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a police counter-insurgency unit set up in South West Africa in 1979 by members of the SAP Security Branch. It comprised recruits mostly from the local population who were trained as a mobile unit to gather intelligence, track guerrillas and kill them. Koevoet (Afrikaans for 'crowbar') soon gained a reputation for brutality, largely because of its methods of interrogating and torturing local people and for its heavy-handed presence in the operational areas. In the early to mid-1980s, at the height of its war with SWAPO, Koevoet claimed a kill rate of around 300 to 500 people a year, for which its members were paid a bounty per corpse.

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Mr Callaghan, we move onto the next incident, if you go to page 4 on Annexure A, do you see that this is an incident that deals with the two SWAPO members, these are the two SWAPO insurgents that were captured, tortured, and prisoners were then murdered by members of the Koevoet team?
MR BOOYENS: On page 27, actually it starts at the bottom of page 26, from 1979 you were attached to the Special Task Force at Oshakati and attached to Koevoet and then from 1988, C1 at Vlakplaas, is that correct?
MR LAMEY: During a certain evening, or before I get to that, is it correct that former Koevoet members who were connected to Vlakplaas, were very usefully applied in establishing networks of weapons or at least combating the networks of weapon smuggling?
ADV DU PLESSIS: Did you know about the police unit Koevoet
MR BIZOS:: Yes. Now you were in "Koevoet", Mr van Zyl. And whose decision was it to transfer you to the Eastern Province?
MR OLIFANT: Namibia. I was a member of Koevoet.
MR BIZOS: You told us yesterday that General Coetzee was the ultimate authority in Koevoet.
... the start of my time in Namibia I began hearing horrific stories about the operations of the police unit called the Special Operations - K- Unit, Koevoet - which means ...
Having been there for six months four of us were asked to go and join Koevoet, to be medical personnel to Koevoet. All we knew about Koevoet was they were the guys who didn't strap themselves into casspirs where the rest of us had to. They were the people who drove down the middle of the road, ...
MR LAMEY: There, amongst others you mention, and I will refer to it briefly, that beforehand you were a member of Koevoet. Would you please tell us, was Koevoet an army unit or was it a police unit?
MR WAGENER: Do I understand it correctly that there was a reasonably great measure of former Koevoet members, who found their way to Vlakplaas?
MS LOCKHAT: And that you actually asked him for a transfer to the operation Koevoet, is that correct?
... took place Major de Kock, who was then the major, told me that there were weapons in Ovamboland which he could have brought to Vlakplaas because Koevoet no longer required these weapons. At first I questioned the whole story because I wanted to know whether it was necessary and, he said: ...
... taken to former Vlakplaas where I was taken to South West Africa and thereon I spent about plus minus two and a half years working of a member of Koevoet and at a later stage I was transferred from South West Africa to Soweto where I worked under Mr Coetzee and Mr ...
MR P WILLIAMS: Would that be members who were previously involved in Koevoet Operations?
MR JANSEN: After you were a member of the uniform branch in the South African Police for about two years, then in July 1982, you were transferred to the Koevoet Unit in the then South West Africa?
... Asked to explain why he had called in a doctor if the treatment was to be secretly done, he said that he had first asked the permission of the Koevoet members. he then asked one of the medics to introduce him to a doctor that would "be friendly" to him, a "friendly doctor who would talk to ...
MR HATTINGH: Where you later for many years were in the service of the well-known Koevoet Unit and you were the Commander of a specific Unit in Koevoet?
MR HUGO: In 1979, that is when Operation Koevoet commenced?
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