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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 26 July 1999
Location DURBAN CHRISTIAN CENTRE - DURBAN
Day 1 - CONTINUATION OF 2ND HEARING
Names EUGENE ALEXANDER DE KOCK
Case Number AM 0066/96
Matter PIET RETIEF -
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CHAIRPERSON: Morning everybody. Today we'll be commencing with the so-called Piet Retief hearings. Before we start, I'd just like to introduce the Panel to you. On my right is Leah Gcabashe, she is a Member of the Amnesty Committee and she is an advocate who comes from Johannesburg. On my left is Mr Wynand Malan, he is a Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and also a Member of the Amnesty Committee, he also comes from Johannesburg. I am Selwyn Miller, I am a Judge of the High Court attached to the Transkei Division thereof.
MS VAN DER WALT: I am Louisa van der Walt, I represent various persons. If I follow the index of bundle 1, I represent applicant number 3, Mr Hayes, then Mr Barnard, Theron and number 8, Mr Rorich, number 10, Mr van Dyk and Mr Botha, who is number 11.
MR HATTINGH: You have also submitted a supplementary affidavit which deals with Vlakplaas and which can be found in bundle 1D. Do you also confirm the correctness of the allegations contained therein?
MR HATTINGH: May we begin with the first one, which took place on the 8th of June 1988. Will you give a brief explanation of what took place regarding the planning of the operation and how it transpired.
"It is my recollection that the Piet Retief Security Branch requested our help and that they contacted me in the regard that Section C1 should assist with a planned infiltration of armed MK members who were going to come from Swaziland into the RSA.
Once again this was a case where Vlakplaas was involved by other components of the Security Police, to assist them with illegal actions which were launched in protection of the public, but more specifically the police."
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the person who drove with me, if I recall correctly, was Mr Leon Flores and another one or two members followed us. Well they didn't drive directly behind us, but they followed us to Piet Retief. It was an action which took place on short notice. There was also another situation at that stage which was developing, in which a think-tank was held at Josini, or at least on the north coast. All of these events transpired simultaneously.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, we first went to Piet Retief. Initially I would have travelled with Brigadier Schoon, who was the Commander of C-Section or C-Unit. However, I notified him of this request from Piet Retief and in that case I withdrew myself. I briefly discussed the situation with him and informed him why he and I would not be able to travel together. We departed for Piet Retief and it was only the following morning, I would say between 10 and 11, that we joined Brig Schoon and the rest of the group who were on their way to Black Rock. I think it was Black Rock or Island Rock was the name of the place.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, briefly, our time was very limited. If I recall correctly, I had the opportunity or I was offered the opportunity to inform myself regarding the situation and the gravity of the situation and the correctness of the information. One would have to test this information by means of making general enquiries. After that I consulted with Mr Pienaar regarding the actions which would take place there.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the information was that there were MK members who were armed and that is what was expected. In all regards it indicated to me that we were going to have to deal with armed MK members here. The commander at that stage was known, due to security reports and general information. And it was planned to lure these MK members into an ambush. I use the word "ambush" because the perception was later created that it was a roadblock and that is not correct. We will address this issue as we proceed. It was however an ambush and an ambush would usually lead to fatal cases of casualties.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, from Swaziland they would have crossed the border, which would have been an illegal crossing because it would not have taken place at a border post. Then transport would have been arranged for them from that point. They would have followed the Houtkop road from the Swazi direction to Piet Retief and from there to Northern Natal, or to Durban, or the Durban environment, for terrorism.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. The interception by means of the source, was of such a nature that we could exercise that control and then place one of our own people in that position to transport the terrorists.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is entirely correct, and he would transport these persons along the Houtkop road. Before he was sent to the border we went to observe, and when I say "we", it is myself and Mr Pienaar - there may have been additional members, I'm open to correction on that matter - along with Lieutenant or Captain Mose, so that when he would approach the point where we were going to set up the ambush, he would flicker his lights and then pull of the road. The excuse would be that he had to perform a natural function and then that would have been within our ambush area where we would have been laying in wait.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, when he climbed out the vehicle and it was clear to him, or that he had reasonable grounds to believe that these persons were armed, he would run around the front of the vehicle. In the first place, it would have been indicative to us that these persons were armed and secondly, it would facilitate that he would leave the range of fire as quickly as possible.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I'm not certain. I'm open to correction if other members can assist me, but the time span was broad, it may have been anytime between 9 o'clock and 10 o'clock that night, up to and including 4 o'clock the following morning, or even later.
MR DE KOCK: Yes. Chairperson, if I recall correctly this source did not have the authority regarding what time the people would depart. I do recall that a time was given, indicating when the transport would be ready at the Swaziland border.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. I have a vague recollection that we had a second vehicle with two Security Branch members, which we arranged to drive in the direction of the Swaziland border on the Houtkop road. They would also serve as an early warning. And then there was also a road which ran to the southern side, from where this pick-up point would be. Their function would be that if a vehicle approached from that side, to cut off that vehicle so that there would not be any kind of confusion and so that the terrorists would not climb into the wrong vehicle.
MR DE KOCK: One of the members, I think it was Mr Hayes, had a vehicle battery which was connected to a high intensity searchlight, or hand searchlight and this was shone on the vehicle. What was clear, which we had not foreseen, was that the inside of the windows were completely misted up. I hesitated for a moment with firing.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I must have hesitated for about three to four seconds. I then opened fire on the left front door, which was my angle of fire or my target. The rest of the members, as it was agreed, would upon the signal of my fire - or the fact at least that I started firing, would be the signal for them to begin firing on their selected targets, such as the left back door and the back window.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, with the 11th or 12th shot I gave the signal to cease fire. No fire came from the vehicle, and with that intensity in such a small concentrated area, I did not foresee that anybody could still be alive.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, with the shooting, the windows, left front and left back bust on the inside. Some of the shots were fired through the windows and some of them were concentrated on the doors in an area where you would expect to find passengers seated. I cannot recall whether the back window or the rear window was shot out. At one stage it looked as if all windows had been shattered. And upon approaching the vehicle, the right back door fell open and a person fell out of the car. She appeared to be a woman. The woman still showed signs of life and it appeared that she was attempting to breath or to speak and I told Mr Ras to shoot her.
