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Amnesty Hearings


Starting Date 17 May 1999


Day 9



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CHAIRPERSON: For the record, it is Monday the 17th ... It is a session of the Amnesty Committee at the Methodist Church, Johannesburg. This morning we will be hearing the amnesty applications of Coetzee and others, in regard to the matter concerning Nokuthula Orela Simelane. The Presiding Panel is constituted as has been indicated previously on the record.

Mr Visser, would you want to go on record for those people that you represent?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may it please you. Good morning. I appear for the following persons; Coetzee, Pretorius, Williams, Mong: M-O-N-G and Ross.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Visser. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I appear on behalf of the applicants, Mkhonza, Veyi and Selamolela. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. I appear on behalf of the family of the late Nokuthula Simelane.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair. Ms Thabethe for the TRC, Evidence Leader. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ma'am. Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, just for you to make a note, Mr Lengene was also an applicant and would have been here had it not been that he's deceased - Lengene. We don't know whether there's any indication as to whether his estate might wish to continue. We certainly have no information in that regard. Before you call on me to start, Chairperson, Mr Lamey has some matters which he wants to clear with you.


MR LAMEY: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I just want to make sure that the Committee Members have been provided with the supplemented application regarding Mr Veyi. This document I understand, was distributed during the course of last week.

MR VISSER: It's Exhibit P.

MR LAMEY: Will that be exhibit ...? I understand from my learned friend, Mr Visser, that's it's Exhibit P.

CHAIRPERSON: I have a note here that there is a statement by JJ Viktor, as P and I've got Exhibit Q, which seem to be a statement by AJ Wandrag, and there is an R, which is - let's see where it is, I think it's Visser, yes it was a statement by Visser, was it?

MR VISSER: Then this would be S.

CHAIRPERSON: Then this would be yes, S. Now Mr Lamey, are there two supplementary forms or is there one?

MR LAMEY: Mr Chairman, in the bundle, on page 574, is an initial application prepared during 1996. There's an annexure to that, page 580, where reference is made to the kidnapping of Simelane. Now I might just want to get a direction from - if the Committee finds it in order, I will merely rely on the supplemented application of Mr Veyi, as that will be submitted in compliance with the Act.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we do have that. I see a supplemented application. It is one which contains certain footnotes and so forth.

MR LAMEY: That will be the Annexure S. Yes, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, very well.

MR LAMEY: The entire Exhibit S will then be the supplemented application for purposes of this incident. Mr Chairman, I may just add that a similar procedure also happened in the case of the other applicants, Mkhonza and Selamolela. What is contained in the bundles are in fact the supplemented applications. I do have a copy of the initial application where it's very similar in the case of Mr Mkhonza, in the format of that of Mr Veyi. It refers to, there is incorporated by reference a statement in the possession of the Attorney-General.

I have managed to obtain these statements, but I do wish to inform the Committee - I have given my learned friend, Mr Visser also. He had access to those statements as well as Mr van den Berg. I would submit it's not necessary to rely on that as well as the initial application. What is contained in the supplemented application is in fact also an incorporation of his statement in the Attorney-General. It has been re-signed and reaffirmed by him and I will really rely on the supplemented applications in the case of Mr Mkhonza as well as Mr Selamolela, as contained in the bundle.


MR LAMEY: If that is in order with the Committee, otherwise if need be we can then make copies of the other documents and also hand it up, but I don't want to burden the Committee unnecessarily.

ADV DE JAGER: Could you only refer us to the pages in the original of application that deals with this specific matter?

MR LAMEY: In the bundle, Mr de Jager?


MR LAMEY: I have noted that - may I just, Mr Mkhonza's supplemented application is on page 414 up to 422 of bundle 2. What has not been contained in the bundle is what I have now been referring to, is an initial application which merely refers to a statement in the possession of the Attorney-General. This supplemented application was dated the 28th of May 1997.

Mr Selamolela's supplemented application is on page 560 up to and including page 573 of the bundle, and also in this instance the initial ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: That's bundle 3.

MR LAMEY: That is in bundle 3. The initial application has not been contained, but I am not going to rely on that initial version. It has been handed into the Amnesty Committee, it's just not before your ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Now the only thing we want to compare is whether in the original one how far have you mentioned or given details of this incident.

MR LAMEY: In the initial applications, in all of them reference is made to a statement in the Attorney-General's office, but a copy of that as such I understand has not been attached to that initial application. That statement is available, I have obtained it this morning, but what has been incorporated into the supplemented application was sort of an unsigned version of that statement also. Perhaps here and there supplemented, but it has now been, it is incorporated as such in the bundle as part of his amnesty application. I don't know whether that is clear or makes it more unclear.

ADV DE JAGER: Very well, we'll ...(indistinct)

MR LAMEY: That's all from my side, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well thank you, Mr Lamey. Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Yes, thank you, Mr Chairman. I call Mr Coetzee to give evidence. He prefers to give his evidence in Afrikaans. We have prepared a statement, a written statement Chairperson, and I believe it has been handed to you. That would be marked Exhibit T then I submit.

Mr Coetzee, would you rise please?

ADV DE JAGER: Your full names?


EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, you are an applicant for amnesty in this matter, is that correct?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: The matter is related to an abduction and torture and detention of one, Nokuthula Orela Simelane, is that correct?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: How did you know this person? By which name did you know her?

MR W H J COETZEE: Sbongile, Chairperson.


MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And which name was that?

MR W H J COETZEE: That was her MK name.

MR VISSER: You have before you the general background document, which is Exhibit A, did you study this document?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Are there aspects thereof which are not of application to you or do you agree with the document as it is?

MR W H J COETZEE: I agree with it.

MR VISSER: And you request that this be incorporated with your evidence, along with the evidence to which is referred in Exhibit A, and you request that the Committee take this into consideration in the evaluation of your amnesty application.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Your application appears in bundle 2, on page 234 and following and you have given quite a lengthy explanation of your activities in the '80's with the Intelligence Unit in Soweto, is that correct?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: We will deal with that later. Do you confirm the content of your amnesty application as it appears in bundle 2?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: With regard to your amnesty application in paragraph 7 you stated "not applicable" when it referred to both subparagraphs. What is the position, were you a supporter of a political party?


MR VISSER: Which party?

MR W H J COETZEE: That National Party.

MR VISSER: Very well. And accepting that you state that your amnesty application is true and correct as far as your knowledge stretches?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: We know what the amnesty application refers to, Mr Coetzee. If we may then fix the Committee's attention on bundle 2. From page 258 of that bundle you discussed the period from 1982 up to and including 1985, during which you were in command of the Soweto Intelligence Unit, is that correct?


MR VISSER: And you state in the middle of that page, or two-thirds down the way in that page, that the primary function or role which you fulfilled was effective establishment of a crime intelligence network in Soweto. By means of structured information networks you would identify and prioritise threats within both an intelligence gathering and court oriented investigation and address these issues as such. Is that a summary of what you were busy with?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And it was about intelligence?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

ADV DE JAGER: Whose wording would this be, is it the wording of the applicant?

MR VISSER: Yes, that would be the one instance in which I can plead innocence. That would be the words of the applicant. I translated it to Afrikaans a bit further in his application. We will deal with that shortly. With this explanation you have gone as far as page 256, is that correct? - or at least you explained this in your statement.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And then I would like to move away from bundle 2 and move to Exhibit T, your affidavit and I would like for you to proceed from paragraph 1 and explain the situation to the Committee.

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, I refer to bundle 2, pages 258 to 265, in which the preceding events of the current incident are explained.

"The important aspects thereof are that since 1982, Superintendent Pretorius and I ..."


MR VISSER: Could you proceed somewhat slower so that the interpreters could have the opportunity to interpret what you say into the various languages.

MR W H J COETZEE: Very well.

MR VISSER: The important aspects?


"... hereof, are that since 1982, Superintendent Pretorius and I were tasked in the Intelligence Unit Soweto to collect covert information with regard to the revolutionary onslaught against South Africa, which was orchestrated primarily from neighbouring states and to manage and control this in a structured crime intelligence network. We were also tasked to recruit, train, manage, control and task the following categories of information sources

Members of the SAP who were deep coverage agents R contract members;

Informers who were infiltration oriented, subject to an own recruitment programme;

Informers penetration oriented;

The recruitment of suitable informers among the pier groups of the revolutionary groups.

These methods were commonly known as the so-called brainwashing actions, opportunity short term informers.

By the end of 1982, the deep coverage agents and informers had succeeded in infiltrating Umkhonto weSizwe, MK, in Swaziland and infiltrating underground MK structures in Soweto. Factual information which was obtained during this period of time indicated that the relevant MK grouping in Swaziland was under the command and control of the MK Transvaal Military Machinery and functioned as such. The machinery had planned a total terrorism onslaught in the Transvaal. External military trained MK members to Transvaal and PWV had infiltrated in order to obtain or achieve the following acts of terrorism and objectives: Establishment of covert military bases and cell structures, recruitment of military members ..."

ADV DE JAGER: Please proceed a little bit slower, every word that you are saying is being interpreted and if the interpreters cannot keep up with you everything becomes confused.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: So once you have read the sentence, please pause for a moment and then proceed with the following sentence.


"... recruitment of military members;

Recruitment of contact persons for internal and external application;

The bringing in and storage of war weaponry, including AK47 machine-guns, handgrenades and explosives;

The internal training of recruited members for the purpose of executing acts of terrorism;

The identification and reconnaissance of the following targets:

Security Force members;

SAP offices and units;

Strategic points: power stations; railway stations; petrol depots etc;

Informers and information networks;

So-called sell-outs;

The execution of acts of terrorism on abovementioned targets"

MR VISSER: Just to summarise what you have submitted in Afrikaans, does this mean that you realised that since 1982 there was a structure of MK which existed in Swaziland, which called itself MK Transvaal Military Machine?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And the objective and infiltration which was undertaken by them is what you have just summarised for the Committee.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: If we can then come to paragraph 5.


"Deep coverage agents RS269 and RS243 ..."


MR VISSER: Those were policemen who had infiltrated the freedom movements?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.


"... an informer, SWT66 ..."


MR VISSER: SWT stands for what?

MR W H J COETZEE: That is a reference from Soweto for a registered informer.

MR VISSER: Very well.


"... had at that stage succeeded in obtaining among others, access to the following

Weaponry which had already been channelised and stored in the RSA;

MK leadership elements in command and control of mentioned acts of terrorism and abovementioned actions;

Countrywide information which indicated that South Africa was aimed at an increased MK military offensive onslaught and that proactive policing actions would have to be sharpened."

MR VISSER: And by that do you indicate intelligence gathering?


"During the abovementioned period of time the Intelligence Unit succeeded in identifying and recruiting various informers in Soweto. These informers were at that stage already members of existing MK underground cell structures in the RSA, which were operated from Swaziland.

SWT66 was one of these informers who was recruited when she attempted to enter the RSA at the Oshoek Border Post, with an F1 handgrenade. After SWT66 ..."

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, you are going way too fast. Please slow down.


"After SWT66 had begun to co-operate with the Unit, she paid various visits to Swaziland during which she liaised with her MK commanders."

MR VISSER: The Unit which you mention there, is that your Unit?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

"In order to prove her sincerity in her co-operation with the SAP, she removed two explosive devices with timing mechanisms on a covert manner from an MK DLB in Swaziland, in order to hand these over to the SAPS. SWT66 helped to infiltrate RS243 and RS269 at the abovementioned underground MK structures in Swaziland."

MR VISSER: Then you had two policemen within the structure?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

"During 1983, I held a meeting in the police apartments in Custodum in Norwood. The following members were present according to my recollection: Superintendent A Pretorius, Anton Pretorius, Warrant Officer Frikkie Mong, Warrant Officer Evert Ross, Captain Freddie Williams, Sergeant J Mothiba, Sergeant L Selamolela, Sergeant Radebe, Constable Nimrod Veyi."

MR VISSER: Forgive me, Mr Coetzee, I just want you to spell this for the record. Mothiba is M-O-T-H-I-B-A, Selamolela is S-E-L-A-M-O-L-E-L-A, Radebe is R-A-D-E-B-E and Veyi is V-E-Y-I. Please proceed.


"I informed the members that the said deep-coverage agents had confirmed that an MK member who later appeared to be Nokuthula Simelane was under way to the RSA and that the relevant MK member had or would take orders from the MK leadership figures in Swaziland to the Transvaal with regard to the identification of targets who were to be attacked by internal MK operatives. Furthermore they would have a meeting with the relevant MK member.

I had previously conveyed this information to my commander, the deceased, Brigadier H Muller. During this meeting, Brigadier Muller and I discussed and considered the following options:

1. The arrest of the MK member with the objective to prosecute him, or the abduction of the MK member with the objective to exercise an immediate brainwashing action on him in order to fulfil existing intelligence gaps."

MR VISSER: So your considerations were 1) prosecute her, take her to court. That would have been the one option and the other option would be to grab her and to "arrest" her and to attempt to recruit her as an informer?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Very well, can you proceed.


"Brigadier Muller decided that the second option was to be executed. I agreed with this decision ..."


MR VISSER: You are going too fast, Mr Coetzee.

"... I agreed with this decision. Should there be a court oriented action, the relevant informer and the coverage agents identities would in all probability be publicised in order to ensure a successful prosecution. Moreover, the most important weapon during the struggle of the past was information which was obtained from persons such as the MK member. There was no statutory or other form of authorisation which would legitimise the option of abduction and consequently all actions in that regard were illegitimate."

MR VISSER: You had the meeting there in the offices there on the roof of the Norwood apartment block and then that particular day broke, what happened?


"On that particular day during August or September 1983, I can no longer recall the precise date, the movements of the said MK member were monitored by a number of members for the objective of action as mentioned herein. The members to which I am referring were involved in the action and they were all aware that the action would indicate that an abduction would take place."

MR VISSER: Could you just indicate how they were distributed, where the person was apprehended.

MR W H J COETZEE: At the Carlton Centre.

MR VISSER: Yes, but where exactly?

MR W H J COETZEE: In a restaurant.

MR VISSER: Were all the members there in the restaurant or were some of them on other places?

MR W H J COETZEE: There was only one in the restaurant, Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: And the others?

MR W H J COETZEE: They were distributed in the immediate vicinity of the restaurant.

MR VISSER: Very well. And were some of them also positioned in the basement parking area?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: You may proceed.


"I must also mention further that one cannot always foresee all events and that all of us were aware that things could go wrong, should the MK member for example begin to shoot at us. And for that reason we took care to execute the abduction in the parking area of the Carlton Centre, where the risk of death or injury of members of the public would be limited to a minimum.

My order to the members was to grab the MK member hard and fast so that he would not have the opportunity to obtain a weapon or handgrenade and use such weapons.

It was only after we had seen the MK member in the company of RS243 in the restaurant that we realised that it was a woman. Agent RS243 took the MK member to the parking area in the building, where she was grabbed. She attempted to resist and the grabbing action was consequently firm. Some of the members overpowered her and pressed her upon the ground. I can recall that me, Superintendent Pretorius and Sergeant Radebe were involved in this grab action. She obtained certain bruises and marks during this process. She was put into the boot of one of the vehicles, with Constable Radebe, as planned and we left for the Custodum apartments where we had an operational office in the living quarters of the cleaners on the roof above the 10th Floor.

