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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 608

Paragraph Numbers 115 to 123

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 9

115 Subsequent amnesty applications indicate that Vlakplaas operatives Brood van Heerden and Willie Nortjie supplied Khoza with weapons which were used in the Sebokeng massacre, including AK-47s, black hand grenades and home-made bombs. Vlakplaas operative Willie Nortjé stated that the weapons used in the massacre were tampered with so that they could not be linked to the crime by forensics testing. Two Vaal policemen, Arthur John van der Gryp [AM4373/96], a warrant officer in the special Unrest Investigation Unit created to investigate political violence, and head of the Vaal Security Branch Jacobus Francois Conradie [AM4123/96], both admitted to removing and tampering with evidence in order to secure Khoza’s release. The car in which the weapons were found at the scene of the Sebokeng massacre was also allegedly supplied by Vlakplaas. Khoza’s bail money was supplied by Vlakplaas.

116 According to Colonel Eugene de Kock, he delivered six ten-ton truckloads of sophisticated weaponry to Mr Philip Powell for use in the self-protection unit (SPU) training project in KwaZulu-Natal. De Kock and Powell had been introduced by members of the Durban Security Branch. De Kock asked Jac Büchner whether Powell was somebody “he could walk the road with” and Büchner stated that he could be trusted.

117 De Kock met Powell on two further occasions and arrangements were made for the supply of weapons to the SPU project. A Mechem official, Joe Verster, notes that De Kock telephoned him and told him that he wanted the weapons he had stored at Mechem and any further weaponry available. Theo van Dyk (manager at Mechem) gave permission for De Kock to collect the weapons.

118 De Kock obtained access to Mechem stores in October 1993 and collected

‘n groot hoeveelheid ammunisie, geweer granate, ek dink daar was ses vuurpylrigters gewees met ‘n redelike groot hoeveelheid vuurpyle. Daar was een 81 millimeter mortier met ‘n klomp bomme gewees. Ek dink daar was twee of drie 60 millimeter mortierpype met bomme gewees, skrootmyne. (a large quantity of ammunition, rifle grenades, I think there were six rocket launchers with a reasonable number of rockets. There was one 81mm mortar with a large number of bombs. I think there were two or three 60mm mortar pipes with bombs, Claymore mines.)

119 At the time, De Kock was no longer in the employ of the SAP. He told the Commission that he had used an old police ID card to get into the gate and that no one knew he was no longer in the SAP.

120 At the same time as the weapons were delivered to Powell, Vermeulen, other Vlakplaas members and askaris went to Mlaba camp to assist with training in their use. Vermeulen stated that he was paid between R5 000 and R7 000 for the training and that Powell told him that the money had been obtained from a co-owner of a Zulu newspaper. Later, General Krappies Engelbrecht told him not to do any further training. He said he himself felt that the training had a political flavour, that he was training a private army and was not prepared to continue.

121 Acting on information received from Mr Israel Hlongwane in January 1994, a joint TEC/SAP raid was carried out on the Mlaba camp on 26 April 1994. A large quantity of weapons and ammunition was found in a rondawel at the camp, including twenty-six M26 hand grenades, five rifle grenades, seventy-six G-3 rifles, forty-nine shotguns and a large amount of ammunition. These weapons, together with a large number of documents, were seized. According to the SANDF, the hand grenades and detonators were SADF issue.

122 During the raid, Phillip Powell’s vehicle was searched and two boxes of ammunition (.222 and shotgun rounds), a Ruger semi automatic firearm and a 9mm pistol were discovered. Concealed under his front seat was a ‘home-made’ shotgun. One of the musketry instructors, Sergeant Obed Zwelihle Nxumalo, identified the home-made firearm as belonging to Powell. Powell himself claimed that the firearm was found in one of the buses leaving the Mlaba camp and that he had intended to hand it into the Ulundi police station. He also claimed that he did not have any knowledge of the grenades found at the camp and had possession of the armoury key only for a short period on 27 and 28 April. Natal Attorney-General Tim McNally said that there was insufficient evidence to rebut Powell’s explanation in respect of the firearm and decided not to prosecute. Eugene De Kock was subsequently charged on various counts related to the illegal possession of weaponry transported to Powell and convicted.

123 According to De Kock, he kept a register of the recipients of weapons and ammunition but handed this to General Krappies Engelbrecht before his arrest. De Kock also claimed that he had given General Steyn of Durban a complete list of all the firearms given to Themba Khoza. This is confirmed by Rausch who states that “Eugene told me that he was ordered by the Generals to destroy all of [the documentation] which we did”.

THE AMNESTY APPLICATIONS RELATING TO THE SUPPLY OF WEAPONS BY THE SAP TO THE IFP HAVE AT THIS STAGE NOT BEEN HEARD AND THE COMMISSION IS THUS UNABLE TO MAKE A FINDING ON THIS ISSUE. HOWEVER, SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE IS AVAILABLE FOR THE COMMISSION TO MAKE A FINDING THAT FORMER SAP OPERATIVES PROVIDED SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNTS OF UNLICENSED HEAVY WEAPONRY, EXPLOSIVES AND AMMUNITION TO SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE IFP IN THE POST-1990 PERIOD.
 
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