MR DE KOCK: In the vehicle, left front, there was a black woman, left back against the door there was an Indian man and then in the middle or on the back seat next to the right door, there was also a black woman and all of them had been killed.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, Mr Pienaar and members of the Security Branch frisked the bags that the persons had with them in the vehicle. We did not find any visible arms on their persons and when we went through the bags there were also no weapons there.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it created a situation that one did not expect and it immediately brought problems, which caused a crises in my opinion and which would have been an embarrassment for the police as well as the government and I requested from Mr Pienaar whether he had any East Block weapons or equipment and my recollection is that he did indeed have a Makarov pistol which was at his office, which served as an exhibit in some or other case and it is also me recollection that there was one F1 and an RPG handgrenade, which was at his office. I am open to correction on that matter, but that is my recollection. One of the persons who was at the scene went and collected these items and they were placed at the bodies as proof that there were weapons there.
MR DE KOCK: That these persons were armed. It was known that they were indeed MK members. They were attached to the Intelligence Unit and this we established later, and they did cross the border illegally. They were on their way to Northern Natal. But the aspect surrounding weapons was not correct and the fact that a shot was fired from the vehicle and that we reacted on that shot, that was not correct.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, but at that stage I was not there. I do not want to distance myself from anything, but I would just like to tell you why. I know that the bodies were loaded onto a bakkie, not a mortuary vehicle as far as I can recall, and I and one of my members went back to the offices. I cannot recall whether we were there when the vehicle was removed. We then went to sleep. We arrived at the office and about an hour later we went to bed.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it was myself, Mr Flores, Mr Ras and somewhere I place another person possibly. I am not certain who drove to the border, whether it was one of my people or whether it was one of Piet Retief's security people. I am not certain.
MR DE KOCK: From there I and the members who participated with me went to Pongola early the next morning and from there we went to Matubatuba, or not Matubatuba, I think Mkuzi, or Matubatuba, where we met Brig Schoon and the rest of the group who were on their way to Island Rock.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, at Island Rock I discussed the matter with him and I mentioned to him that there were some problems with regard to a lack of arms which were found on the persons, but that it was under control and that we sorted it out.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, the infiltrations continued. The information that the source provided was that there was a group of approximately 36+ trained members of MK, who would be infiltrated by this group commander to Natal.
MR DE KOCK: That's correct, Chairperson. I would just like to mention - and Mr Pienaar would be able to support me here because C1 worked on a national basis. I cannot recall all the information, but Mr Ndaba was a very active member of MK and in that sense he was a very capable person with regard to his actions and his managerial abilities in operations.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, we did not have a fixed date which the source could give us about the following infiltrations, but I would like to recall that the second infiltration would be in relation to the successful infiltration of the first group and the second group. So those groups would report back to the groups in Swaziland whether they were successful and had achieved their objective.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there were no planning as such, but the source would keep Mr Pienaar up to date with regard to infiltrations, or the possible planning thereof. At two opportunities, it may be more, I could be corrected here, but I drove from Island Rock to Mbazwana Police Station, which I think was about 25 or 30 kilometres from Island Rock, and from there I had contact with Mr Freek Pienaar. The reason therefore was that if an infiltration did take place while we were busy with this meeting, then a group of my people would leave to assist them.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, there was the threat of another infiltration and the time was not known. At that stage, with our departure from Island Rock, the group met at a place by the name of Moolman, it's a small type of forestry station which consisted of a post office and a bar, about 30 kilometres from Piet Retief. The whole unit rendezvoused there before we would depart for Pretoria, and from there I liaised with Mr Pienaar and Mr Pienaar informed me that they expected an infiltration that evening.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, he was, because the unit would rendezvous there and everybody would be there. I think between 11 and 12, there would be a final braai there and from there we would all depart for Pretoria.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, the certainty was not there whether there would be an infiltration that evening. We waited for confirmation. I did pick a group of my members and the rest were sent back to Pretoria after the social there, but the group that I picked out remained behind.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it was myself, Mr Ras, Mr Paul van Dyk, Mr Flores, Mr Nortje, and I have just heard that Mr Vermeulen was also there. I could not place him because I could not recall him. And Mr Tait as well.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, after the social. About 1 or 2 o'clock, my members and I went to the Security Branch offices at Piet Retief and according to my recollection, Mr Pienaar was there, he did the monitoring and liaised with his sources. We waited to see if this infiltration would take place.
At a later stage some members arrived there from the Security Branches at Middelburg, Witbank and Ermelo, I think. They had a vehicle, which was a minibus because it was expected that a larger group would infiltrate, approximately 8 to 10 persons. That is the information that I had.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, at that stage it was arranged with Detective W/O from the Piet Retief Detective Branch, who would drive the vehicle and the source would give his false name or his pseudo name, which he would use at the border to identify himself and to pick up these terrorists and they would similarly, as it the previous instance, be led into an ambush and then he would stop there.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, I did not send a vehicle, but I did compile a group. I did consult with Mr Deetlefs and Mr Pienaar, we sat and consulted. The feeling was - and I accept it was the feeling that I had, that after the second shooting incident which we expected would be successful, just as the first, it would be expected of any commander whether he is in position or not, that there is a break in his security network and that he should not use that network again and infiltrate these persons in another manner and would lose control over the operation.
I sent a group across the border so that after these terrorists were delivered and sent across the border and had left already, then the second group, the commander and whoever else was still there would be shot dead or caught. I want to mention that catching them was not the idea.