At the apartments we stopped at a point which was not within public sight and Simelane was taken out of the boot of the vehicle in which she had been transported and placed on the back seat between me and Superintendent Pretorius in our motor vehicle. "

MR VISSER: You say out of sight of the public, to which public are you referring?

MR W H J COETZEE: The residents of the apartments, Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: So in other words, you parked away from the entrance to the apartment block?


MR VISSER: At what time during the day was this approximately?

MR W H J COETZEE: That was directly after the arrest.

MR VISSER: Yes, but at what time?

MR W H J COETZEE: Approximately 14H00 on that particular day.

"The reason why she was brought to our motor vehicle was to give the other members the opportunity to ensure that the residents of the apartments did not see when she would be taken into the building, to the offices.

While we waited there in the motor vehicle for the other members to return, Superintendent Pretorius and I had the first opportunity to talk to her. We confronted her with individual facts regarding the Transvaal Military Machinery, of which we knew. The objective of that was to get her to believe that we had information regarding her and her network, which would make it senseless for her to struggle. She was nervous and made certain confirmations and admissions to us. As a result of her reaction I was under the impression that she would possibly co-operate with us.

During this stage of our arrival at the apartments, Warrant Officer Ross and Captain Williams were no longer present. After the abduction they departed from us. In our operational offices on the roof of Block B, Simelane was interrogated. She was once again confronted with facts regarding MK activities in Swaziland and she was placed under the impression that we knew everything about her and her activities.

On the same day I reported to Brigadier Muller and discussed the further aspects of the matter. During these discussions it was decided with Brigadier Muller that the matter would be discussed with Security Head Office. Shortly afterwards, and I believe it was on the Monday after the Saturday on which she was abducted, Simelane was taken to a safe premises, a farm, in the Northern District North West Province."

MR VISSER: Can we just return to paragraph 27. You say that Brigadier Muller decided that the matter surrounding Simelane would be discussed with Security Head Office. Was it necessary to clear such a brainwashing action with Head Office?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, I believe it was the custom.

MR VISSER: What would the reason for that be?

MR W H J COETZEE: To inform Head Office.

MR VISSER: And did it also sometimes occur that with brainwashing actions there would be indemnity for certain actions that such a person may have committed?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And where would that be?

MR W H J COETZEE: That would be at Head Office.

MR VISSER: You went to Head Office with Brigadier Muller?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Who accompanied you?

MR W H J COETZEE: We were accompanied by Captain Williams.

MR VISSER: And what did you tell Brigadier Schoon there?

MR W H J COETZEE: That particular grabbing action was submitted to him as well as the immediate information objectives.

MR VISSER: Did he agree with your activities?


MR VISSER: And did he give his permission for you to continue?


MR VISSER: Very well. You have come to paragraph 28, but before you proceed, in the motor vehicle whilst Simelane was seated between you and Williams, was she assaulted by anybody?


MR VISSER: Who assaulted her?

MR W H J COETZEE: I slapped her around a few times.

MR VISSER: Why did you do that?

MR W H J COETZEE: During her confrontation with certain information.

MR VISSER: Was that supposed to have an intimidating effect?


MR VISSER: If you will go to paragraph 28. You have just said that you took her to a safe premises that was on a farm in the Northern District, in the North West Province. Please proceed.


"It was here that she was intermittently interrogated by myself, Superintendent Pretorius, Warrant Officer Mong and certain black members, either individually or collectively.

MR VISSER: Please proceed with paragraph 29.


"As far as I can recall, only the following members visited the farm and assisted with her interrogation and reorientation, to a lessor or greater extent, myself, Superintendent A Pretorius, Warrant Officer FB Mong, Sergeant FB Lengene, Sergeant J Mothiba, Sergeant Nimrod Veyi and the informer by the name of Strongman."

MR VISSER: Sergeant Lengene is deceased, is that correct?


MR VISSER: And Mr Mothiba, or Sergeant Mothiba?

MR W H J COETZEE: He's also deceased.

MR VISSER: Very well.


"The interrogation and turning of Simelane was accompanied by assaults which were taken out upon her. These assaults took place during the first week."

MR VISSER: Is that how you recall it?


MR VISSER: Because some of the other applicants maintain that it continued for a longer period of time. What is your recollection thereof?

MR W H J COETZEE: I deny that.

MR VISSER: Very well. What would the reason be for the cessation of the assaults?

MR W H J COETZEE: Because we had already succeeded in recruiting her.

MR VISSER: Do you say that this took place within approximately a week?

MR W H J COETZEE: It took place over a period of time.

MR VISSER: Please continue.


"The manner of assaults was to strike her face with the flat hand, to punch her with the fist in her back and sides and to suffocate her by means of using a wet back, which was the common practice in the correctional facilities. The bag would be pulled over her head so that she would suffocate until she began to lose her breath. As far as any other method of assault or allegation of any method of assault by any other applicants, I have no knowledge of it and I deny that this took place in my presence."

MR VISSER: SÍ u dit is to som totaal van die wyses van aanranding wat u hierso so pas beskryf het? - wat u van bewus is?

MR W H J COETZEE: Ja, mnr die Voorsitter.

MR VISSER: Goed. 32?


"My share in the assault was that at both the apartments and on the farm I slapped her and punched her in the back and the sides and used the suffocating bag method on her. The assaults were serious and could even have been regarded as torture."

MR VISSER: Was any shocking device used on Ms Simelane?


MR VISSER: Just for more background, the place where you stayed on the farm, could you give a brief description of this for the Committee.

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, it was a very small room with a steel door and one narrow window at that back, which was used as a storage room.

MR VISSER: And for the times that the Security Force members guarded her there, the members who stayed over there, where did they stay?

MR W H J COETZEE: With her in the room and sometimes also outside the room.

MR VISSER: Outside the room itself?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And while it is still relevant we could discuss it now, was she cuffed?


ADV DE JAGER: Was this a single free-standing room or was it part of the building?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was a single free-standing room.

MR VISSER: Was she bound in any way?


MR VISSER: Can you tell us how?

MR W H J COETZEE: She was bound with foot-cuffs to the bed and her hands were also cuffed, but only at night.

MR VISSER: So you mean during the day she was free and at night she was bound?

MR W H J COETZEE: During the day she was bound by foot-cuffs.

MR VISSER: And what was the reason for cuffing her?

MR W H J COETZEE: To prevent her escape.

MR VISSER: Can you proceed with paragraph 33.


"The assaults on Simelane were committed with the objective of convincing to co-operate with the Security Branch and to convince ourselves that she was being sincere in her co-operation.

When a newly recruited informer would be replaced in the system, he would have to be provided with certain information in order to establish communication channels. In this process it was thus unavoidable that the identities of other informers and/or agents had to be made known to him. If the person was not sincere, he would immediately make the identities of such informers and agents known to the enemy, which would surely lead to their death.

I deny that any shocking device was used on her, as testified by Selamolela in his amnesty application, bundle 3, page 567. I have no knowledge thereof that Simelane was thrown into the dam by Radebe, as Selamolela testified in his amnesty application."

MR VISSER: Please give us the reference, that's bundle 3, page 567, right? Very well.


"All of us had to wash in the dam and I don't know if it is that to which he is referring. The allegation, (bundle 3, page 567) that Simelane was so seriously assaulted that she unrecognisable is untrue. If he means to say that her face was swollen upon certain occasions during the first week of interrogation, I would admit it.

Simelane was interrogated by myself, Superintendent Pretorius and AO Mong, Warrant Officer Mong and some of the black members on the farm. Some of the black members also acted as interpreters. The method was to request her to compile a statement which would explain her role and knowledge of MK activities. She was also requested to identify certain persons in photo albums. Warrant Officer Mong was largely involved in this.

After this we removed aspects of her written statement and requested her to rewrite those portions. If she then provided other information regarding the same subjects, or omitted to identify the people in the photo albums, who we knew she would be able to identify, she would be assaulted.

During the period of her detention and interrogation she exposed the MK structures and functioning within an without Swaziland ..."


MR VISSER: Can you just pause for a moment there please.

I see it's now half past eleven, I don't know how you want to rule in regard to the tea time. With regard to the tea time, do you want us to take the break now or to do on for a while? I'm completely in your hands. I don't know whether there are arrangements for your tea time. We don't get tea, so it doesn't affect us at all.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think carry on until half past.

MR VISSER: Until half past.

Mr Coetzee, please proceed. You had just begun to tell us what the method of work was.


"Other members and I were obliged from time to time to follow up information which we received from Simelane. Sometimes only black members were with her.

During the period of time in which Simelane was detained on the farm I was involved in the arrest of terrorists, based on information which was received from Simelane. Examples thereof would be certain MK Mpho, (bundle 2, page 276). I'm in possession of photographs in which MK Mpho was photographed with weaponry in which possession of he was found during arrest."

MR VISSER: Do you have these photographs here?

MR W H J COETZEE: They are in the building, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Perhaps you just want to have a look at it, seeing that this is the same gentleman who telephoned - not the same? Oh. The photographs simply depict a man who is obviously cuffed, with his hands behind his back, in the presence of some quantity of weapons of war, Chairperson.

Proceed with the following sentence and then we can finish there.


"Information from Simelane directly or indirectly let to the fact that we later arrested 18 persons after she returned to Swaziland ..."
MR VISSER: Chairperson, attached to the statement, Exhibit T of Mr Coetzee, we have attached for your information such news clippings as we could lay our hands on. We are not suggesting for a moment that everything is necessarily of importance or even relevant, but some of it is. Chairperson, one of the documents, I'm told it's the last three, you will find -unfortunately these clippings had been cut out some time ago and we don't have dates for all of them, Chairperson, but the third-last page under the heading: "Police Strike Hard at ANC. Le Grange states 18 identified members of the banned African National Congress, as well as numerous active supporters have been arrested and detained by the Security Police in the last three months."

And the article goes over the page, Chairperson, and then there's an Afrikaans version as well, which states the same thing:

"18 Trained Terrorists Apprehended."

Perhaps this is a convenient stage to take the break, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we'll adjourn for 15 minutes.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, you are still under oath. Do you understand that?




Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Coetzee, you had reached the point before the adjournment at which you informed the Committee that whilst Simelane was detained on the farm by you, you arrested one person in possession of weaponry.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And you said that while, or after she returned to Swaziland a further 18 persons were arrested.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Were there also other weapons involved in these arrests, which were possessed?

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Visser, can I just ask a quick question, just a bit of clarity. The farm that you referred to, was that owned by the Security Branch? Just explain the farm itself.

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, the farm belonged to a private person. It was just the opportunity which was presented to us, to use the relevant room for a limited period of time.

ADV GCABASHE: Was this somebody who was attached in any way to the Security Forces?

MR W H J COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: And was this a private arrangement between yourself and this person, or was it a general arrangement this person had with different divisions in the Security Forces? Just explain please.

MR W H J COETZEE: A private arrangement, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: And such private arrangements were authorised essentially by your superiors? Just to clarify.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: That's the one. Then the other one was the period that Simelane was detained by you, I calculated it at about five weeks, one week here and then about four weeks at the farm. Just help me if I'm wrong.

MR W H J COETZEE: It was approximately four to five weeks.

ADV GCABASHE: And then one last aspect. You know I notice you refer to RS243, RS269 - I know you've done that previously, these were people who you say were policemen who had infiltrated the ANC?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Just for convenience, can you mention their names? I'm sure one of them has actually applied for amnesty. If it's not Mong, it's one of them. I don't think there's a difficulty is there, with mentioning the names just so that it makes sense once one has read through all the affidavits, as to who exactly you are talking about. Is there a difficulty? - they are policemen after all.

MR W H J COETZEE: The one, RS243 was Sergeant Mkhonza.

ADV GCABASHE: Yes, and the other one?

MR W H J COETZEE: And RS269 was Sergeant Langa.

ADV GCABASHE: That helps. If you could refer to those names rather, then one can tie up the pieces more readily. Thank you.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Chair.

Would you proceed with paragraph 45:


"Simelane's orders from MK was to convey the three target identifications to the agents RS243 ..."


MR VISSER: That would be Mkhonza and Langa.


"... and Sergeant Langa. In order to protect her and to prevent that the ANC become suspicious because she was away for such a long period of time, those three targets were attacked by us. These targets were the following

The Fairlands Substation in Randburg;

The Bryanston North Power Substation in Sandton; and the main railway line between Johannesburg and Natal."

I was involved in the Bryanston explosion, along with Superintendent Pretorius and Sergeant Langa. With Randburg it was Warrant Officer Mong, Superintendent, the then Captain Williams and Warrant Officer Ross, as well as Mkhonza. Both these incidents with regard to the substations, took place on the 10th of September 1983."

MR VISSER: And that is also in your application for amnesty in bundle 2, page 245?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: You have requested amnesty for your involvement in this?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

"As a result of these explosions we were capable of sending the two Sergeants back to Swaziland. The explosions served to prevent any suspicion surrounding them because they were supposed to have been involved in the attacks. In other words it fortified their credibility ..."

MR VISSER: Let me just see if I understand you correctly. Simelane had messages about targets and she had to convey this to Mkhonza, am I correct?


MR VISSER: And the idea was then that Mkhonza and Langa would be involved in the attack on these targets. Is that what they thought in Swaziland?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, in a nutshell.

MR VISSER: Very well, continue.


"The recruitment of Simelane took place over a period of time, which spanned over several days. We had to ensure ourselves that her information was correct. We also had to be satisfied that she was sincere in her indications that she would co-operate with the SAPS ..."


MR VISSER: It wasn't the SAPS, it was the SAP, correct?


"Approximately two weeks before she was to be sent back to Swaziland, we were satisfied that she had been recruited. She was then also registered as an opportunity source at the Soweto Security Branch. It took place during her stay on the farm. I registered her along with myself and Pretorius as her handlers.

With Simelane's stay and reorientation at the aforesaid farm, her personal needs were consistently seen to. In other words, toiletries, food, new clothing and others, in order to ensure her consistent favourable attitude and co-operation ..."

MR VISSER: That was after she was recruited?


MR VISSER: Before the time one or two of the applicants said that she was dressed in a brown police overall.

MR W H J COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Please proceed.

ADV GCABASHE: Again just for clarity, up to what point - because the impression I had from reading the affidavit was it was right at the end that she got her clothing and toiletries and the rest back, just give us an idea, are you talking about a week before you released her, two weeks before you released her, one day before you released her?

MR W H J COETZEE: During that period.

ADV DE JAGER: What is your answer? The question is; when during that period? We know that it was during that period. Was it the first day or the last day or two weeks thereafter, when exactly was this?

MR W H J COETZEE: I would say that it was approximately during the last two weeks.

ADV GCABASHE: So in the last two weeks she was dressed as any young lady would be dressed, but still in detention and still bound etc., etc?

MR W H J COETZEE: No, Chairperson, only upon her departure was she dressed in private or civilian clothing.

MR VISSER: And that was right at the end?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, right at the end.

CHAIRPERSON: I beg your pardon, what did she receive during the last two weeks?

MR W H J COETZEE: Her new clothing as well as toiletries such as lotions and female products.

CHAIRPERSON: Could she use it?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, she did.

CHAIRPERSON: The toiletries?


CHAIRPERSON: And the clothing?

MR W H J COETZEE: She kept the clothing and upon her departure she donned the clothing.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Thank you.

You then explain how you were present on the farm, paragraph 51, and you say that you were not always there together, but that you would intermittently be there and that all of you had the opportunity to mind or see to her.

