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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type INTRODUCTION AND SHOWING OF VIDEO
Starting Date 28 November 1996
Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR
Good morning ladies and gentleman we are about to start and just a few ground rules, there will be like yesterday when the police witnesses come in, like yesterday there will be a brief moment where the men and woman of the media will be allowed to take the necessary photographs. But it will be only for one minute only. And thereafter there won’t be any photographs being taken as and when - well like the Archbishop says, if you behave and are nice to me, I will allow two minutes.
I think the witnesses should come - a session of the hearings and today is going to be a day on which we shall hear witnesses who have been subpoenaed to appear. And let me say from the very start that I am particularly pleased that we have the gentleman who have responded to the subpoenas to come and I would like to welcome you to this session and I would like to assure you that the session will be conducted in as a professionally manner as possible and we are very pleased that you have indicated your co-operation by being here to start with. And I would like to take the view that, that is the sort of spirit that is going to prevail throughout the proceedings. I have no doubt that it in fact will be sort of spirit. So very welcome to you gentleman.
Again some few ground rules, those persons who have cell phones I would request - I would like to request them to switch them off, let me check whether mine also is switched off, it is and we’ll kick off almost immediately and the manner in which it has been arranged, we will - we will first of all show a video and then thereafter the witnesses who are going to be testifying today and I will read the list that I have.
I would like to emphasize that at this session, in these proceedings, now findings are going to be made, this is not a trial in the sense that immediate findings will be made. We will be receiving evidence, and we will obviously as a panel be putting questions to the witnesses as they testify. But it is not intended to be an advisable l process, the outcome of which should be for us to make a finding today.
I will particularly want to address that to the witnesses if that is something that will put them at ease. What the Commission is mandated to do is to establish the truth and the various methods that have been employed especially around this particular issue, at an attempt to get at that truth. And of course truth is relative, it depends from what perspective anyone sees it. And I think the attempt today is to try and show all the perspectives. Yesterday you had the witnesses perspectives, and I am sure that is a perspective of the witnesses that will be called today.
But I want to emphasize that we are not going to make a finding today, there will be no verdict passed at the end of today. But there certainly will be an attempt by this panel to clarify issues that have come in the testimony as well as in the footage material that is going to be shown. And without further ado I will therefore call for the video to be shown.
Ek het agter in daardie Datsun polisievoertuig gesit en ek was besig om met - net uit te klim toe 'n patroon van die oorhandigde wapen by die - deur die voorruit trek en my wapen en so in die gesig tref en daarna het ons maar oorgegaan tot aksie net.
Die skade kan nou baie duidelik hier op die magasyn sowel as op die vuurwapen self gesien word. Nog steeds die NY1 by die toneel van optrede, hier kan gesien word hoe een van die swart hostelle se venster 'n koeëlgat deur het of 'n gat deur een of ander voorwerp veroorsaak.
Dan is daar ook op die dak van die dakteëls beskadig. Ook meer na die linkerkant toe is van die dakteëls beskadig. Waar hierdie lyk nou lę is dit in die middel van die kruising NY1 voor ons af en na regs en links NY111. Die bos wat uit - of van u regterkant dan van NY111 is, die AK47 wat deur hierdie swartman gebruik word, is van die opvoukolf tipe en baie duidelik van die beserings [onduidelik] die swart man het dieselfde tipe sokkies aan as wat ook deur die polisie gebruik word.
Die polisievoertuig se deurknip wat hier op die grond lę. Lugsteun in hierdie geval in die vorm van 'n Lugmag Allouette helikopter het nou ook opgedaag omdat die - vermoedelik die een persoon wat weggekom het, in die bos te soek.
Die swartman - die swartman met die RBG5 Russiese handgranaat nog steeds by hom. Daar kan baie duidelik gesien word waar die haelgeweer korrels sy liggaam in hierdie geval sy gesig en op sy - sy regerkant van sy bors gepenetreer het.
Die polisievoertuig van binne, kan gesien word dat die - van die rondtes ook self die bakwerk gedeurdring het, en hier deur die kussing is. Hier kan baie duidelik gesien word waar die patroon van die geweer deurgekom het deur die deur handvatsel dwarsdeur die deur, binne-in die voertuig in. Nog een van die ruite wat hier ook deur 'n koeël getref is.
We’ll take a five minute adjournment and I have been accosted by an attorney from one of the witnesses and we will use the five minute adjournment to confer with him about something that he has raised with me just now. We’ll take a five minute adjournment, thank you.
I want to place it on record that the information I have is that the families who obvious broke down during the showing of this video, were extensively briefed by our briefers including Commissioner Glenda Wildschut, about the footage in preparation for today’s events. They were told that it might not be in their interest to see the video, precisely because it might lead to this sort of scenes that we have seen which we regret as a Commission, but we understand.
But an elaborate amount of work was done by - in particular Commissioner Wildschut to indicate to them that they need not see the footage. But I am told that they insisted that they want to know and again they were warned that in an endeavor to want to know they might get hurt emotionally and we regret the dramatics that have followed, but we also understand why it should be so.
I am saying so because it may well be said that the Commission acted irresponsibly in this regard and insensitively. We want to place it on record and in public that extensive care was taken to make sure that they fully understand the consequences of watching a video of this nature.
The second aspect I want to deal with is an allegation that a shoe or a similar like missile was thrown at Mr Kleyn and Mr Knipe presumably by one of the witnesses. I did not see it, I don’t know who saw it, clearly the gentleman also didn’t see who it was, because obviously the missile came from behind their backs. I don’t want to make a finding about this matter. I need merely say if it happened, it is something that we take a very dim view of, we understand the emotions of people who come to this proceedings carrying the sort of trauma that is commensurate with a loss that they obviously have.
But it must be emphasized - it must be emphasized very strongly and in the strongest terms that the Commission has a task to perform which must be performed in circumstances where it’s integrity and reputation will not be undermined. The entire aim and the broader aims of the Commission is to achieve not only the exposure of truth, but reconciliation. And the test, the acid test is going to be a moments like this - at moments where no version of the truth as we are trying to achieve it, should be suppressed because witnesses are not made comfortable to testify.
I therefore want to appeal to everyone all in sundry, that these proceedings should never be allowed to degenerate into a gigantic vast, because they are not intended to be so. It is a responsible Commission and the people who sit with me on the panel, are obviously in agreement with me, that we cannot, we dare not - we cannot afford to allow the proceedings to degenerate.
I say so on the assumption that what I have been told is true, and I say so to assure also those who were the subject or the object of this missiles to be assured that the proceedings shall be carried under the strictest observance of the corm that befits the Commission.
I understand that the two gentleman have then elected to wait in the waiting room until such time as their evidence is heard. I need to recognize the presence in our midst of Mr Brand an attorney from De Klerk en Van Gend, if you could stand Mr Brand, so that people can see you. Mr Brand is representing five of the witnesses today, Mr Liebenberg, Mr Odendal, Mr Sterrenberg, Mr Grobbelaar, Mr Moggee. Very welcome Mr Brand, I am sorry we could not meet earlier so that I could place you on record at the beginning of the proceedings.
Die AK47 geweer wat by die laaste lyk gekry is. Jy kan duidelik sien dat daar twee van die magasynne leeg is en een magasyn is vol. Nog steeds op die 3de Maart 1986 by nadere ondersoek is daar vasgestel dat hierdie lyk ook 'n RBG5 handgranaat daar tussen sy bene het. Die handgranaat is eers gevind nadat die lyk gevisenteer was.