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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 648
Paragraph Numbers 286 to 292
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286 There are a number of allegations relating to the involvement of MI structures in the formation of Vekom and later the AVF. On the one hand, it has been suggested that the AVF was a strategy to defuse the militant ultra-right and rogue security force members and to bring them into the fold of the negotiation process. An alternative version is that the initiative was aimed at mobilising the right wing to create an impression that a military-style coup was on the agenda, thus either strengthening the NP’s bargaining position in the negotiations or as a prelude to a military-style coup.
287 Although members of the former SADF and SAP had, since 1984, been prohibited by law from being members of the AWB and other right-wing organisations, many policemen were sympathetic to the right wing. The AWB boasted that had the support of between 40 and 60 per cent of the army and police.
288 The Commission received amnesty applications from security force members who supported the right wing and even actively assisted them with training and the purveying of information and weapons. Examples include:
a During a meeting in Pretoria on 19 July 1993, Colonel Piet Botha, former policeman and then secretary of the AVF’s executive council, submitted a twenty-page memorandum for a militant plan of armed resistance to take over the Union Buildings, SAP and SADF headquarters and the SABC, among others.
b In June 1993 a Lieutenant Johan Kotze (SAP Phillipi) said the SAP was busy organising right-wing policemen to neutralise the SAP during a possible coup, by placing as many policemen with right-wing sentiments at all SAP stations and that former special forces and Koevoet members with right-wing sentiments were being encouraged to join the SAP’s reservist force.
c Another report from NIS says SAP members appeared to be part of right-wing armed mobilisation. The agent alleged that several SAP members were on the regional management of the BKA, in towns like Heilbron, Vredefort and Wesselsbron.
d A BWB ‘general’ (Horst Klenz [AM0316/96]) described how the security police in some towns (like Cullinan) provided weapons directly to the group’s deputy leader (one Von Beenz), for use by the BWB’s approximately 100 active members.
289 At the same time, however, the security forces infiltrated the right wing. According to intelligence documents shown to the Commission, the SAP ran a Stratcom Project in the early 1990s called Operation Cosmopolitan which aimed to “utilise strategic intelligence in order to persuade the right wing to take part in negotiations and a peaceful settlement and to positively influence members of the SAP to accept and support the negotiation process”. An application from Mr Klenz confirms this strategy:
The entire BWB was infiltrated by the Security Police, if they were not in charge anyway ... The most fervent right-wingers were thus kept busy with war exercises, which satisfied their need for action, without achieving anything.
290 The line between infiltration and participation is frequently difficult to determine. A security policeman applied for amnesty in relation to a number of acts carried out allegedly by the Wit Wolwe in mid-1990 – including death threats made to a Pretoria NP councillor after the city council decided to open facilities to all, and the shooting of an arrow at the house of a Democratic Party candidate in Alberton, with the words “Wit Wolwe, wit woede, wit weerstand” (White wolves, white rage, white resistance) attached. The applicant, who does not want to be identified as he claims still to be working undercover, says he has been involved in gathering information on the right wing since 1985, mainly with a view to identifying violent campaigns in the wake of the 1983 constitutional changes. During the late 1980s, his main task shifted to identifying those policemen who were actively involved in far-right organisations, as they might have had access to weaponry and military intelligence. He identified and named several such policemen.
291 Similarly, there are indications that a leading right-wing operative who applied for amnesty for gross violations of human rights was in fact a source of one of the intelligence agencies. Claims in amnesty applications that SADF arsenals were shown to the right wing and that co-operation was promised could not be substantiated. Individual defence force members may, however, have helped to create caches and obtain weapons through established networks.
292 Two amnesty applicants who committed fraud to obtain weapons for both the AVF and AWB said that the groups obtained AK-47s from Mozambique and UNITA and believe members of former SADF Special forces and Koevoet were involved in this. Another applicant (DB Snyders [AM0074/96]) indicated that the AWB had contact with weapon supplies from Maputo. While the Commission was unable to establish the veracity of these allegations, it must be noted that many of the right-wing groups formed in the early 1990s had former or serving SADF, Special Forces, CCB and MI members as leaders.