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Decisions

Type AMNESTY DECISIONS

Names PETRUS CASPARUS SNYDERS

Matter AM5286/97

Decision GRANTED/REFUSED

DECISION

This is an application in terms of the provisions of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No. 34 of 1995 ("the Act").  The Applicant had applied for amnesty in respect of various incidents most of which had already been finalised at public hearings of the Committee.  The present matters are being dealt with in chambers, since they do not involve any gross violations of human rights as defined in the Act.

Applicant's personal circumstances and his activities as a member of the Security Branch of the former South African Police had been fully canvassed in the earlier hearings and do not warrant repetition.  The incidents forming the subject matter of the present decision will be dealt with separately.

TRANSPORTATION OF WEAPONS - PIET RETIEF

This incident happened during or about 1988 when Applicant held the rank of Lieutenant and he was the commander of a unit of Security Police stationed at Vlakplaas.  On the instructions of his commander, Colonel Eugene de Kock, Applicant assisted a colleague to transport weapons from Vlakplaas to Piet Retief.  Applicant never actually saw the individual weapons which were concealed in bags and were transported in the vehicle of Applicant's colleague.  They met Colonel De Kock at Escom power station at a small village, Moolman, which is approximately 20km outside Piet Retief.  Although Applicant heard certain rumours about the purpose of the weapons, he had no first-hand knowledge thereof.

Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act and that the application complies with all the other requirements of the Act.  In the circumstances amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from the transportation of weapons during or about 1988 from Vlakplaas to the vicinity of Piet Retief.

TRANSPORTATION OF WEAPONS FROM OSHAKATI TO PRETORIA

This incident happened during or about 1989.  Applicant and a number of his colleagues were called to a meeting by their commander at Vlakplaas, Colonel Eugene de Kock, and were ordered to proceed to Oshakati in Ovamboland, Namibia, where they had to collect weapons to be transported to Vlakplaas.  The specific order emanated from Security Police headquarters in Pretoria.  The members of Vlakplaas proceeded to Oshakati in a number of vehicles which were towing trailers.  They collected weapons from various military and police bases in Ovamboland.  The items collected included heavy armoury and were all of Russian origin.  The weapons were transported to Vlakplaas where they were stored in a safe on the premises.  Applicant was never informed of the purpose for which the weapons were transported.  He assumed that the weapons would be used for training new members of the Security Police.  He in fact later saw people practising with some of the weapons at a mine dump in the then East Rand.

Having considered the matter, it is clear there is no indication that Applicant's participation in the transportation of the weapons amounts to an offence.  Applicant never anticipated that the transportation of the weapons involved any criminal activity.  In the circumstances, the application does not comply with the requirements of the Act and amnesty is accordingly REFUSED.

DATED AT CAPE TOWN THIS 30TH DAY OF MAY 2001

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