MR W H J COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Paragraph 52 appears to be a reiteration. We can just continue. Would you please proceed from paragraph 53.


"After finishing off the outstanding issues of an operational programme and the direction of the handling group and manners of future communication, she was replaced in Swaziland. Sergeant J Mothiba and Sergeant Langa, who were members of the handling group, were directly responsible for the transport of Simelane to Swaziland. Only Superintendent Pretorius, Sergeant Mothiba, Sergeant Langa and I made the final arrangements surrounding Sbongile's management."

MR VISSER: Proceed. Or perhaps we should just stop here for a moment, because this does not appear in the documents. The practical transport of Simelane from the farm to Swaziland, could you explain to the Committee what happened and how it happened.

MR W H J COETZEE: I gave Sergeant Mong the order to join Sergeant Mothiba on the farm and to move through with Simelane to Potchefstroom.

MR VISSER: With which vehicle?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was a panel van.

MR VISSER: What sort of vehicle was it?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was a mobile office.

MR VISSER: Was it a Datsun?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was a bus.

MR VISSER: And a panel van would mean that there were no glass windows, you couldn't see out or in?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: You couldn't see in from outside?

MR W H J COETZEE: Well let me put it this way, you could see the road ahead from inside, but from outside you couldn't see into the vehicle.

MR VISSER: And did the two officers transport Simelane to Potchefstroom?

MR W H J COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Why Potchefstroom?

MR W H J COETZEE: We were also involved in cross-border handling of informers, as well as the tasking of informers in Botswana and on that particular day we were attending a meeting, and that is the reason why they were taken to Potchefstroom.

MR VISSER: Did you meet them in Potchefstroom?


MR VISSER: And what happened next?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was there that we took over from them.

MR VISSER: Who are "we"?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was me and Superintendent Pretorius.

MR VISSER: What happened next?

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, we placed her with Sergeant Langa in his vehicle at another point.

MR VISSER: And at this stage she was not cuffed or bound by hand or feet?


MR VISSER: And what was the order which you gave to Sergeant Langa?

MR W H J COETZEE: Sergeant Langa and Simelane would continue, discuss her programme and major issues for a debriefing session on that day.

MR VISSER: Did they remain there in Potchefstroom?

MR W H J COETZEE: No, later on they moved through to Soweto.

MR VISSER: Mr Veyi maintains that you met him on the Carltonville/Fochville near Potchefstroom, you only you. What do you say about that?

MR W H J COETZEE: It is possible, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Can you recall that?

MR W H J COETZEE: I cannot recall it.

MR VISSER: He says that during this meeting you drove a Ford motor vehicle and opened the boot and that he saw Simelane in the boot.

MR W H J COETZEE: I deny that.

MR VISSER: Very well. Simelane and Langa have left for Soweto, you honoured your appointment with Veyi, where did you go then?

MR W H J COETZEE: We attended a meeting with regard to Botswana matters.

MR VISSER: And when you concluded that?

MR W H J COETZEE: We moved back through to Johannesburg.

MR VISSER: Did you see Langa and Simelane again?



MR W H J COETZEE: It was in the vicinity of Soweto.

MR VISSER: And what happened?

MR W H J COETZEE: Sergeant Mothiba joined us with Sergeant Langa and Simelane.

MR VISSER: What happened?

MR W H J COETZEE: The programme was once again discussed and her immediate orders with regard to communication and problem areas which she may experience were discussed.

MR VISSER: What happened next?

MR W H J COETZEE: Sergeant Langa and Sergeant Mothiba left in a vehicle to see her off at the RSA/Swaziland border.

MR VISSER: Near which border post was she to be dropped off?

MR W H J COETZEE: At Oshoek.

MR VISSER: So you drove, or they drove from Soweto to Middleburg, to Carolina, to Oshoek?

MR W H J COETZEE: I assume that they would have used that route.

MR VISSER: Did you give any orders regarding how she was to cross the border post, how she was to enter Swaziland?

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, her orders were to climb through the fence.

MR VISSER: Why wasn't she taken through the border post itself?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was part of her strategic programme in the event of her being exposed.

MR VISSER: And what was the strategic programme?

MR W H J COETZEE: It was to put the blame on somebody else.

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, how did you do this, how did you want to do this?

MR W H J COETZEE: Her passport was there where she stayed when she came into the country and she was supposed to go through the fence. Should there have been any questions regarding the period of her absence and her arrest, we provided an alternative for her to place the blame on the shoulders of another person, and that is why we sent her through the fence.

MR VISSER: If we could return to Exhibit T, paragraph 65. You made all these arrangements with her, she had been debriefed and she would visit certain rendezvous points, what happened next?

MR W H J COETZEE: We had no further contact with her again.

MR VISSER: Did she honour any other appointment?


MR VISSER: What did you accept then?

MR W H J COETZEE: We accepted that somewhere along the line there had been problems.

MR VISSER: In what respect?

MR W H J COETZEE: That she had possibly been confronted and that there had been an arrest or that she had taken the blame.

MR VISSER: Please continue, paragraph 66.


"At this stage we ..."


MR VISSER: I beg your pardon.

"At a stage we had information that some of our RSA members and informers had been identified by ANC/MK in Swaziland and it led to the fact that they had to be withdrawn."

MR VISSER: Can you recall when this took place?

MR W H J COETZEE: Negative, but it was during that period of time and thereafter.

"Insofar as it has been suggested that Simelane was murdered by us, it is untrue. It is my own conviction that she was killed by her comrades in MK. I have been informed that in the ANC's submission to the Truth Commission, they admitted that they killed some of their own members. Various murders and attempts to murder in especially MK, during the early '80's abroad, is popularly know.

In the Sowetan of 15 February 1995, there was an articles about Umkhonto weSizwe member, Nokuthula Simelane. In her case it emerges clearly that MK members who were involved in her case gave ambivalent and diverging answers and explanations to her parents.

The actions and omissions which I committed, I committed in the execution of my official duties and as a member of the opposition to the struggle. These actions were aimed against supporters of a liberation movement. What I did, I did in order to protect the government and the interests of the National Party and to combat the revolutionary onslaught."

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, could we just fix the Committee's attention upon the report to which you referred. It has been attached to this document. I'm sorry that I have to work from the back in, but for some or other reason we have bound these documents back to front. It is the fourth last news clipping. You will see the heading: "Sowetan" and it's dated Monday, February 6, 1995. I'd like to read some of this to you, Chairperson, as it will fill in some of the gaps in the application before you and give a better understanding of what the other witnesses might say. It says

"Police arrested and killed an Umkhonto weSizwe cadre 12 years ago, and buried her without trace. A former Security Branch Constable has admitted. Nokuthula Simelane was on an MK mission in Johannesburg in September 1983, when she went missing. It was later discovered that the man she was to meet at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, was a police informer, but the trail died there and despite 12 years of searching by her parents, Matthew and Ernestina Simelane, everything remains a blank.

This weekend a member of the Police Security Branch Unit, that operated out of Soweto, said Simelane had been arrested when one of their informers set a trap for her.

Simelane was taken to a farm near Thabazimbi in the North Western Transvaal and kept there for almost two months, he revealed. He was part of a unit of nine men who gathered intelligence on activists."

A little lower down:

"Constable X, who prefers not to be named at this stage, said the black members of the unit guarded Simelane while the white members tortured her."

And then a little lower down.

"He described how one day the leader of the unit drove around with Simelane, in handcuffs and leg irons, lying in the boot of his car. She was still alive and lying crouched on the floor, he recalled."

A little lower down there's a heading:

"Shot Dead and Buried"

The article says:

"When he saw a picture of Simelane and an article of her disappearance in the Sowetan last week, he had no doubt that she was the captive he guarded. The last time he saw her, she was still alive and being held on the farm. After he was sent back to Soweto, he enquired after the woman and he was told: "Moenie baie vrae vra nie", was the reply he got from one of his superiors. Later he was told by a Sergeant that the two white leaders of the (I can't make that out on my copy, Chairperson)

CHAIRPERSON: "Of the unit".


"... of the unit (thank you) had shot dead and buried Simelane in Rustenburg. A Sowetan team accompanied Constable X to the farm in Northum outside Thabazimbi, where he said Simelane was held."

That will no doubt be evidence given to you, Chairperson. We have - Coetzee has just referred to the enquiries that have been made. The previous page, Chairperson, is one under the heading:

"Burden of Guilt lifted on Mr X"

And in the fourth column, well the bottom of the third column it starts by saying:

"For more than a decade they had traversed (referring to the parents of Ms Simelane) traversed South Africa in search of Nokuthula. Investigations in Swaziland where she lived with uncles and studied at the university, drew constant blanks and sowed greater confusion.

No MK person there was able to give the Simelane's a straight answer. Only 10 years after her disappearance did a cadre names, Mpho Mpau, alias Mpho, Servate, alias Gilbert Twala, confirm that he had sent her on an operation to Johannesburg."

And then skipping a sentence.

"A visit to Gaberone added to their confusion. Some MK people said Nokuthula was studying in Tanzania. Someone in Tanzania said she was in London."

And that is really what Coetzee has now being referring to, Chairperson. Perhaps while we're on the newspapers, from the top, Chairperson, the second page contains a photograph of Ms Simelane in the Sowetan on the 22nd of May 1997, and it just refers in the second paragraph:

"Former Security Branch Commanders, Colonel Willem Coetzee and Anton Pretorius were suspended from duty a year ago. They were suspended suspected of supervising the arrest, detention and torture of Simelane, a university of Swaziland student who had served in the South African National Congress underground."

And then Chairperson, there's an article which may by of some value to you in this regard if one starts enquiring as to what might have happened to her. And it shows the efforts made by especially, Ernestina Simelane, in order to trace her child and what information she was given. I'm not going to read the whole article, that whole article appears to us, with respect, to be relevant.

Mr Coetzee, there is a suggestion that you killed Simelane and buried her in the vicinity of Rustenburg. You are aware of that allegation?


MR VISSER: Is there any truth to that?

MR W H J COETZEE: I deny it.

MR VISSER: What was your objective with Ms Simelane?

MR W H J COETZEE: The replacement of Simelane within the ranks of the liberation movement.

MR VISSER: Where would she have been of the greatest value to you?

MR W H J COETZEE: Within the ranks of MK.

MR VISSER: Then there is also an allegation that somebody asked you, and he will surely give evidence regarding this - I think it was Mr Mkhonza, that he later asked you what had happened to her and that you told him not to ask too many questions. Is that correct?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, that's possible.

MR VISSER: If you had said that to him, what would the reason for that have been?

MR W H J COETZEE: The need-to-know basis and the fortification of operational security.

MR VISSER: What do you mean by that?

MR W H J COETZEE: The identity, Mr Chairperson, of informers or persons who were connected to an intelligence network was intensely guarded during their placement in operations. And the primarily role of the handler would be to protect the identity and working method of such a person in order to prevent that such a person be identified or to avoid or prevent that the intelligence network be exposed, or that this person be killed by the other party.

MR VISSER: When you "identify", do you mean identify as an informer?


MR VISSER: In other words, it would not be correct to spread the fact that Ms Simelane had become an informer, to spread that fact too widely?

MR W H J COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: The black members who were present on the farm in Northum, while you were trying to recruit Ms Simelane as an informer, did they know what you were busy with or did you attempt to disguise what you were trying to do, that you were trying to recruit her as an informer?

MR W H J COETZEE: Sergeant Mothiba was the fatherly authoritative figure and he was the member who was consistently informed. Simelane herself requested that her identify, and her situation was very sensitive, that this be managed on a need-to-know basis. That was a promise which we observed from our side.

MR VISSER: So the short answer would be that you attempted to keep this back from the other members, with the exception of Mothiba?

MR W H J COETZEE: Along with Sergeant Langa.

MR VISSER: Yes, so that would include Langa. Then with regard to your evidence, you request amnesty for your involvement in the abduction and illegal or illegitimate detention of Simelane, the assaults which were committed against her and anything emanating from any other offence or delict, including defeating the ends of justice in that you did not make known the full and relevant facts.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Visser.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you still a police officer?

MR W H J COETZEE: Can you repeat the question, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: Are you still a police officer?

MR W H J COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The newspaper article, is it correct that you were suspended?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, it is.

CHAIRPERSON: With regard to this incident?

MR W H J COETZEE: Because of the newspaper reports? Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do then, did you retire or what happened then?

MR W H J COETZEE: No, Chairperson, I was found medically unfit.

CHAIRPERSON: In which year was that?

MR W H J COETZEE: A year ago, Chairperson.


MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, it was in 1998, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lamey, questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Thank you, Chairperson. Chairperson, I'm going to start with my questioning insofar as it is relevant to my clients. I would just like to mention that before the questioning of Mr Coetzee commenced I had received Exhibit T. I have tried during the tea break to receive instructions. I have not yet completed receiving instructions, but I will have to receive certain instructions. Just bear with me please.

Mr Coetzee, I will call you Mr Coetzee. I don't know what your rank was when you retired. What was your rank?

MR W H J COETZEE: I was a Superintendent, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: What was your rank at the time of this incident?

MR W H J COETZEE: I was a Lieutenant, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And is it correct that Mr Veyi was a Constable at that stage and Mr Mkhonza, the undercover agent, was also a Constable and Mr Selamolela was a Sergeant?

MR W H J COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: The meeting that was arranged beforehand, is it correct that Mr Mkhonza was instrumental as an undercover agent with this meeting that would take place at the Carlton Centre?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: In your supplementary application, Exhibit T, you say that the members to whom you refer, that is paragraph 15, page 7 of Exhibit T, you refer there to Sergeant Selamolela, Constable Veyi, that they were all aware that the action would entail a kidnapping, is that correct?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Now I would like to ask you, were the members aware that it was planned to turn this person?

MR W H J COETZEE: I assume that they knew, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But I don't understand quite well. Later in your evidence you said that with regard to Sergeant Mothiba and Sergeant Langa, the other members did not know that eventually she was turned and would be used as a source for your branch.

MR W H J COETZEE: As I have mentioned, she was handled on a need-to-know basis.

CHAIRPERSON: If it was indeed so, how would the other members - if it was handled on a need-to-know basis, I would think to myself that right from the beginning it would have been handled on a need-to-know basis because if everybody knew beforehand that there was to be a turning action and that the person was taken away later, they would be able to add two and two that this person was turned and that knowledge should have been saved from them.

MR W H J COETZEE: The need-to-know basis, Chairperson, to which I had referred was the tasking and placing and her future activities in the neighbouring countries.

MR LAMEY: But Mr Coetzee, when I refer to turning, it's that the member of MK is turned and would be used by the Security Branch.

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, they may have suspected that she was an informer but they had no clearance as to what her specific tasks were and what her future activities would be.

MR LAMEY: Why I asked this question is because Mr Selamolela, these are my instructions, did not know what was to happen exactly. He received instructions to accompany somebody to the Carlton Centre and what had happened there, he was under the impression at that stage that it was an arrest.

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, but an arrest abduction, to which I have referred.

MR LAMEY: But what I want to know from you is, would you concede that he could possibly not have known that it was necessarily kidnapping or abduction at that stage and what the purpose thereof was? All the members, all your subordinates did not have knowledge of all the details as to what was to happen, but during time, as the events unfolded, this is how they became aware of what had happened, that the person had been abducted and would be interrogated?

MR W H J COETZEE: It is possible, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: How long were you attached to the Security Branch before this incident?