MR DE KOCK: I sent Captain van Dyk, or Mr van Dyk, Mr Ras, Mr Tait and I don't who of Piet Retief's Security Branch went along. I'm under correction, they'll have to assist me here, but I did send a group of four or five persons across the border.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, the vehicle arrived, Manzini did flicker his lights, but a crisis came about because the vehicle drove past the ambush area, it did not stop there and drove past and stopped approximately 80 metres from us and Manzini jumped out of the vehicle and ran round the vehicle.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, that would be the sign. I had thought about the previous week's situation and coupled with the fact that the vehicle was moving out of the ambush area, I ran in the direction of where the kombi had stopped and when I reached the vehicle the left front door opened and a man climbed out with an AKM. He and I were practically a metre, maximum two metres from each other when I started firing at him. His weapon was almost perpendicular to my left arm and at the third or fourth shot he only showed signs of falling.
MR DE KOCK: I was once again armed with a 9mm hand carbine, an uzzi, and with this shooting and from the periphery of my right eye I could see the barrel of an AK47, which is a very recognisable barrel and firing system at the front. Fortunately at that stage some of my Vlakplaas members took up position in a diagonal line behind me and started firing on the people in the minibus.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, when the members fired on the person in the minibus, members of the Security Branch Piet Retief and the other Security Branches, moved up in a line from behind and the group of people in the minibus were caught in a destructing crossfire.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, I did give the cease-fire signal, Chairperson, and we had found four black men who were all armed with AK47s. I did not search the bodies to find out what other arms they had with them.
MR DE KOCK: I cannot recall whether an officer did visit the scene, or whether the officer visited the scene while I was there. I don't think he did. He may have visited the scene after I had left. I have a vague recollection that we may have gone to sleep, or in fact departed back to Pretoria that morning and it would have been early that morning.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. After the shooting, when we fired at the minibus, Mr Ras and his group returned with Mr van Dyk and the others and they reported that they had indeed ambushed a vehicle there. With the return of two black men they fired at them. The one was already in the vehicle, if my information is correct, he was shot dead. The other person escaped, and this later appeared to be Mr Charles Ndaba. It was said to me that an attempt was made to set the vehicle alight.
Mr de Kock in general, with regard to both incidents - let me ask you the question about the second incident first. Did Brig Schoon know that you would be involved in a similar incident such as the first one?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. With the meal or the function at Moolman, just before all of us went our separate ways, I notified him that I would remain behind with more members because I would have accompanied him to Pretoria otherwise. And he knew the reasons for that.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. The information was of such quality, and from the enquiries it appeared that this was the reason why we should preferably set up and ambush because we knew that we were dealing with trained MK members here and by nature of the situation, an MK members was synonymous with a machine-gun and or a missile launcher of anything that went along with that.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, if one thinks about it today, one cannot think that any of our members, whether it be on our side or on the side of our opposition, sank to the levels where we grabbed each other by the throats and literally strangled one another. It just doesn't make sense.
If you study the normality which gradually emerged after 1994, one cannot believe that one couldn't see it oneself. It's very difficult to express. That relentlessness, the lack of total tolerance, must have developed over a period of time, so that the lines which were drawn between right and wrong transformed into a grey area, that we dehumanised one another and that ultimately we achieved nothing by the destruction of lives on both sides.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. I accept full responsibility for my share, my planning and the leadership that I provided, the decisions that I took. I also accept full responsibility for the members under my command, of Vlakplaas, and in this case particularly because by nature of my seniority there I also accept full responsibility for the members of the Eastern Transvaal Security Branches, insofar as the actions and combat and the cross-border operations are concerned.
Kock, on behalf of those that I'm appearing for there are singular aspects that I want to clear up with you and that would be regarding the second incident, that is the incident involving the minibus.
MS VAN DER WALT: Furthermore, the clients who were involved in the second matter maintain that when the bus came to a standstill and the person on the left front side disembarked from the bus with the AK, he began to shoot with the firearm in his hands. Can you recall this?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, no. However, I would like to explain it as follows. It is probably my gunfire which they may have seen because as I've said, we were between a metre and two metres away from one another, nothing further than that. I would concede to that, that there may have been some error in judgement on that side.
MR DE KOCK: As I have said, if I had taken a second longer or if the person on the left front had been a second faster, with that short distance and with that limited angle of fire in which he would have concentrated his gunfire, this would have led to a blood-bath, there is no doubt about that.
MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Rorich and Mr van Zweel will give evidence that on the tar road between the two places where they stood, there was also a mark in the tar road, which they allege came from the fire of the person who climbed out of the vehicle.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I will not dispute that, my attention was focused on a more serious and more immediate danger, but I believe that if he had fired and if he had hit me there would have been traces of gunpowder on my body. That was the nature of the distance. However, I will not dispute it, it may be the perception of others.
MR PRINSLOO: And Mr Pienaar's impression is that in the case of the vehicle which was driven by Lieutenant Mose, who has passed away since then, that he switched on the left indicator light, which would indicate that the persons in the vehicle were armed. Can you recall that or not?
MR PRINSLOO: Is it correct that that person did not have any knowledge of what had been planned by the Security Branch, specifically with regard to the background? He only knew that he had an order to indicate whether or not the persons were armed and if they were armed, he had to switch on an indicator light, jump out of the vehicle and run away?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the signal upon which we would react, would be if he jumped out of the vehicle and ran away past the front of the vehicle into the bushes and on the same side as us so that he did not end up in the line of fire. However, he didn't know that we were going to eliminate these persons.
MR PRINSLOO: With regard to the second incident, Mr Deetlefs whom I represent says that his recollection is that he arrived in Piet Retief after the persons had already been given the order apparently to cross the border. These are the persons that you sent ahead. He was not present when this was said to them. Can you recall this or not?
MR PRINSLOO: It is not such an important point. And the impression which Mr Pienaar, as well as Mr Deetlefs have is that with regard to the second incident, there was gunfire from the other vehicle, that somebody jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire.
MR DE KOCK: I have already given an answer regarding that. I will not aim to be obstructive or disputive with regard to this, but I have been fired at quite often and I have been involved in fights with persons who have fired at me. I have experience thereof.
MR DE KOCK: I don't know whether it was so at that specific time, but upon a previous occasion the Swazi Government did apply pressure. I don't know whether it was also the case with this infiltration.
