of the flag, it was about the colour of your money and ultimately these weapons would find their way to the East and West Rand.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, there was such information because some of the persons which we arrested, mentioned among others that they sold these guns in black residential areas and that they sold these weapons to persons who wanted to fight among one another, in other words black on black.
MR DE KOCK: That is correct. Yes, and furthermore the askari Unit of Natal, just like we had to focus on crime, they also had to focus on crime, but it was askaris who caught Charles Ndaba and other members of the ANC who had been involved in Operation Vula.
MR HATTINGH: That would be Exhibit C. Very well, the askaris who were responsible for the arrest of Ndaba and others, were connected to Colonel Taylor's Unit which was the contemporary of Vlakplaas in Natal?
MR HATTINGH: We do not have the complete section of Gen Nyanda's evidence here, we will make it available, but according to my recollection, he conceded that Operation Vula had the objective to better equip the armed members of the ANC in the event of the negotiations being unsuccessful and he also gave evidence that at that stage, it continued and would have continued much further had it not been for the arrest of Mr Ndaba and Mr Tshabalala?
MR HATTINGH: Therefore your knowledge after the unbanning is that there was still conflict between the Security Forces and certain political organisations and if I say conflict, I am referring to armed conflict?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, my personal opinion was that the battle axe was laid to ground on the day when Mr Mandela became president and everybody realised that they would not be able to change anything on either side. Reference that I would like to make and I do not wish to stigmatise anything here, please don't misunderstand me, just to give you an indication of what the sentiment was at that stage. If we look at an attack on a church in Cape Town, which led to an attack on a house in Umtata by Special Forces, so at no stage was this violence ever concealed, even though it was presented as such.
MR HATTINGH: And on page 77 of Exhibit C under paragraph (a) there, you also mention further examples of actions in which C10 was involved after the unbanning of the ANC and other organisations which indicates that you were still involved in so-called combating if I may say, of the armed struggle against the former regime?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the former ANC members worked in Johannesburg and they saw an ANC member, a senior member then, walking through the city centre. They approached him and arrested him. It appeared that he did not have permission to be in the country. However, his spouse was a few steps away from him when he was arrested and the members did not see her unfortunately, and while I was on my way back to Pretoria, I received a call from Gen Beukes who wanted to see me urgently and the Head of National Intelligence in Randburg wanted to see me, because this man had been working for them for quite some time, I think it was a period of nine years. We then released this man regardless of whether he had permission to be here or not.
MR HATTINGH: And then on page 81, paragraph 220.127.116.11 you deal with information that you have already mentioned during your evidence here today. Information regarding attacks in Transkei, attacks on motorists in the Sterkspruit vicinity?
MR HATTINGH: Was this in order to combat these attacks in which APLA had been involved according to your information, that you among others obtained the minibus from Mr Raju in order to use this in the cessation of these attacks?
MR DE KOCK: Yew, I was trying to obtain another minibus which I believed that I would obtain because the one target was in Sterkspruit itself, within the town and the other was approximately a kilometre from the Aliwal North/Transkei border. If one drove from Aliwal North to Sterkspruit it would be approximately a kilometre in the field, there was a house and there was also a group which operated from that house.
MR DE KOCK: That was approximately a few days before Christmas in 1991 when Mr Engelbrecht spoke to me in his office and told me to prepare for an operation on this house, this was the house in the Sterkspruit vicinity because there was talk that there was a cellar floor and that there were people living in the cellar. Upon two occasions, two or three occasions I know that he went down to Gen Smit's office and he returned and upon the last occasion, he told me that we were to stand by, nothing had been set down, but that we were to remain on standby. In December 1991 we did not launch any attacks.
MR DE KOCK: I am sure that my members believed like I did, that we could sign a thousand negotiation reports and that this would serve no purpose, I think we all believed that we would fight each other out until death.
MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson, ultimately it appeared as the request came from the IFP to us, that the IFP was completely overwhelmed and saturated by the ANC, they had no military background and they also did not have sufficient support to defend themselves. Me and some of my members, not all of them, chose a side and it was the side of the IFP.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I have already attempted to provide figures, I spoke to Prof John Daniel and other persons, I could not provide specific figures, this was all about ammunition. I wouldn't say that they had many guns, but they had a problem with ammunition. What I can tell you is that what we gave them, could never have been sufficient if one looks at their wide level of dispersion, there had to have been other sources as well. We were involved and on an industrial level, we liaised with them. I will sit down tonight and attempt to work it out for you so that I can be more specific. I don't want to give any figures here which may be incorrect.
MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, it was for the IFP here in the Transvaal area specifically, neither me nor any of my members had any further liaison with other sections of the IFP, for example on the East Rand. We were concentrating specifically on Johannesburg. I liaised with Humphrey Ndlovu and Themba Khosa and the Overall Commander was a Minister, C.J. Mthetwa who was from the kwaZulu Legislature. Upon two occasions, two or three occasions, Mr Nortje and I delivered ammunition and weapons at either Min Mthetwa's house in Ulundi at his ministerial house, but it wasn't a mass amount, I think it was eight or ten weapons at a time, but we gave as much ammunition to them as we could.
MR DE KOCK: At a function at Vlakplaas, the matter was discussed with Gen Van Rensburg and Gen Engelbrecht. Gen Van Rensburg was then the Head of Vlakplaas and that evening, Gen Smit was approached regarding this funding for these shotguns or an item which could give service from that. When I completed the claim and submitted it for the manufacturing of these guns, for the purchasing of the relevant materials, Gen Engelbrecht came to me and said that Gen Smit had said that the claim was to be split into two, the single claim was too big, that there was actually a limit for which he could sign, and that is why I divided the claim into two claims. These were false claims by the way and we then used the money to purchase the materials and to manufacture the shotguns. Similarly at the same time, we received permission from Gen Van Rensburg to give Themba Khosa a Secret Fund vehicle because he didn't have a vehicle and every month, we then just obtained the petrol receipts from him and that is how we reconciled matters in the files.
MR HATTINGH: And while you have just mentioned the provision of weapons to Inkatha, we were also referring to the provision of these guns to them by you, in your capacity as the Commander of Vlakplaas in the SAP?
MR DE KOCK: On the third day after I appeared before the Goldstone Commission, this was a Saturday morning before I appeared before the Goldstone Commission on the Wednesday, I went through to an office where I had two large containers of original police documentation and official documentation with approvals and signatures, as well as computer discs, I had approximately 100 cassettes, the mini-cassette type which one would use, I had about 100 to 120 mini-cassettes and then I also had a great deal of regular tapes, 60 and 90 minute tapes of telephone conversations and so forth, and on that day, I destroyed everything.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, with the Harms Commission we really spring-cleaned and destroyed masses of documentation. A great deal of this documentation, sensitive documentation, I kept out and stored in another place.
CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we will now adjourn. We have come to the end of the proceedings for today, we will adjourn and we will reconvene in this venue tomorrow morning at half past nine, we are adjourned.