MR W H J COETZEE: Approximately a year-and-a-half, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And before that, were you elsewhere in the Security Branch?

MR W H J COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you recall at how many opportunities before this interrogation of this relevant person, Simelane, were you involved previously with interrogations of, let's call it abducted persons or arrested persons?

MR W H J COETZEE: Several, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you recall the number?

MR W H J COETZEE: Negative, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you give an approximation, 10, 20, 30, more than 50?

MR W H J COETZEE: It's difficult to say, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you give us no indication as to how many interrogations and after arrests or after abductions you were involved with?

MR W H J COETZEE: With several, but I cannot give you any indication as to a number.

MR LAMEY: Then I would like to ask if you cannot recall, how can you specifically recall in this instance - or can I put it in this way, at the previous instances with interrogations, was assault involved? Were the detainees assaulted?

MR W H J COETZEE: From time to time, Chairperson, yes.

MR LAMEY: Can you remember in each of those instances, how this person was assaulted, whether he was kicked, hit or a wet bag put over the head, or whether electric shocks were applied? Can you distinguish in all those instances?

MR W H J COETZEE: Not in detail, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: In your further submission, Exhibit T, I would just like to put it to you - before that, may I just ask, Mr Mkhonza was not involved with any questioning?

MR W H J COETZEE: Negative, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Not at Norwood, and later at the farm.

MR W H J COETZEE: No, Chairperson, not according to my knowledge.

MR LAMEY: Is it correct that Mr Mkhonza was actually sought of "arrested" along with Simelane as sort of to project the image that she, or that his cover would not be blown.

MR W H J COETZEE: Not that I can recall, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Is it possible?

MR W H J COETZEE: It is ...(intervention)

MR LAMEY: That there was pretence of an arrest with regards to him during her arrest?

MR W H J COETZEE: I cannot recall this specific instance, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Your evidence would be that he was also sort of "arrested" as a front. My instructions are that - or before I ask that, are you sure that she was arrested on a Saturday and as early as the Monday after that weekend, she was taken to the farm or could it have been a little longer? Mr Selamolela as well as Mr Veyi recalls that it was not as soon as the Monday afterwards, they approximate about a week or so. It must have been later that week that she was transported to the farm.

MR W H J COETZEE: According to my knowledge it was the Monday, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Are you certain of this, or do you allow for any room that she might have been taken there later in the week?

MR W H J COETZEE: Chairperson, I am certain that it was the Monday.

MR LAMEY: Very well. My instructions are that it differs from your evidence and it was definitely not as early as the Monday. The place where she was initially interrogated, was that the Norwood Police married quarters?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: I think you gave it another name.

MR COETZEE: Custodum, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Is that the same place?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it is, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And she was also assaulted during the initial detention. Let's call it the Norwood quarters.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you recall how she was assaulted?

MR COETZEE: At that stage Chairperson, as I've already described, with a wet bag and punching her.

MR LAMEY: Mr Selamolela would give evidence that during the first part of her detention she was not assaulted in his presence, but it was clear that she was indeed assaulted and that her face was swollen because of what he deduced was an assault on her. Do you agree?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I do, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And when she was arrested she wore jeans.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And later she was wearing a brown police overall.

MR COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Did she wear this overall at the Norwood quarters?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall where she started wearing it, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Very well. And then specifically my instructions are also that on the farm where she was detained there was relatively intense interrogation, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: At the farm was she willing to give you any answers to the information that you wanted?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: At which stage?

MR COETZEE: Already as early as after her arrest, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Was this tangible evidence of her participation? Did she give the information freely to you?

MR COETZEE: Part of it, yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: My instructions are that the information that you wanted there in general was the movements of other MK insurgents, hiding places, weapons and so forth. Did you want that information there?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And you say with the first initial period of detention she gave positive information?

MR COETZEE: Yes, we received positive information from her there, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Were all the indications that she would give her co-operation to you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Why was she then assaulted on the farm, can you explain this?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, there were certain instances where she did not want to commit herself.

MR LAMEY: How did you know that?

MR COETZEE: Because of the continuous interrogation and the fact, Chairperson, that she went on writing with some input as to some incidents, persons and subjects which were identified by her in the photo album, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Did she tell you any lies during the interrogation? In other words, did you realise that she was not giving her co-operation in all instances?

MR COETZEE: There were stages when she did not give us everything, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Is it correct that - how long was she or how long was the period according to you recollection, that she was detained on the farm? Forget about the period at the Norwood quarters.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, it was about a month, five weeks.

MR LAMEY: Was it a month to five weeks?

MR COETZEE: According to me, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you please explain why she was detained so long if she in the majority gave her co-operation?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, we had everything in writing. She had to draw up a statement with regard to every person she identified and whether a person was trained abroad or internally and their status and the photo album. Her knowledge was of such a nature that it took a reasonable time to give us all this information because during these, we had to go and evaluate these inputs from her.

MR LAMEY: May I ask you in this manner, if she was willing to co-operate from the first instance and, did she also show indications that she will turn? In other words, that she would work as an informant for you from an early stage?

MR COETZEE: Can you repeat the question please.

MR LAMEY: At which stage during this whole period of detention did her willingness to turn, in other words her willingness to work as an informant for you, when did this manifest itself?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, from about the second week. Right from the start she co-operated, but her in-depth inputs surround aspects which we had no knowledge of came from around about yes, the second week, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: After the second week was she still assaulted?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: It if is indeed so and she already - are you referring to the second week on the farm?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: She showed her willingness to act as a source or informant, why did you detain her with foot-cuffs and kept her at such a remote place? Why didn't you bring her closer where the circumstances would be much more comfortable, where you can get this information from her at a comfortable pace and handle this debriefing?

MR COETZEE: The fact why she was detained, Chairperson, in foot-cuffs was a strategic one to prevent that she escaped. We were on private premises. And with regard to the background of the person herself, in terms of the MK structures, in terms of how they functioned, they knew of very many aspects, the observation of places, that was part of their tasking. Secondly, the foot-cuffs would be because we agreed that we would not expose later to all our members that she was an agent and that members would be under the impression or would remain under the impression, the majority of the members, that she was just interrogated.

MR LAMEY: And to maintain this front of interrogation, this front of the interrogation with regard to the other members, was this accompanied by assaults?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Why was she taken away from the Norwood quarters to the farm?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, it was premises or it was the quarters of the workers at the flats. We were not authorised to work there, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Why did you not take her to the farm right from the beginning?

MR COETZEE: It was not arranged yet, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Very well. When she gave her co-operation after the second week and it seemed that she had turned, why did you not bring her back to the offices where you interrogate detainees, or to some other suitable place in Johannesburg?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, seen on the background of her operational function, we had no other facility to take her to.

MR LAMEY: Is it also correct that during this period of her detention on the farm, there was a sort of relay between the members of the unit? In other words, everybody was not continually there, teams came and they went?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Selamolela will say that, and he will agree with you in the major part with regard to the assault during his presence there, and he also says that with regard to the interrogation and the assaults they were led by yourself and Mr Pretorius, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, by myself.

MR LAMEY: And their task was to watch her and to hold her during interrogation, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And he will also give evidence that from time to time he had to, his participation was more than holding on to her during interrogation, he slapped her, he can recall kicking her.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Selamolela, my instructions are that he was not actually an active member, but he acted more as an interpreter. He was not active in the assault except for the fact that he had to keep her and that he had to watch her.

MR COETZEE: That's possible, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But what they can indeed recall, and I think you've already conceded to it, that there was a bag placed over her head at some stage. What they also recall specifically, this is Mr Veyi as well as Mr Selamolela, that apparatus was used to apply electrical shocks to her.

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson. I cannot think that we would have used something like that, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what does that mean?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I am unaware during my presence that such apparatus was indeed applied or by any of the members.

CHAIRPERSON: So you deny it?

MR COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson, I deny it.

CHAIRPERSON: There were not shock apparatus ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: In my presence, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Of course. You can only speak of your presence.

MR LAMEY: My instructions are further that it did take place in your presence, the instance that they saw it.

MR COETZEE: I deny it, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: I asked you previously that you were involved with several interrogations in the past and several assaults, why do you specifically recall this incident, why do you exclude the fact, that if they say that they will testify, why is not possible that it could have happened or that it could have happened in your presence but that you specifically cannot recall it?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the circumspect of the person, that is why I can recall this instance. Secondly, it was a lady, a woman.

MR LAMEY: What specifically in this case lets you remember the manner of the assaults, other than the other instances?

MR COETZEE: Because of the time that I spent with her, Chairperson. The scope and the management of the particular operation afterwards, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, I see it's 1 o'clock, would this be a suitable time?

CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn until 2 o'clock.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, you are still under oath.




Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Coetzee, my instructions from Mr Veyi as well as Mr Selamolela is that the shifts worked in the following; that both of them approximately once a week for a period during that week were at the farm and with regard to their relieving, it happened about four times over a period of four to five weeks, is that correct? Is that how you worked, that these members came back and then they went out again? But both say that at four instances they visited the farm and the last instance was approximately between the fourth and fifth week.

MR COETZEE: It is possible, Mr Chairperson. Where some members were present more than other members, I would imagine that Mothiba was more used at a later stage with her presence, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Veyi and Mr Selamolela differ from the evidence in that they say that as far as you say that she was provided with toiletries and received new clothing by the end, they dispute that, they say that the last time when they visited the farm, by the fourth or fifth week, she was still wearing this brown overall and according to their knowledge nothing was supplied to her in terms of, with regard to toiletries or what you have said to pep her up.

MR COETZEE: I differ from them, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: May I just ask you, this Exhibit T which you have handed up to the Committee, which I had received, when did you draw this up?

MR COETZEE: More-or-less two weeks ago, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: All these particulars, did you realise that there are some summaries from your initial application but with regard to her handling and the assaults nothing is contained in the bundle which was placed before the Committee initially, except that you say that you ask for amnesty for assault and torturing, but the detailed particulars are not in there.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson the different facets were not handled in our initial application.

MR LAMEY: So in essence the statement before the Committee, with regard to the assaults, was made by you in a period approximately 15 years after the incident?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And under these circumstances you can still deny for example, that electrical shocks were applied, that she was assaulted in the manner as they say in their amnesty application, that she was badly assaulted. You have read their applications, haven't you?

MR COETZEE: I have not studied it in detail, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But do you concur with what you said as you recall with the other incidents of interrogations and assaults which you were involved with in your police career as well as the time period in which, with regard to this specific incident?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Selamolela and Mr Veyi will also confirm that she became weak because of the assaults. At some stage she could walk properly.

ADV DE JAGER: She could walk properly? Do you mean she could barely walk properly?

MR LAMEY: Yes, Chairperson. She had to be assisted to get to the toilet.

MR LAMEY: I deny that allegation, Chairperson, but I wish to point out that she was wearing leg irons and I do not know which toilet they refer to. There was no toilet.

MR LAMEY: But the essence was that she was so badly assaulted that her external, her appearance was such that she was swollen, physically her condition was, in their observation, was bad as well as in the last instance when they saw her and according to you this was in the fifth week.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I've already said that during the first week with her interrogation on the farm she was indeed assaulted and the assaults decreased.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you say that it decreased?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it decreased and it stopped eventually, Chairperson. There was no purpose in assaulting.

CHAIRPERSON: So did it decrease or did it stop?

MR COETZEE: It stopped, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was she ever in such a condition that she could not walk?

MR COETZEE: Not that I could imagine, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean by that?

MR COETZEE: In other words, that she could walk but where did she walk to, Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: Say she wanted to use a toilet?

MR COETZEE: Then she would be accompanied by a member to the outside.

CHAIRPERSON: According to you she could walk alone, it was not necessary to assist her?

MR COETZEE: When I say "accompany her", it was to accompany her to the point where she would go into the field for that purpose.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but she could walk with her own physical prowess?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.


MR LAMEY: These leg-irons, one could still walk with leg-irons on?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, but very difficult.

MR LAMEY: I would understand that, that is understandable, but would you say that she was accompanied by the white members to relieve herself, namely to go to the toilet?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, depending on who was with her. I've already mentioned, Chairperson, that I was not always there and we were present on a rotating basis, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Selamolela says in his statement that at several instances she had to be taken to a dam where the purpose was, or Radebe did this, was to put her into the dam so that she could clean herself. He says this usually happened after interrogation, after interrogation bouts, as he stated in his statement. And he says because during, and this is my instructions, that during these assaults and interrogations she soiled herself and wet herself and that is why she had to be taken to the dam to be cleaned.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the dam was used by all of us to wash ourselves.

MR LAMEY: But my instructions with regard to that is that it differs from you, that during their sessions of stay there the members did not wash in the dam, they returned when they were relieved and would do it where they were based.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, according to me I always washed in the dam as well as the other members whom I can recall were present on the farm.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, I'm not sure what you are reacting to. It was put to you that she was placed into the dam after interrogation bouts because she had soiled herself and had wet herself. Do you know of this?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, we washed in the dam. That was my answer. The possibility that she could have wet herself or have soiled herself, it could be, Chairperson. But I would like to add that initially we provided her with hot water and something to wash herself in because she was a lady, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: When did she soil herself?

MR COETZEE: During the interrogation, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see this?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall, but it is possible, Chairperson.


MR LAMEY: You have also mentioned the hot water - if you would just give me a moment, I just want to get instructions with regard to this. Mr Veyi says, the instructions are that he hears it the first time and Mr Selamolela says that he cannot recall that a basin and hot water was provided to her and he can recall that she was washed in the dam because of what I have put to you just now. - after her interrogation.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, according to me she did indeed receive a basin and she had hot water. This deals with the recruitment of a person, it does not deal with the total breaking down of this person. Chairperson, I would just like to add, initially it was indeed so that she did not wash daily, but after her recruitment and to keep, and to build on this relationship which was built, afterwards these privileges were given to her, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Is your evidence then that - let's speak specifically of Mr Veyi and Mr Selamolela, you speak of black members in general with the exception to Langa and Mothiba, that right up to the end they had no knowledge that she had been turned and had given her co-operation?

MR COETZEE: Her recruitment, Chairperson, was as such not discussed with any of the members, it was done on a need-to-know basis by the particular members who were identified by me. They had knowledge of this, on the request of Simelane herself.

Firstly, Chairperson, it had regard to her replacement and with her safety and the situation in which this newly recruited source found herself in at that stage.

MR LAMEY: But how would you explain that she was assaulted, that according to Mr Veyi and Mr Selamolela's evidence, right up to the fourth and fifth week before the last instance when they were there?

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Well that will be their evidence. They will also give evidence further that nowhere did they have the impression that in this specific instance the person had given her co-operation. On the contrary, they will say that she was very uncooperative during interrogation. She denied everything, she did not give her co-operation and that the assaults on her were aimed to get information from her or to force information from her.

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson, against the background that daily, most of her time she spent in the drawing up of or giving input, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Well let me put it to you that during their presence at any given stage they say that it did not seem that she was co-operative during interrogation sessions where they were present.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, as I have already referred to, her willingness also lay in the fact that we did not make any notes, but she made notes herself.

MR LAMEY: I would just like to ask you, when she was registered as an opportunity source did she receive a registration number?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Do you know what it was?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Where can one get that information?

MR COETZEE: If you could repeat the question please, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Where can we get that information?

MR COETZEE: At the Soweto Security Branch, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Mr Lamey, continue please.