MR PRINSLOO: Regarding the preceding events approximately in 1986, can you recall that there were various incidents during which MK members planted landmines and during which many people were injured and killed, specifically in the Eastern Transvaal?
MR PRINSLOO: And according to information which was later obtained, the person Naidoo would have been involved in an incident during which an explosion took place at Rasjbansi here in Natal, do you know about that?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes. Well if it had not been fired that would have been my observation. I must say that the situation was an ambush situation and it was strange to hesitate in any such kind of a situation.
MR CORNELIUS: That's correct. And there could have been no doubt to the passengers in this vehicle, that this was a military or a police operation as a result of the searchlight which was present at the scene?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, the doctrine of an ambush is to kill. And to give you a broader concept, in ambushes groups would be placed depending on the geography of the terrain, to ensure that nobody escapes.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, we had trained MK members and according to all indicators which we had at our disposal, they were armed. There was no way that I would expose my own people or expose the Security Forces to either death or injury. They were our enemy, I cannot allow any one of them to escape and to sow further terrorism. And that is why the ambush had to be as effective as possible.
MR CORNELIUS: Lastly, the placing of the ambush was of such a nature that there would be no loss of life with the community, it was a safe area that you had selected between two plantations, is that correct?
Mr de Kock, it doesn't appear from your application or from your evidence, so I would just like to clear one thing up. Insofar as the Swaziland aspect of the second operation was concerned, you did say that you discussed the second operation with Brig Schoon. Was the Swaziland aspect to your recollection, also discussed with him, or wasn't it discussed? I would just like clarity about that.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, it emanated from a later discussion with Mr Pienaar and Mr Deetlefs as I recall and as a Commander of C1 and Counter-Insurgency, I could independent decisions. It was expected of one to take decisions and to assume leadership, that is why one was in that position. And one would bear all the responsibilities associated with that position,
MR BOOYENS: And Mr Tait informs me that he was made aware of the fact that the intention of the Swaziland component of the operation was indeed that the people that they were supposed to attack in Swaziland, were indeed responsible for the infiltration of cadres into the country and people who were in fact bent on destruction and murdering people in South Africa, and that was indeed explained to him. So they were aware who they were supposed to attack in Swaziland. Would that be correct?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, not exactly, it may have been a peripheral issue. I know however, that the idea was discussed that if we could kill these two persons there, the source would be able to point out the facilities where the rest of the group waited for infiltration. Even if not on that night, on a following night we would be able to eliminate them successfully.
MR DE KOCK: He knew that there would be a second potential infiltration because I had to tell him why I was remaining behind, because we travelled together from Island Rock to Moolman. And it was informed to him as such.
MR LAMEY: Was it also your request that the facts afterwards - and I'm also referring specifically to the second incident, that the facts be constructed to created the false impression of a properly set up roadblock, or were you a member to that discussion or that prescription?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, I was part of that discussion. That was just to avoid the ambush issue because an ambush indicates an intention to kill. Since 1967 and my first session of training, up to that day, no ambush would be set up with any other intention than to shoot and kill.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, we went through to Vlakplaas that morning after the shooting. I wrote a statement, among others that I had been in command and when I wanted to take it through to Piet Retief, I telephoned so that Mr Pienaar could expect me there and he informed me that Deetlefs had already submitted a statement in which he stated that he fired the shots, that he shot the person at the door.
And later I had to hand in my uzzi at the Piet Retief Security Branch because I think a Mr Klatso, who was retained by the families as their representative, wanted to undertake ballistic tests on the firearm and my gun spent quite some time in the vault at Piet Retief.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I simply assumed in my simplicity, that Deetlefs may be looking to score extra points for himself, a pat on the shoulder. I may be wrong, but that was my opinion at that stage. It doesn't mean that I'm right.
MR LAMEY: I think you touched upon this in your evidence, but the fact that Manzini - that was the member of the Detective Branch, who had to give the signal that the passengers in the minibus were armed, he had to jump out of the vehicle and run around the front side of it and get away from the scene.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, as far as I can recall, upon arrival at the ambush point the indicator lights had to flicker from sharp to dull and that would give us a pre-warning and then he would have to pull away or pull over into the ambush area. The driver would have to jump out and run around the front of the vehicle. In other words, in the same direction or line as that in which we had been set up for the ambush.
MR LAMEY: Then my instructions from Mr Nortje are that he was diagonally behind you when the person with the AK47 emerged from the door and he confirms what you say, that the person did indeed climb out of the vehicle with an AK47, and he also confirms that he in his mind also expected that this person would open fire any minute and the fact that you also fired was a signal to the other members to open fire, is that correct?
MR DE KOCK: No, because my statement was written and typed and I wanted to send it through to Piet Retief. It wouldn't help to fax it because my original statement had to form part of the file. And this was not my request.
MR DE KOCK: I don't want to dispute it, but the second shooting suited me much better than the first. With the exception of the fact that it had not been a roadblock, there was really nothing to hide. But I don't want to dispute that.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson. If it is so I cannot recall it, I really cannot. I will not dispute it. It would have made sense if we had it at the first instance, but I am speculating now, I don't have an independent recollection thereof.
MR DE KOCK: I am not sure what the relationship between Charles Ndaba and the source was, but I accept that it should have been quite good because the information was that - if I can put it like this, there was hundred percent proof.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the amount of 8 to 12 was mentioned the afternoon at the Security Branch offices. I may be incorrect, but I think that is why the minibus was there, to accommodate that amount of people.
MR LAMEY: I would just like to say that my instructions have been corrected by Mr Nortje. He says initially he spoke of the information of four MK members, but there may have been information as to more, but ultimately there were only four MK members.
MR JANSEN: So it has never been possible to surmise from him why he gave the apparent signal when he climbed out of the vehicle and ran around the front of the vehicle? Why he gave this signal that there were weapons in the vehicle, during the first incident.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I have a recollection that I did speak to him after the shooting incident and he mentioned that the weapons should have been in the bags. That is how he perceived it and that is why he took that step.
