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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 315

Paragraph Numbers 10 to 15

Volume 2

Chapter 3

Subsection 65


10 The SAP was formed in 1913, the Special Branch (later called the Security Branch) in 1947 or 1948 and the Riot squad in 1975. In 1986 the South African Railway Police were incorporated into the SAP and special constables introduced.

11 The following people served as Ministers of Police/ Law and Order Commissioners during the Commission’s mandate period: FC Erasmus; BJ Vorster (1961-68); SL (Lourens) Muller (1968-1974); JT Kruger 1974-79); Louis le Grange (19791986); Adriaan Vlok (1986-1991); HJ Kriel (1991-94).

12 The following people served as Commissioner of Police during the mandate period: Maj Gen Rademeyer (-1960); Lt Gen AJ du Plooy (1960-62); Lt Gen JM Keevy (1962-68); Gen JP Gous (1968 - 1971); GJ Joubert (1971-73); Gen TJ Gous (1973-1975); Gen GL Prinsloo (1975-78); MCW Geldenhuys (1978-1983); Gen PJ Coetzee (1983-87); Gen H de Witt (1987-89); JV van der Merwe (1990-96). Generals du Plooy, Prinsloo, Geldenhuys, Coetzee and Van der Merwe were all former Heads of the Security Branch or had Security Branch experience. Thus in virtually every significant period of unrest, a former security branch head has occupied the post of Commissioner of Police.

The Security Branch

13 The Security Branch was created as a fully fledged structure in 1947 or 1948. It was organised in sections. These sections were subject to changes at various times. The following is based on a mid-1980s organogram.

a Section A: information collection

b Section B seems to have collected information on non-mainline groups such as the Detainees Parents Support Committee, SA Council on Sport, etc (by 1992 Section A dealt with 'Revolutionary/Radical' groups; while Section B dealt with 'Reactionary Groups');

c Section C: an operative unit responsible for anti-terrorism activities.

d Section D dealt with state property, border posts, airports, etc.

e Section E dealt with detainees;

f Section F covered inter-departmental committees, library, research (By 1992 E is earmarked legal advisers);

g Section G was responsible for intelligence (G1), Strategic Communication (G2) and Counter-Espionage (G3). (By 1992 G was responsible for 'interdepartmental linkages' and included links/secondments to Venda, Bophutatswana, Swaziland);

h Section H was Secret Funds (by 1992 Secret Funds fell under Group K and Group H had become Constitutional Services and connected into returning exiles and releases);

i Section J connected to the SSSRC and the JMCs; by 1992 it had become the Trewits section;

j Section K was the Inspectorate (by 1992 Special Account);

k Section L was the database or information centre;

l Section M was Namibia (by 1992 the Technical Division);

mSection N was the Technical Division (by 1992 the Administrative section);

n Section O was Training.

14 In 1991, the Special Branch merged with the Criminal Investigation Division into a structure known as Crime Combating and Investigation. The section previously known as the Security Branch was renamed the Crime Information Service (CIS). It is now called Internal Security. The change brought a change in the allocation of functions to the different sections, as reflected in the listing above.

15 Commanding officers of the Security Branch include: 1960s - Gen Hendrik van der Bergh, Brig PJ ‘Tiny’ Venter; 1970s - Brig PJ ‘Tiny’ Venter, Mike Geldenhuys; Lt-Genl CF Zietsman; 1980s - Brig Johan Coetzee; Maj Gen Frans Steenkamp; Maj-Genl S Schutte; Brig Johan van der Merwe; 1990s -Basie Smit.

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