MR LAMEY: You say in your supplementary submission that she was registered by yourself and Pretorius as her handlers, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Would you and Pretorius be her direct handlers?

MR COETZEE: Yes, with support from the other members, Chairperson. Later it could also have been amended, depending on circumstances.

MR LAMEY: Which other members would be supportive in her handling?

MR COETZEE: Sources were handled on a compartmentalised basis and the two members, Sergeant Mothiba was a fatherly figure. The person who had given much to the co-operation of this person was Mothiba.

MR LAMEY: Was Mothiba the cover-agent?

MR COETZEE: Negative, Chairperson, he was a normal member as myself and the other members to whom I have referred to.

MR LAMEY: Was the idea that she as a source would be handled from Swaziland?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Can you tell us how would this handling function, because the identity or Mothiba's identity was well known, or was probably well known to the MK members.

MR COETZEE: Langa was the primary person who came in upon handling as I have said, and this person would be seen at safe points. We are known as members of the force, but we had deep cover-agents who handled sources on a continual basis.

MR LAMEY: I also received instructions with regard to Mr Veyi, with regard to the meeting at the Carltonville crossing on the Johannesburg/Potchefstroom road, and my firm instructions are that he did see her the last time in the boot of the vehicle which you were driving and not in a panel van as you have said.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I said the panel van was the vehicle which joined us at the point where the particular person was taken into acceptance with Sergeant Mothiba. I also said that we went with our vehicle where we met with RS269. RS269 or Sergeant Langa had his own State vehicle, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Let's see if we differ on this. I would just like some clarity. He says that he was called with Lazarus Selamolela to go to Potchefstroom Security Branch, where you will meet there. Do you concur with that?

MR COETZEE: It is possible, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: He says on the way there close to the four-way stop street, this is on the Potchefstroom/Johannesburg road, they saw an XR6 vehicle which gave them lights, and it is this vehicle which you drove, your official vehicle.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, I did drive a vehicle like that.

MR LAMEY: And you stopped and at that stage the boot was opened and he saw Ms Simelane in the boot of the vehicle where she was still cuffed.

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: You say that the panel van joined you later, was she handed from the panel van to you?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the panel van was the vehicle used to fetch the person with Sergeant Mothiba and the panel van, myself and Superintendent Pretorius met the panel van in Potchefstroom, Chairperson and there Pretorius and I received the persons. We already arranged with Langa.

We went to a point where the person, Chairperson, was handed over to Langa, with certain operational instructions and waiting on them to depart the next day back to Swaziland.

ADV DE JAGER: Can we just get clarity on something here because I do not understand. We know she came from Thabazimbi and she goes to Potch, is this with the arrival at Potch, before she was at Potch, that they saw her or when?

MR LAMEY: My instructions if I understand them correctly is that Veyi went to Potchefstroom in his vehicle.

ADV DE JAGER: He brought her from Thabazimbi?

MR LAMEY: No, he comes from Soweto. He was called to go to Potchefstroom. On his way to Potchefstroom close to the four-way crossing, a vehicle approached, an XR6 which flashed its lights at him and this is Mr Coetzee ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Was this in the evening or during the day?

MR LAMEY: I'm not sure.

ADV DE JAGER: You're not sure. Well the lights could be flickered in the day also.

MR LAMEY: I'm not sure, Chairperson. If I could just get some instructions? If you will grant me. It was during the day when the lights were flashed.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Lamey, before you leave the point. Now the Carltonville turn-off or crossing where they met him would be after they had collected her from Potchefstroom, is this right? So they would then have had her in that other, in the XR6?

MR LAMEY: That's how I understand it.

ADV GCABASHE: Is this essentially ...(intervention)

MR LAMEY: That's how I understand it, that she was in the car after Coetzee pulled over.

ADV GCABASHE: And that's after the Potchefstroom handover?

MR LAMEY: I don't know. They don't know about the handover, whatever took place at Potchefstroom because they did not arrive at Potchefstroom, they saw Coetzee en route to Potchefstroom.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Coetzee, could I then ask you to clarify this for me? You collected her at Potchefstroom in the XR6.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, in the presence of Sergeant Mong and Sergeant Mothiba, who had used the panel van. My ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Let us just get clarity. When you collected her in Potch, was she in the panel van, did you take her out where she attended the debriefing and from there she went into the vehicle? Was she taken directly from the panel van into the car?

MR COETZEE: Directly, Chairperson, and into the car and from there myself with this particular XR6 to which they refer, accompanied by Mr Pretorius, I departed for a location where 269, Langa, had waited for us with a vehicle.

ADV DE JAGER: Tell us where he waited.

MR COETZEE: He waited outside Potchefstroom, outside Potchefstroom on the main road.

ADV DE JAGER: Which main road?

MR COETZEE: The Potchefstroom/Johannesburg main road. It was at a place, Chairperson, approximately 10 kilometres there is the turn-off from Vereeniging/Johannesburg, in that area.

ADV GCABASHE: Now would that have been anywhere near the Carltonville crossing that they are referring to?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, it is reasonably far from that point.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you at a later stage get to that particular crossing?

MR COETZEE: To return back to Johannesburg I had to go through that crossing, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: And at that stage was she still in your motor vehicle?

MR COETZEE: She wasn't with us, Mr Chairman.

ADV GCABASHE: And at that point, the Carltonville crossing, did you in fact meet Mr Veyi and whoever he was with?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall, Chairperson, but if they were called out to Potchefstroom, it was because of some or other operational task which only they have knowledge or. It is possible, I cannot recall it, Mr Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: What we are trying to clarify - may I continue?

What we'd like to clarify is, we speak of one road and we speak of a difference possibility in a given time or place where this meeting would have taken place. Was it not possible that she was still in the car with you before you met them and before you handed them over?

MR COETZEE: Negative, Chairperson, it was important for us that she had to arrive at Sergeant Langa as quickly as possible, where the final planning could be discussed because that evening or late that afternoon they had to leave for Swaziland. Time was a factor. There were multiple aspects which they had to clarify and which in future had to be met, in terms of her cross-border handling, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Coetzee, at which stage of her period of detention on the farm at Northum, up to which stage was she in cuffs and leg-irons?

MR COETZEE: Continually, she was in leg-irons continually. Handcuffs initially. I cannot recall the time period.

MR LAMEY: When she was handed over to Langa on the Potchefstroom road?

MR COETZEE: No, she did not have leg-irons.

MR LAMEY: At which stage were the leg-irons taken off?

MR COETZEE: I received her from Sergeant Mong and Sergeant Mothiba without handcuffs and leg-irons. My instructions, with the departure of Sergeant Mong from Johannesburg, was that Sergeant Mothiba was in possession of the keys of the leg-irons. As soon as they left the safe point and they had to take the leg-irons off on the road, Chairperson. I received without being cuffed, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: At which stage could they remove the handcuffs and the leg-irons?

MR COETZEE: The leg-irons they could remove the moment they departed, at a safe place from the farm, Chairperson. That was my instructions.

MR LAMEY: May I ask you why only then, why not previously on the farm?

MR COETZEE: We have already said, Chairperson, the farm was a private farm, there was no contract with the person or the owner of the farm. We have to remember that I have indicated that we are dealing with an MK member, we were certain that we had turned her. One must remembers one's attitude changes and one had to think about the security of those people whose place we were using, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: How would this affect the safety of the people if the place was used?

MR COETZEE: If one has regard to the MK's methodology, they knew the places that the Security Forces used, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But at that stage were you not satisfied that she had given her co-operation after she had turned?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, up to the latest my instruction was that the premises had to be protected, as well as with other persons who were handled in later years on similar premises. The person, whether it was a member of the Force or a deep cover-agent, not to identify premises.

ADV DE JAGER: I don't understand how it helps to have her in leg-irons so that she could not identify the premises. She does not see with her feet.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I gave the instruction that she has to remain in leg-irons. I have referred quite some time ago in my evidence, that we came to the agreement to safeguard her operational legend. This was my instruction. And my relationship with Simelane, my agreement with her was that the leg-irons would be removed the day that she left, Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: But she walked around there, she could have seen while she walked around, she could see while she was driving.

MR COETZEE: It is possible. I cannot comment on what she saw when she left the place, Chairman, but I would imagine that Sergeant Mong and Sergeant Mothiba would not have given her the opportunity to identify the immediate vicinity of that place, Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: When she left there, what was she transported in?

MR COETZEE: In the panel van.

ADV DE JAGER: From Thabazimbi ...

...(end of side A of tape)

MR COETZEE: Right through to Potchefstroom, Chairperson, in the presence of the two members whom I mentioned, Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: And in the panel van you could see to the outside, but you can't see from the outside in?

MR COETZEE: I would just like to put it straight here, Chairperson, you could through the front window but you can't see backwards and out of the sides also.

ADV DE JAGER: Does a panel van have windows on the sides?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, this panel van did not have windows on the side. It had a rear window, but this window was painted.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I'm sorry, but I still have a problem. What does the leg-irons have to do with the fact that she must not identify the place?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I agreed with her ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, I'm going to interrupt you. I understand what you say, what your agreement was, my question is focused on something else. The leg-irons, does it have anything to do with the fact that she should not be able to identify her surroundings?

MR COETZEE: Partially yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, how did that work?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, given it's a false promise or agreement that was made between the particular parties, in this instance Simelane, and she decided to run, in other words, to escape, then it would be easy for her, Chairperson.

The leg-irons stayed on her legs, Chairperson, it was only taken off if I can recall correctly, when she washed herself and we closed the door of that room which we used. Afterwards the leg-irons would be placed back, Chairperson, in my presence, when I was there, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So what you are saying is that the leg-irons remained so that she could not run away and see where she was?

MR COETZEE: Yes, both aspects, Chairperson.


MR LAMEY: Thank you, Chairperson.

Was handed over along the road from the panel van to the other vehicle?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: At that stage you say she was not cuffed anymore?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Do I understand your evidence correctly, that despite the fact that she was turned and her co-operation, there was always the risk that it was not convincing and that she could possibly, yes, that it was not convincing and it could possibly be a front? This is what I understand from your evidence with regard to the leg-irons, and the leg-irons were there and she was transferred from the farm to Potchefstroom.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I've already said that it was my agreement that the leg-irons would be removed the day she departed from there. The leg-irons fulfilled a multiple of functions so that she could not escape if she did not want to co-operate. There was a promise, but there was no tested co-operation, Chairperson. In other words, she could not generate information yet. She was not placed back or she was not allowed into a situation where she could strive to her objectives, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: So the risk remained.

MR COETZEE: The risk always remains with recruitments. There are recruitments where the persons agree to co-operate, and history has proven there are many such people who ran away, who broke contact and there are people, Chairperson, who later were sworn in as members of the Force, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Did that risk not remain when the handing over took place along the road and she could escape from there?

MR COETZEE: It is possible, it is possible that she could have escaped there at that stage. At that stage I as per agreement between us that she was to be placed back with an operational programme, she was not charged. That was my agreement. And I think this proved to her that we believed in her and that we had trust in her future tasking, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: I would just put the version of Mr Veyi, that he saw her the last time in your vehicle and she was still cuffed. This was at the Potchefstroom/Johannesburg road.

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson, and as far as I know he was not part of the handling team, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But he does not say that he was part of the handling team, with regard to the handing over from the panel van to you. I've already put his version to you, he was on the way to Potchefstroom when along the way he saw your vehicle and you flashed your lights at him.

MR COETZEE: I find it strange, Chairperson, that if I worked so long on her on a need-to-know basis for future purposes, that at that stage or that I at that stage would have indicated to Mr Veyi that here is the particular person still in leg-irons and handcuffs.

MR LAMEY: That's the point, Mr Coetzee, not Mr Veyi or Mr Selamolela during any interrogation session had the impression that this was to turn her or that this person would co-operate with you.

MR COETZEE: I've already said that it was a request from Simelane to me to firstly, she posed certain problem with regard to her cross-border handling and with the grouping and as well as in terms of her own family members whom she had implicated with the cross-border military activities, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Mr Coetzee, I would just like to return to the version of Mr Mkhonza in his application, if there's any difference in his version or whether you concur with it.

At that - this is now the run-up to her arrest, what we all now that it was an "arrest", he was an agent and he had contact with MK members in Swaziland whom he had infiltrated, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And as such he received instructions from some MK Commander, Mpho, to meet with Ms Simelane at the Carlton Centre where she had certain material. At that stage he did not know it was hard material, weapons, ammunition or soft material, documents and other information, to hand this over to him. Do you agree with that?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Your instruction to him was to continue with the meeting.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, this was also the instruction to the other members.

MR LAMEY: And you also knew where the meeting would take place, so that this arrest could be executed?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But what he indeed says, this is Mr Mkhonza, is that he was aware that there was a plan to arrest her. He thought it would be a real arrest, but he had no knowledge of any other plans at that stage.

MR COETZEE: It is possible, Chairperson. One has to keep in mind that Mr Mkhonza in terms of the law, was not trained along the normal police structures and had no background with regard to the applicable laws.

MR LAMEY: He says that he thought it would be a normal arrest. Is was there any reason for him to suspect this? Do you agree with that?

MR COETZEE: It's possible, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: He says then that after this arrest had taken place there was also a tactic where his arm and leg would be placed in plaster-of-paris, so as to render an explanation as to why he did not meet this woman, to give this, so that this information could be relayed to Swaziland. And he said Frank Langa was the one who had to convey this message to Swaziland, that he did not meet with the woman.

MR COETZEE: I cannot imagine that that was the instance, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But can you recall that there was a plan that his cover had to be protected?

MR COETZEE: It is so, Chairperson ...(intervention)

MR LAMEY: Excuse me, may I interrupt you. On the one side he has an instruction from MK, Mpho, to meet with her and according to MK persons he would be the person to meet her and then she disappears. Was there no plan for this meeting that he had with her?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, according to my knowledge it was confirmed in Swaziland, her arrival was confirmed and because of this confirmation as well as the successes that we had with operations or instructions from Swaziland to the same cell structure, Chairperson. The detail, Chairperson, in terms of the legend I cannot recall in detail now, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: But some manner had to be followed, some method had to be followed so that person in Swaziland would not know that she had disappeared after her meeting with whom they thought was one of their own members?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, if I can recall correctly I would believe that part of the instruction was that a vehicle be sent out abroad that would bring weaponry and explosives into the country and that instruction was obeyed and it indeed did come into South Africa.

ADV DE JAGER: Wait a moment please. She had to meet with Mkhonza?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: She will give Mkhonza a package, some material.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, what I can recall is that she came with certain instructions surrounding operational, or surrounding their internal activities, Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: But that material as it is put, has to land up in Swaziland otherwise there would be some fault with the communication line?

MR COETZEE: I agree, Chairperson, there was a vehicle. After she came into South African a vehicle was sent to Swaziland where those instructions were obeyed, where a certain amounts of landmines for use and handgrenades and TNT came into the country. In short that means that the meeting was confirmed, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Can you just again clarify this please, Mr Coetzee. Now that information was given to Mr Mkhonza or was that information that you gleaned during the interrogation?

MR COETZEE: It was information, Mr Chairperson, which was between Langa and Mkhonza, this information was handled between the two of them. Sergeant Langa was the person who had direct telephone communication with the handlers in Swaziland, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: I'm just trying to see where Simelane fitted into this particular aspect of the evidence. You are saying that the information she brought from Swaziland, included talk about this vehicle and armaments that had to come into South Africa. Am I right so far?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Now that information she was going to pass onto Mr Mkhonza, yes?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: She did in fact do so at the Carlton Centre.