MR JANSEN: Yes, and one speculates now, but that is exactly the point which I wanted to make to you. If one has a look at the facts as a whole, one would accept that Lieutenant Mose only went to pick up those people that evening.
MR JANSEN: And if one looks at many other similar incidents, the records of the Truth Commission and other investigations, it is so that some of the MK cadres would infiltrate with their weapons and in other instances without their weapons?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. Many a time the weapons were already stored within the Republic and people would infiltrate without weapons - and I would depend further on Mr Deetlefs and Pienaar, who would have firsthand knowledge about this, and then they would just collect the weapons from where they were stored.
MR JANSEN: Yes, and there are also documented cases - and I think for example of the arrests of MK members and PAC members in the Western Transvaal area, where it could have been expected from someone in your position and in the positions of your members, that you would be fired upon and that such people would draw their weapons on the police.
MR JANSEN: Yes, what I would just like to get clear from you, on record, is that it was not unreasonable at all at that stage, from you and more specifically Mr Ras, but you were all in the same position, to expect or to be uncertain whether you would expect fire from the other side?
MR JANSEN: Yes, and the position of those who were on the left-hand side of the vehicle and his position right, somewhat to the back, was set up so that you would not be in the line of fire of each other.
MR JANSEN: Mr Ras also says that although a large number of shots were fired and they moved closer to the vehicle, and the woman who fell out of the right-hand side of the vehicle was shot, all these things literally took place during the course of a few seconds.
MR JANSEN: I think that there is something will be in issue and maybe it is correct that I deal with that right now. Mr Ras says in his application - I don't know whether you have studied his application?
MR JANSEN: From the original or the initial evidence with regard to Vlakplaas as a whole, that we had in Pretoria, is it correct that it emanated from that evidence that the most of the Vlakplaas members were issued with Makarov pistols and other eastern block weapons?
MR JANSEN: Yes, correct, I think maybe I did not use the correct words. And you are also aware that Mr Ras says that the Makarov which was planted at the scene, as well as the two handgrenades, were in his possession. Are you aware of his evidence to that effect?
MR JANSEN: Mr Ras says that his recollection is that there was a discussion between yourself and Mr Pienaar, where it was discussed that Mr Roelf Venter was to be contacted to find such weapons and before any steps were taken in this issue, he mentioned to you that he had his Makarov and the grenades with him. Can you recall that?
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, my recollection indicates that one of the Makarovs was available from Mr Pienaar. He could assist us later. And this includes the handgrenades as well. We could not get Mr Venter there because somebody had to drive to Piet Retief from the scene and when we left Piet Retief, Mr Venter was not yet there. So it is confusing in that sense. I do not want to dispute it with him, but it is confusing. I cannot give you certainties here.
MR JANSEN: And Mr Ras furthermore says - and I am just putting this to you because I don't think we will reach much or that at the end of the day we would want to choose one person's version above that of another, but for the sake of completion I want to put Mr Ras' version to he. He also says that he specifically fired two shots with the Makarov while it was in the hands of one of the victims at the scene. Can you recall anything to that effect?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it would make sense to do that under those circumstances, but I cannot recall it. I would ascribe it if somebody could clear it up for me. And as I say, it would make sense, but however I cannot recall it.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it is difficult to say. What I do know about the Makarov pistols is that I had to as quickly as possible - the Makarov which was used at the first shooting incident to place it by Mr Naidoo's body, it had to be replaced with another Makarov because it was a problem later in Court because photos were taken of the first Makarov for purposes of the first inquest and when I replaced the Makarov with the second Makarov, identification problems arose because a Makarov is an eastern block weapon and is upon licensing by some of the eastern block countries, and with the first Makarov I had for example 13 tension indentations on the locking mechanism at the top and with the second Makarov which I brought to replace the first one, there were something like 8, and Mr Jakoep(?) clearly pointed this out to me during the inquest. So somewhere there is some confusion. I have now given you my memory about that.
MR JANSEN: And the victims of this first incident were only known to yourself, or their personal identities were not known to you, they were known to you as persons who were part of the ANC and of certain operational units of the ANC?
MR MOERANE: Yes, Mr Chairman, but at the outset I would like to place two matters on record. Firstly, that on receipt of the documents and going through them, my instructions were to oppose each of the applications for amnesty. That is still our position.
Secondly, we were advised that this week, from Monday to Friday, we shall be dealing with the first incident only. A pre-hearing meeting which was scheduled to take place in Pretoria was aborted after. I attended it, but other parties couldn't attend.
MR MOERANE: So some of the families of the victims in the second incident are not here for that reason and our preparation concentrated on the first incident. I will be in a position to ask some questions. It might be necessary to ask further questions at a later stage.
MR MOERANE: Because to begin with, they were called up there to identify the bodies of their loved ones some weeks after the incident. I know you are not directly involved with that, but I take it you know that.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, to define it in brief, if for me as a Major or a Colonel it was not possible to deal with a case or to cover it up, then a person like myself would go to Brig Schoon and we would look for further assistance there. What would happen, as in the case of the Harms Commission, is that the best and most loyal senior person and who had enough expertise, would assist one to take the police's case further for damage control or prevention of any damage.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, the Security Branch at head office had several components there, for example the head of SANAB - no, it's not Security Branch, it's CID. One would have the Chief of the RSA Vehicle Branch, one would have the Chief of the Diamond Branch, Chief of the Narcotics Branch, one would have the Chief of Murder and Robbery Units, where Gen Engelbrecht was. I am not certain where Brig van Wyk fitted in, but that is how it worked.
MR MOERANE: Yes, well let's cut this very short. Would I be correct in saying that the whole investigation of this first incident, from beginning right up to the end, was designed to protect the police and cover up any embarrassment that might be caused to the police?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot give direct evidence about that, but I understood that it was a situation about promotion and there were problems surrounding Brig van Wyk's promotion and he preferred to leave the Force.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, I said a few moments ago that I'm not going to play the good boy. The word "bitch" isn't the type of word that I would usually use in normal language, especially not towards women of any nature, but I said "shoot her and shoot her through the head".