MR COETZEE: Very little time had elapsed between Mr Mkhonza and this particular person.

ADV GCABASHE: The question is, did she in fact impart this information to Mr Mkhonza at the Carlton Centre?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, if I recall correctly.

ADV GCABASHE: Then Mr Mkhonza then liaised with Mr Langa to arrange the rest of that ...(indistinct)?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR LAMEY: Let me just take you back. Mkhonza says that his instruction was from Mpho, who was an MK member, to meet Simelane at the Carlton Centre and the idea was that he would meet her there and the ultimate purpose was to hand certain material over to him, not necessarily the Carlton Centre, but some place close, but a rendezvous point was agreed upon by at the Carlton Centre.

MR COETZEE: The rendezvous point is positive, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: And she was arrested at Carlton Centre. In other words, before any material was handed over?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Then he says later, in paragraph 4, of his statement

"I was taken to the East Rand in ...(indistinct) where I was to have and indeed had plaster-of-paris on my leg and arm. This was to form part of an excuse for me not to have met the lady. A big boy Frank Langa, was the one who took this message to Swaziland. Frank Langa worked at the Security Police at Protea."

That's just to bring you back because it's not very clear to me from your answer. MK leaders would know that Mkhonza met Simelane and that Mkhonza had to receive material. Can you recall whether any manner was figured out, in terms of how to get a message through, to indicate that the meeting had not taken place? Let me just finish my statement. What I understand is that it was not known in Swaziland that Mkhonza was the last person who was with her before she disappeared.

MR COETZEE: According to my knowledge, Chairperson, the meeting was confirmed and that also led to the fact that Mr Mkhonza later had to withdraw from Swaziland, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: May I just have a moment, thank you.

My instructions are further that Mr Mkhonza would later arrive at meetings with COSAS and other similar organisations in order to indicate the fact that he was wearing plaster-of-paris.

MR COETZEE: Well I can't recall any specific order as such.

MR LAMEY: You mention Mpho in paragraph 43 of your submission. Are you referring to the same MK, Mpho, as Mr Mkhonza?

MR COETZEE: If I recall correctly there were two such MK members at that stage in Swaziland, with whom they had contact. Which one it was it is unable for me to say specifically.

MR LAMEY: The photograph which you had here a few moments ago, is it still available?

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct)

MR LAMEY: I don't know where the photograph is.

CHAIRPERSON: It was with us at some stage. Oh yes, well it is found, alright.

MR LAMEY: May I just take an instruction, thank you.

Mr Coetzee, this MK, Mpho, do you know what his other name was?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: The one that you mention in paragraph 43.


MR LAMEY: And the one who is referred to my Mr Mkhonza?

MR COETZEE: I don't recall his correct identity.

ADV DE JAGER: Are you sure that you are referring to two separate people when you refer to MK, Mpho? Is there just one?

MR LAMEY: Well that is what I'm trying to clarify, Chairperson. I'm simply in the process of obtaining instructions, if I might have a moment please.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, earlier this morning there was a delay because of certain information which had been given to the Evidence Leader, in respect of a person identified as Mpho. That person is present here. I haven't had an opportunity to consult with him, but I can certainly try to facilitate this process as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we note that. That might be were the answer lies, Mr Lamey.

MR LAMEY: Mr Chair, may I just put my instructions as far as my client's knowledge is concerned? I've shown him the photograph which has been distributed. The MK, Mpho, whom he says he last saw in Swaziland, who gave him the instructions to meet the lady, Simelane, is not the one on the photograph. He also doesn't know the other name of that specific MK, Mpho. That is how far we can take it.

ADV DE JAGER: And that Mr Mpho is not present here in the hearing, in the hall here?

MR LAMEY: I haven't asked my client that.

ADV DE JAGER: Because Mr van den Berg informs us now that Mr Mpho is here, so ...

MR VAN DEN BERG: The person who was the handler in Swaziland of Ms Simelane, is present. He arrived earlier this morning, and as I've said we haven't had the opportunity to consult with him properly or at any length, but it's certainly not the person whose photograph has been handed around.

ADV DE JAGER: ...(indistinct) then it may be the person Mkhonza is referring to.

MR LAMEY: That I don't know yet, we haven't yet ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Well he's present in the meeting, can't you find out whether it's the same person?

MR LAMEY: May I take instructions on it, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, my instructions are that he doesn't know whether he's present, he hasn't seen him yet. I don't know whether - I don't know whom my learned friend is referring to and I don't know, my client either, so ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on, Mr Lamey, don't worry, we can sort that matter out in due course.

MR LAMEY: Mr Coetzee, I would then like to put it to you, in terms of Mr Selamolela's statement, he says that he recalled that the last time he was on the farm and the last time that he saw the woman, that Pretorius said that he was going to lock her up. Is it possible that that could have been said or were you not present?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall everything, Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, I have taken reasonable instructions during the interval and I haven't really had the opportunity to discuss all these items which are attached with my client. I have no further questions. Should there be any other aspects arising I should request the Committee. As it pleases you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Lamey. Mr van den Berg, any questions?


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Chairperson. As I indicated earlier on, I haven't had the opportunity to consult with the person who's been identified as Mpho, I'll only be able to do that at the close of proceedings this afternoon. Hopefully that will facilitate this process. I'll take it as far as I can in what remains of this afternoon.

Mr Coetzee, what can you recall about the Simelane family, which information did Simelane give you with regard to her family?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, with regard to the family's involvement in the Molekwane grouping, she gave a detailed report. At this stage I can no longer remember the particulars, but what I can recall is that one, there was cross-border involvement in the shifting or conveying of messages of communication, then secondly, accommodation, thirdly, transport, fourthly, targets. That is what I can recall.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What information did she give you with regard to her handler in Swaziland?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, with regard to her handler, I only know what she confirmed and that was that somebody who was not authorised to send her on a mission to South Africa, at that stage had sent her to South Africa without the knowledge of her initial handler.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If I understand you correctly you say then that there were two handlers, one who sent her on this mission and the other who normally handled her?

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that her primary handler of her cell structure, was unaware of the fact that she had been tasked by another party and sent to the RSA. Who was her primary handler?

MR COETZEE: I can no longer recall the names.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And who sent her on this mission?

MR COETZEE: According to my knowledge, it was Mpho, if I recall correctly.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And did she execute any tasks for Bane Molekwane?


MR VAN DEN BERG: What were those tasks?

MR COETZEE: There was the courier or conveyance of cross-border messages, the reconnaissance of targets and if I recall correctly, accommodation as well as contact persons.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did she give you any information regarding the number of structures or cells that she dealt with or to whom she had to give instructions?

MR COETZEE: There were various cell structures who were identified by her, however I can no longer recall the details of these cell structures, as well as their operational areas.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you at any stage take any steps against anyone of those cell structures?

MR COETZEE: At that stage all the information was applied for a strategic information management.

MR VAN DEN BERG: But at a stage, if I understand your evidence correctly, you were under the impression that she had been exposed or that there was a problem with the fact that she had returned to Swaziland and you could no longer use here.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I can only confirm that she did not observe her appointments. This along with arrests and actions which could possibly have implicated her, yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thus, the information which she provided to you was of a short-term value?

MR COETZEE: No, it was more of a short to medium to long-term value. It all depended upon how she could be handled.

ADV DE JAGER: I think you are once again on different wavelengths. The question is whether the information which she gave you was simply of a short-term value, not whether the question was what information she could provide later, depending upon how she was handled. The question is, what was the value of the information which she gave you.

MR COETZEE: Well the value was future oriented action, arrests, with the emphasis on the in-depth penetration of the existing structure, the identification. There was a multiplicity of utility value.

ADV DE JAGER: You know I don't know whether with security you understood each other when you spoke that language, but can't you just tell us directly; the information which you obtained from her helped us to arrest a man.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the information which we obtained from her helped us to arrest some of these people and to take possession of certain weapons.

ADV DE JAGER: Thank you, now we understand what we're talking about.

MR VAN DEN BERG: After she had been replaced in Swaziland, according to you, did you receive any further information from her?

MR COETZEE: Negative. I've already stated, Chairperson, that she did not observe her appointments. We visited these rendezvous or appointment places at three later occasions.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And how long after she was replaced did she not observe these appointments or rendezvous times?

MR COETZEE: Two weeks after her replacement.

MR VAN DEN BERG: So if I understand your argument correctly, she was supposed to have exposed certain problems in Swaziland and if she didn't then you would know that there was a problem within two weeks?

MR COETZEE: No, we didn't have any further communication with her, but a variety of problems had been foreseen. It all depended on how she could manage these problems, along with her own credibility.

MR VAN DEN BERG: It would appear to me as if I cannot get you to a specific point where we can say; at this stage we realised that there is a problem. It's not a question of concession, but at a certain stage you must have realised that there was a problem, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And at that stage you must have realised that the information which she had already conveyed to you was of a short-term value and that you would then have to take steps with regard to that information?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson, because that information was still usable, it was term oriented. In other words, it could be applied over a period of time. We were uncertain about her own situation in terms of her reaction to information and for us to react to information would be as good as identifying her.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Would you please repeat the final part of your answer.

MR COETZEE: By using some of the information which we obtained during her presence with us, while we were unaware of the reason for the communication breakdown, would firstly have damaged the relationship of trust with her and secondly have placed her in a very compromising position in Swaziland, without clearing it out with her first.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Are we returning to the same point? At a certain stage you must have realised that she wasn't going to deliver the goods, that she would be of no further value to you in Swaziland, isn't that true?

MR COETZEE: Against the background that we did not have any contact with her, yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Well now one doesn't know what the reasons were, but if I understand your reasoning correctly, she had been exposed by the ANC.

MR COETZEE: We had already tasked agents with regard to the relevant facets in support of her as an informer, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I beg your pardon, I don't really understand your answer, perhaps it's the fact that I'm English-speaking and am not making use of the benefit of the interpretation, but please take me through that again. What are you actually trying to tell me?

MR COETZEE: If you will just repeat the question I will respond slowly.

ADV DE JAGER: Well you haven't really heard anything from this woman and at a certain stage you must have realised that something was amiss, is that correct?


ADV DE JAGER: Either she had been captured or she had been in a vehicle accident, but something must have happened to her because you weren't getting any feedback.


ADV DE JAGER: That there must have been a reason for the communication breakdown.

MR COETZEE: Yes, there must have been a reason.

ADV DE JAGER: Now I think that Mr van den Berg has said that there was a reason why she didn't return, so please try again.

MR VAN DEN BERG: At that stage she provided certain information to you, the information which you extracted during the five week period. I'm putting it to you that if that information which you obtained from her had been exposed by the ANC, or if they had come to know of it, it would have been of a short-term value.

MR COETZEE: I concur, Chairperson, against the background that it would later have become clear that we as a group had been identified by the ANC MK ranks in Swaziland and that attempts would have to be made to abduct some of us with regard to the existing information.

MR VAN DEN BERG: At that stage, did you follow up the information which she gave you about the cells and cell structures?

MR COETZEE: It was consistently followed up.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just take you back. At what stage did you start using the information she had given you?

MR COETZEE: From the start, Mr Chairman.

ADV GCABASHE: I ask you this because you say that within the first week and a bit she was co-operating with you, yes?


ADV GCABASHE: So by that time you realised that this was somebody you could re-deploy to Swaziland, who would be useful to you from Swaziland, yes?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: But you couldn't afford to compromise her position in Swaziland in those structures, yes?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: And you would be compromising her position if you used the information you obtained from her, yes?

MR COETZEE: Certain information, Chairperson, could be applied. And as an example I take the case of the groupings in which she had been involved and where she had been accommodated. We did not act against those particular subjects. Does that answer your question?

ADV GCABASHE: In part, but the point I'm picking up from Mr van den Berg's cross-examination is the value of whatever she might have imparted in the five weeks, six weeks she was with you. It could only have been of short-term value because you did not want to compromise her position.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, which was strategically managed by us.

ADV GCABASHE: And this strategic management involved having other agents in Swaziland monitoring her. Just correct me if I'm wrong, I'm putting pieces together here.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon, Mr Chairman?

ADV GCABASHE: This strategic management of the information she gave you, involved other agents in Swaziland.


ADV GCABASHE: Who would then also monitor her and your other source bases from Swaziland?

MR COETZEE: We were not that deeply involved at that stage to have been able to monitor her. There were no other agents, if I understand your question correctly, who were tasked in Swaziland to monitor her movements.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr van den Berg, please continue.

MR VAN DEN BERG: At a stage during your cross-examination by Mr Lamey, he said that there was affirmation that she had arrived in Swaziland, who affirmed this?

MR COETZEE: The members, Chairperson, who went to drop her off, the two members that we have referred to in our applications, Mothiba and Langa.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Not anybody within Swaziland itself?

MR COETZEE: No, that would have been fatal to task any of the agents to make enquiries about her.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I suppose that she would have returned to Swaziland and she would have been accommodated under exactly the same circumstances as when she left there in the first place.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, she would first have evaluated her own situation.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you know where she resided in Swaziland and with who?

MR COETZEE: I can no longer recall the addresses where she resided, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I put it to you that she lived with her family, with her two uncles. Do you know about that?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And she also resided elsewhere at addresses which we had, which she had identified.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What was the order, go back to your uncles or go back to the other addresses?

MR COETZEE: The logical order, Chairperson, was to give feedback regarding the period of her absence. The following up of her orders by the person who had tasked her and sent her on the mission to South Africa in the first place.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And in terms of this mission it would have been Mpho?

MR COETZEE: I assume that it was Mpho.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You see what happened was that Ms Simelane was a student at the University of Swaziland, you know about that?


MR VAN DEN BERG: And that her studies had been completed during May or June and that she had obtained a degree.


MR VAN DEN BERG: And that she had applied for work in Swaziland.


MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you know about that?

MR COETZEE: Yes. However, also Chairperson, that a bursary had been offered to her for further study and additionally that her primary handler had planned to send her elsewhere for further study.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You say that you cannot recall the name of that handler?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I can remember that there were also two persons in Mozambique.

MR VAN DEN BERG: But you cannot remember the names?

MR COETZEE: No. Chairperson, I know that the one was a white lady and that the other was an Indian man.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And if I understand you correctly, both were members of the ANC/MK?

MR COETZEE: Yes, they were members of structures.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You see according to the family she disappeared at a certain stage early in September, and the family realised this after the uncles started making enquiries with her family in the RSA regarding the precise whereabouts of Ms Simelane. A letter arrived for her with regard to employment and they were looking for her because she would have to decide whether or not she was going to accept the offer of employment or not. Do you know about that?

MR COETZEE: Could you please repeat your question?

MR VAN DEN BERG: At a certain stage her uncles began to enquire about Ms Simelane, because she wasn't at home, she wasn't at home in Swaziland. They enquired with her family in South Africa, because a letter had arrived for her, it was an offer of employment and that is when the family realised that she was not in Swaziland and that she was not in South Africa. Do you know about that?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, a copy of that letter has been made available to the other legal representatives, and I believe that you have a copy in front of you. It's a letter dated the 14th of September 1983.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll have to mark this, it will be Exhibit U.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I will at a later stage, Mr Chairperson, call Mr Simelane to testify about his enquiries in Swaziland and also about the contents of this letter.

The family then began to investigate regarding the whereabouts of their daughter. You probably don't know anything about the investigation which they launched, from whom they enquired about the matter.

MR COETZEE: I only heard about it later via the media reports.

MR VAN DEN BERG: They were aware of Mpho in Swaziland and they went to ask him and at that stage, if my memory serves me correctly, he told them that he had no knowledge of the matter.

MR COETZEE: I cannot comment regarding their investigation.

MR VAN DEN BERG: But they did arrive at a Duma Nkosi, do you know about him?


MR VAN DEN BERG: Who is he?

MR COETZEE: If I have it correctly, this is the person who accommodated her in Soweto upon her arrival.

MR VAN DEN BERG: He is also present here today. I have not had the opportunity to conduct a thorough consultation with him, but what he briefly told me was that they were aware that the day of, or the day after her disappearance she went to the Carlton Centre and never returned. Can you comment on that?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that he had given feedback to his structures in Swaziland that she had vanished.

MR COETZEE: I cannot comment on that. I assume that he would have done that.

MR VAN DEN BERG: From whom did you obtain the information that Simelane was on her way to South Africa?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall precisely, but it was by means of our existing cell structures. I identified three persons, 66, that would be Sergeant Mkhonza and Sergeant Langa.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Who is 66?

MR COETZEE: That is a lady ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Chairperson, that is an informant, and we don't believe it is necessary or appropriate for her identification to be made known. It has nothing to do with this case.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you concerned about her safety or ..? Yes. Mr van den Berg, I suppose we'll have to accept that on face value, but it's up to you.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, this is an incident which occurred in 1983, it's 16 years ago. Things have changed in this country quite dramatically in the last 10 years. I leave it in the Committee's hands, but it seems to me that there may have been information passed on, which would impact materially on this application, as to whether she was in fact a candidate for arrest or whether she was a candidate for what the applicants have described as "kop draai".

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may I respond to that? Really, my learned friend can't just come here and speculate. He's got evidence before him. He's heard the evidence that has been put by my learned friend, Mr Lamey. Is he really suggesting to you that one, that there is some probability that another person may come and say something else, and what are the probabilities of that version being correct? If you're going to hear one version from basically all the people here of what the whole purpose was, although my learned friend, Mr Lamey's witnesses didn't, obviously weren't properly informed or fully informed, but what could another person possibly contribute to this hearing? I don't quite follow the drift of my learned friend's submission and it's certainly not cogent reason for you to decide to allow the identity of a has-been informer to be made available, Chairperson. With great respect, my learned friend has not given you a proper reason and we submit that you wouldn't order that to be done.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr van den Berg, at this stage there doesn't appear to be any reason to deal with the identity of this source. So for the moment we won't insist on the witness disclosing that information. Are you able to proceed with something else?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Do you know Wendy Mpama?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, if the examiner could just inform me somewhat more, I'd be able to answer.

MR VAN DEN BERG: She was an MK member in Swaziland, who was affiliated with Mpho, also a friend of Ms Simelane.

MR COETZEE: Positive, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The information which you obtained from Ms Simelane, if I understand your evidence correctly you did not actually know her identity, the only information that you had was that there was an MK member on the way to Johannesburg for a meeting with Mr Mkhonza, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you have any other information about her?


MR VAN DEN BERG: It does not appear pertinently in your application but it was decided to go ahead with a turning action, would you agree with that?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, we knew that it was an MK person who was coming from Swaziland to join up with certain connected orders surrounding the military activities in the RSA.

MR VAN DEN BERG: So you actually made an attempt to turn her? It was not before arrest that you could have formulated any kind of opinion about whether or not it would have been possible?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson, only upon her arrest and abduction.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then the custom or customary practice of the Security Branch was applied to her by means of assault?

MR COETZEE: As I have already explained, I did assault her.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that was the regular practice ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: This witness is not asking for amnesty for any normal practice in the Security Police. The question leads nowhere, Chairperson, and it is an expression of an emotion which is not taking this matter any further. Let my learned ask the witness questions, factual questions and he must answer them, but that is, it's a vague statement "the normal practice of the Security Police", which is probably not even true. We certainly have heard no evidence that all policemen who were part of the Security Branch, tortured or assaulted people. That is not true.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, do you want to rephrase that in a form of a question, or ...?

MR VAN DEN BERG: I think we can move on, Mr Chairperson.

If I understand your evidence correctly, it was within two weeks or so that she gave you indications that she would co-operate.

MR VISSER: Within one week the witness said, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I think he said that within two weeks of having come to the farm, but let's ask him, perhaps we are just ...

Please explain.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, there were already immediate signs that this person would work with us with regard to Mr Duma Nkosi and many and many others of whom we had no knowledge. She immediately helped us. The entire objective of her mission to South Africa was exposed and she commented on it, yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The version of Selamolela has already been put to you as it appears in his application. If I then understand you correctly, the use of electrical shocks was not applied to her.

MR COETZEE: I deny that Chairperson. - in my presence.

MR VAN DEN BERG: In your presence.

MR COETZEE: Yes, in my presence, the particular persons or members who were in my presence interrogated her.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And you do not know if she was shocked while you were not present? This was not reported to you?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And the only reason why she was not shocked was because she was a woman?

MR COETZEE: That is what I said, yes Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And Selamolela says, and his application appears on 567, paragraph 7

"During her detention the assaults were the cause of her changing in physical appearance. She was beaten very badly for a woman. At night this same lady was taken to the zinc dam where Radebe threw her in, but hold her so that she could not drown. She was thrown into the dam after interrogation bouts."

And then there is a sentence about Peter Lengene:

"I however could not remember everything at this stage. She at a stage could no longer walk and we had even to take her to the toilet."

What is your comment?

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: This team of police officers who were involved with this arrest and this interrogation - let me just find this list in your application, at that stage did you have any reason to doubt any of them, that they were a security risk?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I would say that, no. This is my personal opinion, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If we have regard to the list on page 267, there you mention RS243, that's Mkhonza, you had no doubts about him?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.


MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I understand that Mothiba has since passed away.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Selamolela, any doubts with regard to him?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.


MR COETZEE: I cannot confirm it but there were certain problems with regard to commanders, between Mr Veyi and his commanders, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then Sergeant Lengene, did you have any problems with him, as to his maintenance of security with regard to the group?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do we have knowledge of his background?

MR COETZEE: Depending on the limited level where they were allowed, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Other names which were mentioned by the applicants, a policeman by the surname of Sefuti.

MR COETZEE: It's possible, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Do you have knowledge of what his role would be?

MR COETZEE: It would be more-or-less the same as the other persons who were involved, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And there was a Sergeant Radebe.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I cannot imagine that he was with us on the farm. He had the same function, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then Sergeant Veyi mentions two Mozambicans, do you have knowledge of them?

MR COETZEE: I know both of them.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Were they involved?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, according to me the one yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And who was this?

MR COETZEE: This was Strongman.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Oh, he was mentioned. What was his role?

MR COETZEE: He had to guard her, that was primarily his role and he was a supporter, supportive, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The two persons who were responsible for Simelane's return to Swaziland, was Mothiba and Langa if I recall correctly, if I understand your evidence correctly.

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mothiba is deceased.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And Langa, where is he?

MR COETZEE: He was killed in a motor vehicle accident, along with his wife, Chairperson, in late 1993, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And Peter Lengene is also deceased. I understand it was difference between him and his neighbour, where he was shot dead.

MR COETZEE: I cannot comment on his death per se, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: At a stage just before his death he was co-operating with some of the TRC's investigative members. You do not have knowledge of this?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: With Mr Fanie Malhapo. I had a short telephone discussion with him and I understand he will be available to give evidence. Lengene told Malhapo, according to Malhapo, that you are responsible for the death of Simelane. This is yourself and Mr Pretorius. Would you want to comment?

MR COETZEE: I deny that, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And this Lengene, according to Malhapo, went as far as to point out graves in the Thabazimbi area, where 15 graves were unearthed.

MR COETZEE: I do not have knowledge, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, as I indicated to you at the beginning of my cross-examination, I have not had the opportunity to consult with Mpho and with Duma Nkosi. I'd like the opportunity to do that. It is a bit early for the afternoon adjournment, but perhaps if I might be afforded an opportunity to consult. I'm not sure whether my learned friend, Ms Thabile, has any questions at this stage. May that would be the way to deal with it.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that is what I had in mind. But before we do that - Mr Coetzee, these Mozambicans, how do they fit into this whole picture?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, these are people who found their way to the police via Security Head Office. These were not person who were recruited by us.

CHAIRPERSON: What did they do with you?

MR COETZEE: These were persons, Chairperson, who were deployed to Soweto Security Branch. They were - usually Chairperson, they picked up ...(intervention)


MR COETZEE: They picked up informants and they would guard certain safe-houses so that theft could be prevented, and so forth, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they in the employ of the Police Service?

MR COETZEE: They were sources or informers, Chairperson, but one of those persons was a full member or is a full member of the Force at this stage, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And Strongman, what was his position?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, he worked for the police up to, I think if I could mention a date I would say 1992.


MR COETZEE: As an informant and as a Head Office registered source. HQ means Headquarters source.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he draw a salary?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, the same as a Constable.

CHAIRPERSON: What did he do at the scene, he was an informant?

MR COETZEE: A source in a handlers role, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What does that mean?

MR COETZEE: This means that he is not a person who infiltrated and had to collect intelligence, he was used to transport agents to and fro, he was the person who handled persons who would guard places which were used by the police, so that theft would not take place there. He was as a source used as a police person. If that answers your question.

CHAIRPERSON: You say he's a source or an informant, but those services were regarded as in the employ of the Police Service and now you say he was used as a guard also.

MR COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson. That informant in his capacity as a registered source, we applied him as a member of the Force, Chairperson, because he could not speak any of the South African languages and he did not have the academic level to work with. He delivered supportive services, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was actually ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: Let us say he was a general worker, as an example, Chairperson. He did anything. Wherever they needed him he was used.

CHAIRPERSON: So as a source he had no value to you?

MR COETZEE: He did have value ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: In this context, here with Simelane.

MR COETZEE: Not with questioning and that, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So what was he doing at the scene?

MR COETZEE: What I can recall, Chairperson, was supportive services. It was to help where the person was accommodated and to safeguard the place, to be there with a member. We did not want to leave a member with, a woman with a member, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But you have so many members who were named. Did you have a shortage of personnel? There are so many names who were at the premises.

MR COETZEE: We foresaw - or this is how we managed the operation.

CHAIRPERSON: Because you see there are so many names and there was so much manpower on these pieces, and this is why I ask why you had a Mozambican who was of no value as an informant at the scene there where you were detaining this lady.

MR COETZEE: I cannot imagine when he became involved in this operation, Chairperson, but I can recall and I believe I'm not erring, that eventually he ended up at the farm. This particular person whom you referred to.


MR COETZEE: Strongman, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand he was at the farm.

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall that he was at the scene of the arrest.

CHAIRPERSON: But he was on the farm?

MR COETZEE: Yes, he was on the farm.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he also stay over there?

MR COETZEE: We all slept over there, Chairperson, during the times of your services there.

CHAIRPERSON: And then where do you sleep?

MR COETZEE: I personally slept inside and outside, in the room which was used by us, as well as outside. There was a stage initially where there were many of us and there were stages when the members were used on a rotating basis because we also had our tasks at the office and there was no purpose in keeping all the members there, and by rotating we mixed up the shifts.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this a single room?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it's a single room. Normal beds, five normal beds could fit in there and then the whole room would be full, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: How many beds were in this room?

MR COETZEE: Just one bed, Chairperson, it was Nokuthula's bed. We all slept on stretchers, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe, have you got any questions that would use up the time that we still have, a few minutes?

MS THABETHE: Yes, Mr Chair, I do. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: In that event, I'm going to allow Mr van den Berg's questioning to stand down until he has time to consult with his clients about the outstanding issues and I'm going to allow you to carry on.



Mr Coetzee, when you went to Carlton Centre, exactly what were your intentions towards Nokuthula Simelane, did you want her ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: To grab the person, Chairperson, as we have said.

MS THABETHE: No, my question is, did you intend to arrest her or to kidnap her so to say?

MR COETZEE: To arrest her and to turn her, which comes down to an unlawful arrest.

ADV DE JAGER: A kidnapping, an abduction. It's not an arrest. An arrest is as we understand it, normally if you arrest somebody you bring them to court, but you had no intention of taking her to court.

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But now you see, I might not understand you correctly.

MR COETZEE: The option is - if I may put it in this manner, the option was considered with discussions with Brigadier Muller, arrest and then the exposure of a whole intelligence network, and the alternative was to turn her, to place the person back into the system and to use this person as an agent.

CHAIRPERSON: This was the options that you had on the table.


CHAIRPERSON: But on which one did you decide?

MR COETZEE: On this abduction action, Chairperson, this kidnapping.

CHAIRPERSON: Kidnapping.

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: This was before you went to Carlton Centre?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you know who this person was?

MR COETZEE: We would have clarified this, but Chairperson, that is why immediately afterwards I went to Brigadier Muller in terms of the person's co-operation.

CHAIRPERSON: Would the abduction be to turn this person, was that the objective?

MR COETZEE: That was the primary purpose, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: That is if you could not execute a legal arrest, but you could arrest her if you wanted to?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, but with the identifying and exposure of the total intelligence network. But I want to sketch a picture to you, Chairperson, why the turning or the abduction was so important.

The preliminary stage was aimed at a military parade in Johannesburg at the old drilling ground where the members were on parade and handgrenades would be thrown amongst the members.

This gave us an indication, Chairperson, with what this cross-border group, MK cell structures, MK members, were involving themselves with. We managed the thing strategically by means of the agents involved, who infiltrated them, who infiltrated these people. This necessitated to position our intelligence network cross-border as well as internally and therefore, Brigadier Muller authorised this turning and this abduction as this indicated arrest, or this appointed arrest, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand. You did not know who was to come.

MR COETZEE: We knew, Chairperson, it was an MK person from an MK structure from the Transvaal Machinery, who came inside. We did not know it was a woman. We only realised it was a woman at the observation point in Carlton Centre on that particular day, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And why did you continue with the abduction?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, there are many MK members who play a primary role, there are MK commanders. The woman's role in the liberation struggle cannot be denounced.

In a bundle which I handed up as an exhibit there is specifically referred to the woman's role in the so-called liberation struggle, which was a very important role.

CHAIRPERSON: Now what would have happened - you are taking a very big risk, it's a shot in the dark, you grab someone whom you do not know, you have no background to this person, you see it's a woman and now you grab her, what happens if you cannot turn her?

MR COETZEE: At that stage, Chairperson, we had the power base, we had hand-written documents, we had agents, we could manipulate her situation, we could intimidate her. She would have had no other choice, Chairperson, but to co-operate with us. It is indeed so, Chairperson, that she could have turned and have run away immediately.

It is so that many such recruitments went wrong, Chairperson, and the information structure had to be withdrawn immediately. And you will see that later in ...(indistinct) we had to withdraw our intelligence network.

CHAIRPERSON: I hear that you are sketching the situation with confidence there, but what happens if you could not turn this person?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairperson, I have referred to the fact that we immediately went and spoke to Brigadier Muller. If we could not turn her, Chairperson, we could immediately react on information which would point directly to her.