MR MOERANE: Well Colonel, so what is your evidence on this aspect, with regard to the statement made Lt Ras, do you dispute it? In other words, do you dispute that you put it in those terms "skiet die bitch"?
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, as I've said in my evidence, the left back window began to move, it was minute and that along with my hesitation led me to take the decision to open fire. However, even if this had not taken place, I would still have opened fire.
MR MOERANE: Yes. If I understand your state of mind Colonel, you are saying that you conceived your duty as one of fighting the enemy and the enemy in this case being defined as trained ANC and PAC cadres.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. I wouldn't say that I had a free hand in the sense that one could act beyond the normal parameters, but one could definitely take one's own decisions. It was also one's duty. And by nature of the situation within the position that one occupied, one had to take decisions.
MR MOERANE: Yes, but if I understand your evidence correctly, that's oral evidence that you gave here and oral evidence that you gave on the 24th of May 1999, what you did, particularly as Commander of Vlakplaas, C1 Section, was known certainly to Brig Schoon.
MR MOERANE: Let's deal with one aspect which has been troubling those I represent and that is the situation of Lt Mose. Now Lt Mose is the one who under false pretences fetched the four unfortunate young people at the prearranged spot and drove them into the ambush?
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Moerane, I've seen the name, but it's spelt differently. Do you know, do you have a definitive spelling of Lt Mose' name, Mose? I've seen it as M-O-S-E and I've seen it with an H in it. I'm now spelling it, M-O-S-S.
MR MOERANE: In the affidavit that was filed in the Piet Retief inquest, his surname was rendered as M-O-S-E. The affidavit which he presumably signed. We do not know, because he didn't give evidence, he died of a heart attack we are told, before he could give evidence. Is that correct?
MR MOERANE: Well let me come out into the open. You have mentioned two person who worked for the police, one of them was actually a Constable I believe, or a Sergeant, I'm not so sure anymore, who as attached to Vlakplaas, by the name of Brian Ngqulunga.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, he was the person who had identified Charles Ndaba to the Durban placed askari unit and after Charles Ndaba had been arrested, he identified somebody else and between the two of them they exposed the entire Vula operation. After that, as a result of information that I had obtained, I heard that Cpt Hentie Botha was involved in the death of these two persons, that is Charles Ndaba and the other person and that Goodwill Sekakane had known about it.
MR MOERANE: Another matter that I have been instructed to raise is the question of sources or informers. Now the person who gave information about these four persons involved in the first incident, was that your source or was he W/O Pienaar's source?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. If I recall correctly, it was the day before the first shooting, or on the same day. I wanted more confirmation, I wanted to listen to the source myself and for a brief period of time I consulted with the source.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot recall the name at the moment. However, with the report which I read, that entire report was given to a very responsible person within the current government or dispensation. And it would be that one cannot expose such persons to death or serious injury.
MR DE KOCK: Generally a branch would request a group to come and work in an area, such a request would have to be followed up or supported by means of a telex report. That would be submitted to Brig Schoon and from there it would be channelled to me and sometimes there would be specific enquiries about specific askaris who they required.
In certain operations, Brig Schoon called me in and then the operation would be given to me and an explanation of what they wanted. Sometimes one would be told to sort it out, depending on what the situation was, or the specific task at hand.
In this case, Brig Schoon and I would have travelled together to Island Rock. However, I notified him that I would not be able to do so, due to an expected infiltration I would have to depart earlier, so that he could make other arrangements and I would go through in the meantime to assess the situation.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, after I had spoken to Brig Schoon he would have to provide further information or at least report to the Head of Security. There would be questions. The General would want to know what happened because he in turn would have to inform either the Commissioner or the Minister.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I will have to depend upon tangible evidence and that is in the case where there were personal congratulations from person to person, then the Minister or the General may congratulate Vlakplaas as a group or the entire unit. There would be the delivery of rewards or the decoration of members of Vlakplaas.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. I would just like to qualify something and that is that the Uniform Branch and the Detective Branch - let me put it like this, the regular policeman on the street would not have been involved in our situations, with the exception of times when the askaris caused problems, such as a shooting or assault, or where accidents had occurred and our vehicles carried false number plates, then we would for example - in my case, I would have gone to the Station Commander and told him that I would rectify certain aspects and leave it at that and if I could not succeed, I would then consult higher authority.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, that would have indicated that the persons insisted that the driver turn around, or they may have jumped out and run away. Or even more serious, that they opened fire on us first.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot make any statements about that, but what I do know is that directly after the shooting the vehicle was pulled into the road, with a blue revolving siren or light. And I have read my statement here this morning for the first time, upon my arrival here, I did not read the statements made by the other members in that regard.
MR MOERANE: Coming to the second incident, you have described in graphic detail what happened and how you approached this vehicle and how this person wielding this firearm was about a metre or two in front of you.
MR DE KOCK: From that short a distance and with that firing tempo of an AK47, I believe that my midriff or chest area would have disintegrated. And with the limited angle in which it was necessary for him to fire - and I've thought about this quite a lot, he could not have done anything other than to wound seriously or kill four or five, there's no doubt.
MR MOERANE: Yes, well he first filed an affidavit where he dealt with his relations with you, the type of person that you were, the question of movement of firearms at Vlakplaas, whether that was controlled, whether there was a register which - do you recall all that?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, I would have to read it because I would have to point out whether or not there are things that he may have exaggerated about, or certain omissions that he may have made, which I would need to supplement. However, I accept what you have put to me.
MR MOERANE: Yes, this is on bundle 3A, page 216 right up page 223, particularly from paragraphs 10 where he says you gave instructions for acts of kidnapping, killing, stealing cars, etc., to be carried out by members of the South African Police. That you specialised in destruction, you do not believe in arresting anyone because going to Court was a waste of time, with a lot of questions asked.
"... always carried around firearms and explosives in the boot of your vehicle. These included uzzis, AK47s, F1 handgrenades, 9mm Berettas and at least one Makarov pistol, at least one Tokarev pistol and a scorpion, but not all weapons captured from infiltrants were registered, some were kept for purposes of infiltration and for planting on infiltrants we had killed."
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it wasn't for those specific objectives. With many of our deployments it was foreseen that we may undertake a border crossing and those persons would then be issued, not only with their usual duty weapons, but also with covert weapons and they would also take along their false passports, ID books and credit cards just in case we would have to cross the border at short notice and launch an operation or an attack.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, let me just put it like this. When I speak of cross-border operations and what I've referred to here, this would be in reference to weapons which were specially prepared, which used subsonic ammunition, silencers which were not traceable, strange handgrenades, or at least not a strange handgrenade because a handgrenade is a handgrenade, but a handgrenade from an eastern block origin which could not be traced back to the Security Forces.
"Many operations under the command of Maj de Kock, in which I participated, were launched from Piet Retief. Some of them involved activities in Swaziland. I know W/O Pienaar, who is the Head of the Security Section in Piet Retief. As I understand the matter, he runs a series of informers there. The general rule, he would get information from his informers and thereafter ask for people from Vlakplaas to come to Piet Retief. When we got there a plan of action would be worked out upon information provided by Pienaar. We would then participate in the execution of the plan."
Just one or two other issues, Colonel. When you were asked whether or not an inquest, a formal inquest was held into the second incident, your reply was that no, it was an informal inquest. And my learned friend for some of the applicants told the Committee that in fact a formal inquest was actually held.
MR MOERANE: But I don't blame you for thinking that that was no inquest because when the evidence was led, the representatives of the families were not there. They tried to secure a postponement, which was unsuccessful, so in effect it went by default so to speak.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, he would not have had any detail, he had to deliver the people to us. And it was a high risk because one would not know who would recognise him at the border. But that we would shoot them all, he did not know that.
MR DE KOCK: No, he was with the Detective Branch. The Detective Branch did share offices in the same building, but they were divided by gates. They may have met with each other, but there would not be daily interaction.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it would be very difficult to give a definite answer. I will go with my memory. I believe when he saw the four persons with their AKs, he could have foresaw or expected a combat situation, whether it be at a roadblock or anywhere else. I want to ensure you that I'm not trying to be evasive.
CHAIRPERSON: There wouldn't be a roadblock, he wouldn't know where to stop at the precise place, unless there was some sort of a rehearsal or precise decision that when you get to this particular point, it's important that you flick your lights or do whatever and make your signal and stop right here. He must have known where to stop or where to give the signal.
MR MOERANE: And surely it must have occurred to the persons who were planing this operation, that Sgt Manzini's life might be in danger, either from the persons that he was going to pick up, or from the ensuing fire if you decided to fire at the vehicle. MR DE KOCK: Yes, I concede, Chairperson, and I would go as far as to say if he could not climb out of the vehicle in time, there was a great risk to him.
ADV GCABASHE: Just clarity on that very point. Mr de Kock, are you then saying that he was indeed informed that these people would be armed, that as he ran off you would be shooting at these people? Just specifically.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, I would concede because his signal to us that the persons would be armed is the fact that he would climb out of the vehicle and run around the front of the vehicle, so that he gets to our side of the line of fire.
MR DE KOCK: It would have been Brig Schoon, Maj Martin Naude, myself, there was a Gen Beukes, who was the staff officer of the security chief and then the rest of the members of Vlakplaas and of C2. In total I would say we were approximately 40+ people.
ADV GCABASHE: Well your participation, with your members. You know you talked of control - I beg your pardon, you talked about informing him about it and discussing the matter with him, and the distinction I'd like you to draw for me is seeking authority to participate in this manner as opposed to just generally telling him, not even giving him detail and just assuming that you had that authority, because you were a Major at the time.
MR DE KOCK: The mandate that we had was against terrorism and not only the area, but the information and the circumstances would indicate which steps can be taken. And for the person in command on the ground, it is left open for interpretation and what would be the safest and most effective against the enemy.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I would not say that he said go to Piet Retief and assist them with shooting. I made it clear to him that Piet Retief has an infiltration and they requested assistance and it had his approval. So in that sense, one accepts, because you have to report back again and if you don't report back, there would be some enquiries.
MR DE KOCK: I explained to him that there were no weapons, but that we did sort out the problem. And the situation was such that if you could not handle it on the ground, one would go to the following person who would be higher and you would request assistance in that manner for the cover up of the situation.
MR MALAN: I don't understand when you asked for permission and when you reported. If I heard your evidence correctly, when you were asked about specific authorisation you said something to the effect that your instruction was against terrorism, not only in the area but also the circumstances would determine and the one on the ground had to interpret it.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, to take it further I would for example not be able to tell Brig Schoon beforehand that I would send a group across the border. For example, with the second incident after the shooting or before the shooting, I decided to send a group across the border. I did report back to him that it was a cross-border operation, it did have his approval.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, if terrorists were shot, there would usually be - I would not say it was controversial, but enquiries are made, my report to Brig Schoon would be carried over by Brig Schoon to the Chief of Security and from there it would be taken further.
MR MALAN: Yes, I would accept that circumstances would arise, specifically with the disclosure of the success and the combating of terrorism, but that still does not mean that all illegal actions necessarily had to be communicated upwards.
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, in this instance and in other instances it did happen. I can for example, to shed more light, at Island Rock I did convey the information to Brig Schoon that we obtained an address from one of the persons who were involved with the first shooting incident, it was a postal address and we accepted that it was a DLB for messages, and I asked him if we could send an explosive device and then we did send an explosive device and it did detonate approximately six to seven weeks later, but it did not hit an ANC member. And I also mention it in my amnesty application.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, as in the other instances it was not a long discussion, it - I have said previously that he was referred to as "quiet Willem". I cannot recall his words verbatim, but in general he would just nod his head and say it was not a bad shot, it was a good shot. But we did not discuss these things in depth, it was not a trophy situation.