In other words if she did not want to co-operate with us we would have exposed her as a person who worked with the system and who had given certain sensitive information. For example, Mr Mkhonza and Mr Langa could have been lock up strategically and then she would have had to give an explanation. We could have let her go, we could have charged her, but we would not be able to find her guilty without exposing the whole cell structure and have them testify against her.

CHAIRPERSON: But that is why I ask you because it seems that it was an all or nothing situation. If you could not turn it, it did not seem that you would have any success in any court action against her. You sketch this risk and you have this risk to the existing sources, what is the result if you could not turn her?

MR COETZEE: Then we would have lost.

CHAIRPERSON: But what would you have done?

MR COETZEE: Our whole structure would have been lost.

MS THABETHE: What would you have done with her?

MR COETZEE: May I sketch it to you in this manner, Chairperson. We have lost already, where we had to withdraw the whole cells structure, the whole intelligence network had to be withdrawn.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand you, but what would you have done with her?

MR COETZEE: We did not reach a point where we had that problem, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what one accepts is that all the alternatives would be considered, what would be the alternative if she did not want to co-operate with you?

MR COETZEE: Charge her, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You would have charged her.

MR COETZEE: The possibility existed, depending on the evidence, but this had to be authorised by Head Office because undercover agents could not be used in any court without the permission of headquarters. This was operational authorisation which was given in their employment, Chairperson.


MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Coetzee, you say when you approached Carlton Centre you didn't know who the person you were looking for was, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: You also didn't know whether it was a woman, whether it was a female or it was a man, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: How did you identify her?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, this was done with persons who were in the immediate vicinity of the contact point. They were deployed in the immediate vicinity, who would observe the meeting between the person and Mr Mkhonza, which was attached to a cigarette box which was placed on a table. That was the sign or the code from the MK grouping, that that would be the person whom Mkhonza, or from whom Mkhonza would receive an instruction and that was the person he would meet that particular day at Carlton, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: So that's what happened and that's what led to you arresting her eventually, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: You've also testified that she stayed in the farm where you took her for plus-minus five weeks, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: More-or-less, Chairperson during that time.

MS THABETHE: Was she tortured all the time she stayed there?

MR COETZEE: I've already told the Committee, Chairperson, that there was some time, according to me the first of her detention or of her abduction, if I can call it that, and her presence, where she was assaulted, Chairperson, by myself and some of the other members. It is set out as in my application, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: No, what I was trying to ascertain is how long was she tortured during that period.

MR COETZEE: I want to confirm I said more-or-less the first week, Chairperson. This was accompanied with intensive interrogation.

MS THABETHE: So is it your evidence that after the first week she wasn't tortured?

MR COETZEE: Yes. It could have taken place, but very seldom, very seldom.

MS THABETHE: Now Mr Coetzee, you have also testified that you succeeded in recruiting her, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: Exactly when did you succeed, during which week of her stay?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, recruitment takes place over a period of time. Somebody can immediately say that they want to be recruited, but the person's behaviour, his co-operation, his co-operation in a thinking scrum surrounding own problems, intelligence problems, this tells one when a person is really recruited.


What had happened in this instance?

MR COETZEE: When there is a spontaneous participation of the person to discussion of plans and strategy ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I want you to be more concrete, I don't want you to set it out to us on a theoretical basis. When did this woman indicate that she was co-operating with you? At which stage was this?

MR COETZEE: During her presence at the farm, Chairperson.


MR COETZEE: I would say approximately after the first week.

MS THABETHE: On the farm?

MR COETZEE: Yes, with the drawing up of inputs, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

So if I understand you correctly you are saying during the first week you tortured her and you assaulted her and then during that first week she co-operated eventually. Is that your evidence?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: Now after that five weeks or so you decided to send her back to Swaziland, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: For what purpose? Maybe I missed that evidence.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, for use in amongst the ANC structure in Natal, ag in Swaziland.

MS THABETHE: My next question is - I'm just trying to understand you know, the reason behind you sending her to Swaziland, didn't you maybe foresee a situation where if she's sent back to Swaziland she would be suspected by the other MK cadres since she had disappeared for such a long time?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, there was an operational legend built up around her during her presence with us. Chairperson, she could have used this to manage her own situation. She also had instruction not to immediately ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Excuse me for interrupting you, but an operational legend?

MR COETZEE: It is a cover story.

ADV DE JAGER: Why don't you just tell us that there was a story that was worked out? I don't understand you, I was not involved with the operational legends, I was not involved with these words. Please explain these things as they are, you thought up a story for her or you gave her a plan. So that we can all know what you are talking about.

MR COETZEE: I apologise, Chairperson. We gave her a plan or we worked out a plan for her.

CHAIRPERSON: And what are the details, tell us about that.

MR COETZEE: The details, Chairperson, as to what she had to do was firstly to lay low for some time. There was not a specific time, everything depended on the situation across the border.

CHAIRPERSON: So she had to lay low for a while and she must work out how long this period should be.

MR COETZEE: The situation cross-border, the circumstances in Swaziland would determine how long she had to lay low.

MR COETZEE: So she had to lay low in Swaziland?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.


MR COETZEE: At her place. After she gave feedback to the person who tasked her and who sent her.

CHAIRPERSON: So the first step was that she had to report back to Mpho or whoever it was, to this person who had sent her and then she had to give feedback.

MR COETZEE: She was authorised or she was tasked, Chairperson, to in her own cell structure continue with the gathering of intelligence.

CHAIRPERSON: And when must she go and lay low?

MR COETZEE: The lay low in terms of the MK structure who sent her into South Africa, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that different to her own cell structure?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, she had contacts very far from Swaziland. She was trained by people in Mozambique, Chairperson. And certain instructions came from her agents in Mozambique, who did not have any relevance to her MK function when she came into South Africa, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So do I understand you correctly, she had to report back to the person who gave her instructions, she had to lay low for a while with regard to MK activities, but she can be active in her own cell?

MR COETZEE: Yes, her own cell structure, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is the sum total of the operational legend?

MR COETZEE: The operational legend we did not act against certain individuals in the country. She identified subjects and the names which were mentioned here, but it would seem that they suspected that she gave intelligence to the police and had worked with the police, which probably explain her period of absence and she was sent back to Swaziland then, with a mission.

ADV GCABASHE: Sorry, just go over the cover story about where she had spent the five weeks. I think that's the last bit you were trying to explain. Just say it slowly.

MR COETZEE: Part of her operational legend, Chairperson, if I recall correctly was that she with her tasking and with her contact with other cell structures, she was not only sent to Mr Mkhonza, to the South African Police intelligence network, she was also sent to other intelligence networks. There Mr Duma confirmed that he immediately let Swaziland know. This is for example because of the multiplicity of tasks which she had. She would have said that she suspected that Mr Duma had worked with the South African Police and then she decided to lay low with a contact person and not to move, Chairperson.

ADV GCABASHE: Tell me, Mr Coetzee, what was in this for Simelane? I mean why would, what was the benefit of all of this to her?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, many people in the midst of the struggle had decided to co-operate with the police. In Simelane's instance we have to bear in mind that we could intimidate her with information. We had the cards in our hands. She in other words, Chairperson, had no other alternative but to, her place within the liberation struggle had to be protected by co-operating with us. That's in brief, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: I'm asking you this question, Mr Coetzee, because there's evidence that Ms Nokuthula Simelane left her clothes at Duma Nkosi's place. And considering the time that she spent with you at the farm, by that time Duma Nkosi would have alerted the other MK cadres that there's something going on. What is your comment to that?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that's possible, but that is why her legend was indeed surrounded by Mr Duma Nkosi and this is the reason that we never went to Duma Nkosi's house to in any way, or any suitcase and passport, to interfere with it in Mr Duma Nkosi's grouping.

MS THABETHE: I'm moving on to the fact that you had made a plan that she should go back to Swaziland. You testified earlier on that you had planned that she shouldn't go via the normal border, she would climb a fence, am I correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: And you also testified that according to the report that you received, this is what happened, is that so?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: Now my question is, ...

...(end of side A of tape)

MS THABETHE: ... lie low and you didn't want her to be suspected, why didn't you let her use the same passport that she had used when she left for Swaziland?

MR COETZEE: Because Chairperson, we could not use Mr Duma Nkosi as a scapegoat. As part of her legend Chairperson, she with any interrogation for the period of her absence in Swaziland or from Swaziland, where on her return her instructions and where she was she could have said that she suspected that Mr Duma Nkosi and members of his group were working with the police, on the grounds that his group worked with the police and she ran away and that is why she went and lay low in Soweto.

Her clothing, her passport, her baggage was left with him so that she could elude any police action and then they ask of her where in Soweto. At that stage it was worked out, Chairperson, a legend was worked out.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I can understand this, this would be part of the operational legend, but what would she say then?

MR COETZEE: As part of the legend she would say that she lay low and she hid and she waited for the opportunity. We have to bear in mind, Chairperson, that she was also wanted by the Bethal Police in Western Transvaal and they were looking for her. This was part of the legend which she would have used, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but it's then logical they would ask her, where were you lying low? And could they find out from that source if that was indeed so?

MR COETZEE: It was worked out, Chairperson. We could handle it and manage it, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But what was the detail?

MR COETZEE: The detail, Chairperson, was that she had hidden herself and she did not have any money. She met friends, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And then she must give the particulars.

MR COETZEE: If in her interrogation or questions that were put to her to identify the places, she would have informed us and we would manipulate the operation further with another agent, to place him in the place so as to use it.

CHAIRPERSON: So you would build up this legend further and one of the agents would be appointed to handle the requests of the ANC and to mislead them?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you think this would all work?

MR COETZEE: It works sometimes, Chairperson, at many instances, but it is also so that you might fall.

CHAIRPERSON: But in this instance she just disappeared, you never heard of her again?

MR COETZEE: I'm not following your question, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You let her cross over in the vicinity of Oshoek and you never contacted her again.

MR COETZEE: There were well attempts, but there was no physical contact with her.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the point I'm putting to you. All these, these detailed plans that you made and so forth came to nothing, she just disappeared?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.


MS THABETHE: When did you realise she had disappeared?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, after the third meeting. And read along with, as I have said previously, with information from the Eastern Transvaal that we were identified in Swaziland, our vehicles were identified and a certain MK grouping is interested in our movements. This was an indication that something was wrong somewhere, there was a leakage of intelligence somewhere.

MS THABETHE: And when you realised that she had disappeared, did you look for her? What did you make of that?

MR COETZEE: Because of the sensitivity, Chairperson of the agent, there was no manner in which we could send anybody to any place to ask questions. I would also like to use it as an example. Chairperson, during that same time we placed another man back, who after 10 years was in Soweto, and with the knowledge of Sergeant Selamolela could make contact.

I would answer further to say that it is absolutely risky if one does not know what is on the other side, what is happening on the other side, to make any enquiries. Enquiries could place a risk on the intelligence capacity and could place the person's life in danger.

CHAIRPERSON: So you just left the thing at that? You went up to this point and then you just left it?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, on the grounds of information later, our total intelligence was withdrawn from Swaziland.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the agreement or how would you contact her?

MR COETZEE: She would be briefed by Sergeant Langa and Mothiba. Langa would be the person who picked her up and Mothiba would be the person who she was, how can I say, she was a learned person, she would put all her input on paper.

CHAIRPERSON: But how would you establish contact with her?

MR COETZEE: There was a predetermined point which was identified, Chairperson, where Sergeant Langa would contact her.

CHAIRPERSON: So did you decide on a date and a time when she had to be at this certain point where Langa would meet her?

MR COETZEE: Provision was made for the first meeting after a period of approximately, if I can recall correctly, of two weeks, Chairperson, and after that on a weekly basis because the agents were sent over on a weekly basis.

CHAIRPERSON: So you would wait, they would go to that point and you hoped that she will appear?

MR COETZEE: I would just like to add, Chairperson, she had my apartment's telephone number, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So this whole contact would depend on her, she must initiate it, she must go to a point, she could telephone you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, she had a telephone number, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So the initiative was her part, there was no manner in which you could keep control over the feedback and meetings?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, as I've already said, the first meeting was within two weeks and the persons who would go over to talk to her were also the persons who would arrange and manage the meetings. I would only, or we would only join in terms of sensitive questions, in terms of problems.

CHAIRPERSON: So in other words at that first instance if she did not appear you could not do anything about it, you would just have to sit back and wait?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And then twice you went again?

MR COETZEE: Yes, twice, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: To that point?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: At which stage?

MR COETZEE: After the first agreed meeting, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But at which stage?

MR COETZEE: It was after her release and after she was placed back.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand, but I mean the further two instances where persons went to the rendezvous point, the week after that and the week after that. Did they just take a chance?

MR COETZEE: It was arranged. Our meetings would be - it was always provided that with your tasks and instructions there were alternatives, Chairperson. The week following was the alternative, Chairperson, as well as my telephone number.

CHAIRPERSON: And the third one?

MR COETZEE: This was all part of the arrangements that were made with her.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, this was part of the arrangements?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So it was either the first meeting ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: It was the first meeting after two weeks, a week thereafter if she did not meet at that time. There were many times when certain people could not meet at that point, communication was a problem. And the third one was the week thereafter, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And if she still had not made contact?

MR COETZEE: She had my telephone number at my apartment, Chairperson, and she knew that she could call in the evening.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Yes, Ms Thabethe? Just give me an indication, how much have you got left? If there's a prospect of finishing off then ...(intervention)

MS THABETHE: Two aspects, Mr Chair.


MS THABETHE: Mr Coetzee, was the deceased, Mr Peter Lengene under your authority, was he part of your unit at the farm?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MS THABETHE: Exactly what role did he play?

MR COETZEE: The same role as all the other black members who were members of the team, but his primary role was in orientation of persons with regard to turning actions.

MS THABETHE: As far as you know what was he aware of and what was he not aware of with regard to this whole incident?

MR COETZEE: I cannot say precisely what his role was, all I know is that we used him during Simelane's involvement or stay or abduction at the farm.

MS THABETHE: Why I'm asking you about this is because if you check in his application at page 383 of the bundle, number 9A, he applies for murder and at page 386 at 11A, he mentions the fact that you gave orders, or he got the orders from you ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Yes, but with respect, my learned friend must place this in perspective, murder during 1988. This refers to an entirely different matter, it doesn't refer to Simelane. And it says

"... Gauteng area, mostly in Soweto."

And then he goes on to describe some other incidents in which he was involved, Chairperson. It's not this particular one.

MS THABETHE: I'm indebted to you, Mr Chair, thank you. My last question - thank you, is exactly, with regard to this incident exactly what are you applying amnesty for?

MR VISSER: He's told us, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Would you - perhaps you should be more specific. Is there any particular issue that you wanted to raise in regard to the offences that he was led on in-chief and which appears in Exhibit T, if I'm not mistaken.

MS THABETHE: Maybe I missed the part where he explained what he's applying for.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, that was in-chief, that was covered. But is there a specific one of those that you wanted to canvass?

MS THABETHE: No, Mr Chair, I wanted him to clarify because there's so much that happened.


MS THABETHE: So if he has clarified, then I'm indebted to you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'll just tell you in a minute. If you look at page 2 of Exhibit T, there are five categories, on the second page, paragraphs (a) to (e) on the top. Those are the categories that he testified about.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair. Those were the two aspects I wanted to pursue. I have no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you, Ms Thabethe. We're going to adjourn at this stage and reconvene tomorrow morning in this venue at nine thirty.


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