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, it gives us an early warning so that people can arrange their weapons and you do last minute tests, is your magazine in properly, is the weapon cocked, is the safety off. And on that evening it was either zero degrees Celsius or minus that and I think all the members put their firearms down against trees or branches and had their hands under their arms. One does not use gloves, well me in any event and not my member use gloves when you shoot.
Mr de Kock, both Mr Mose and Mr Manzini, in the two different incidents, left with the whole team to go to these particular points and then passed on to the border. Just go through that bit of detail for me.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I don't want to speculate, but I think we pointed out the various points to them during the day. And perhaps someone could assist me regarding the following, or of the following witnesses. On the left or right-hand side of the
road we placed something, I don't know whether it was a milk carton or something else, I'm not certain, but that would have given an indication of the area in which the ambush was situated. I'm stating this for clarity's sake, but I would need some assistance. If someone could confirm this for me.
ADV GCABASHE: Mr Mose when you sent him across - I'm interested in the identification of weapons, what were his instructions, how was he going to identify whether those persons had weapons or did not have weapons?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, that would have been a question of whether the weapons were carried over. And then, he was a man of sound judgement, whether the weapons would have been covered in something or placed in a bag and all these persons had carry bags.
MR MALAN: Mr de Kock, two questions. The first has to do with the first incident. Some of the applicants in their applications create the impression that you were very upset because weapons were not found during the first ambush, as if - and I'm only speaking from my own impression, I don't want to connect you specifically to their words, but to the effect that you were upset that you had fired when there were no weapons. You say that that is an incorrect impression, that you would have fired nonetheless?
MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, because all information created that expectation that you were dealing with trained MK members. The idea was that this ambush was going to take place, that these persons would be armed and the information indicated that they were armed, and I was satisfied with the information. This was the result of enquiries that I had made myself, I didn't simply rely on someone else's version of the information and here we have this situation.
MR MALAN: Very well. Then just with regard to the flickering of the lights, because some of the applicants maintain that that was the indication of whether or not there were weapons, some also speak of indicators and not the flickering of the headlights. Would you have expected other vehicles on that road, or would they have been intercepted?
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, if another vehicle had approached they would not have known about our ambush position, so that would not have given that indication. But the inroad was quite quiet at that stage of the night, so I don't believe that there would have been another vehicle on the road.
MR MALAN: So it isn't a warning of here we come, it is an indication that that is the correct car? You would have reacted on lights which were approaching, whether they had dimmed the lights or not, the men would have taken up their guns?
MR DE KOCK: It is very difficult to say, Chairperson, one would have expected for the lights to flicker, that was one aspect of the operation. If we had picked up the weapons and it wasn't one of our vehicles, it just would have gone through, but it wasn't that way, it happened as we had planned.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Just one or two questions, Mr de Kock. Sorry to keep harping back to these signals. You said the signal was that if the driver got out the car and then ran around the front of the car, that would mean that the people were armed.
CHAIRPERSON: Now we've heard that at the first incident they weren't armed and yet he did this. Now under what circumstances can you in your mind think that he would have got out of the vehicle and then strolled across and not given that signal that they were armed? Because he didn't know that they were armed in the first incident, yet he gave it, because they had bags, but one would thing that people infiltrating from one country to another would be carrying at least some bags.
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, if there were none such people, or if nobody had climbed into his car, then Mose would have brought the car to a standstill there, climbed out and most probably have indicated.
CHAIRPERSON: So the signal is rather probably more accurately put that if they are armed and you see them armed, okay you run in front of the car, if you think that they may be armed you also run in front of the car?
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the indication that Lt Mose gave was that these persons were armed. A man could not have foreseen that if they had been armed with sub-machine guns, how quickly they would have been able to produce their weapons. And he would not have been in the position at the border post, to search the bags or the persons.
CHAIRPERSON: When - just to get onto another point, when you were at Moolman, you said you got there in the evening and you had to hang around and there was a bar there and you had social activities, were the members drinking alcohol there?
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, the gathering was at approximately 11 o'clock that morning, the members who I selected to accompany me were under a Counter-insurgency Unit, I allowed them to have two beers or two glasses of wine. I didn't want people ...(intervention)
MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I have never encountered anything like that, that someone would pour such a great tot, you might as well just drink it out of the bottle then. It might have sounded quite to Mr Fourie, but that is not the way things worked. And I would rather grant those members of mine two glasses of wine or two beers, than that they stand behind a corner and drink on the sly and then I don't know who I'm dealing with during the shooting.
MR MALAN: I just want to achieve a measure of clarity regarding the preceding question put by the Chairperson. Isn't it so that the drivers in both cases had to get away because there would be a shooting aimed at the vehicle?
MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, not necessarily. If Lt Mose, when he climbed out of the vehicle, began walking and raised his hands or indicated us to leave it, then that would have happened. For us the signal or the indication would have been when he climbed out and ran around the front of the vehicle to get out of the line of fire because according to him these persons were armed. Because when I pulled the trigger, within myself I was convinced that I was pulling the trigger on an armed person.
MR MALAN: But I'm speaking about the planning because it's the planning. I thought I understood you to say that whether these persons were armed or not, you had no plans to arrest them. Even if they were unarmed you were not going to charge them either, your plan was to eliminated them.
MS LOCKHAT: Chairperson, if you would allow me, I just want to introduce an exhibit. A letter that was received on the 22nd of July 1999, from the attorneys Wagener Muller, just informing us that they appear on behalf of Mr Vlok, Mr Engelbrecht and Mr Schoon and that they won't be appearing at the hearing. Chairperson, I have this morning informed Mr Wagener of the new allegations that were put to Mr de Kock, regarding Gen Engelbrecht's position as sweeper and he has informed me that they still maintain their position, Chairperson. So I'd like to hand it in as Exhibit A.
CHAIRPERSON: Are the parties in possession of a copy of Exhibit A, the letter? If copies could be made and then given to all the persons. Any comment from anyone? We've received this then as Exhibit A.