About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Questions which require the attention of the Commission


1.1. Arising from this submission there are many questions which need to be answered within the context of the hearings and investigations of the TRC. These questions are relevant not only to ensure that the country is fully appraised of past developments; but also to uncover any of the networks that may still be operational today and which are therefore a danger to the fledgeling democracy.

1.2. The questions relate only to some of the developments and serve as indicators of areas that need particular attention. From this submission, as well as others, numerous other questions will arise. The critical task is to determine political responsibility, operational commands and lines of accountability, as well as the individuals who carried out specific acts of gross violation of human rights.

1.3. It should be emphasised once more, as underlined in the submission, that the aim is not retribution, but to bring about justice, reconciliation and nation-building.

1.4. These question apply equally to the bantustan and other state structures, to the extent that some of their operations may have been independently executed.


2.1. The basic question is: to what extent was each of the acts of gross violation of human rights sanctioned by the National Party (or bantustan) political leadership: the cabinet or structures to which executive powers were delegated! In this regard, the Commission will need to examine minutes and decisions of the cabinet in the period under review.

2.2. The Commission will also need to obtain documents outlining the structures, functions and decisions of the State Security Council, its predecessors and later versions, before and after 1990. It will also require evidence and input from minister(s)/deputy minister(s) who were directly responsible for these structures and the key officials in the hierarchy.

2.3. At the operational level, the following questions arise:

2.3.1. What is the full extent and nature of operations conducted by hit-squads linked to the CCB, Vlakplaas police unit, the Security Branch, JMCs, Military Intelligence and Directorate of Covert Collections, with particular reference to the gross violations of human rights such as assassinations and mass killings?

2.3.2. Who were the commanders and operatives of these structures, where are they currently located, and what has happened to the infrastructure they established or supervised?

2.3.3. What is the full extent and nature of operations conducted under the auspices of Adult Education Consultants and other such secret projects and front companies?

2.3.4. Who gave orders for the setting up of, and commanded operations of the vigilante groups, criminal gangs and hit squads identified in the submission?

2.3.5. Which of the armed actions were "false flag" operations, who gave the orders and who executed these operations?

2.3.6. To what extent were state structures involved in initiating or fanning violent conflict within the black community, including in particular between ANC and MDM structures or communities on the one hand, and such organisations as Inkatha and Azapo on the other?


3.1. Which agents were deployed in the ANC, the MDM, Self-Defence Units and other community-based structures and in what way were they involved in the supply of information leading to, or in the actual execution of, gross violation of human rights?

3.2. Which of the agents who were brought back to the country by the ANC were reintegrated into the networks of the state and what activities were and are they involved in?

3.3. Which agents were placed or recruited in the mass media, collaborating in the cover up or dissemination of state propaganda relating to these gross violations of human rights, and are any of them still operational today? In particular, what network existed linking stratkom structures and the state broadcaster, the SABC, and who among them are still operational today?

3.4. Which of the extreme "right-wing" groups, such as Orde Boerevolk were linked to state structures and which of their operations were at the instigation of the state or its agents?


4.1. Who authorised and who executed each of the murders of anti-apartheid activists in detention over the period under review?

4.2. Who authorised, who commanded and who carried out the murders in demonstrations, strikes or the random killings in the townships and villages?

4.3. Who was in charge of the project to manufacture and allocate the poison used in the cases identified in the submission, including Thami Zulu, Francis Meli and Solly Smith; and who carried out these operations as well as others that may not yet have been exposed?

4.4. Who authorised, commanded and carried out the assassination of leaders and cadres of the ANC (names are attached to this report) as well as members of other anti-apartheid organisations both within and outside the country?

4.5. The previous National Party government and its substructures should avail information on the fate of cadres of the ANC and other anti-apartheid structures who were captured and have "disappeared" (Names of ANC cadres attached to this report). What was their fate and who ordered and carried out the operations?

4.6. Which of the judicial officers and medical personnel co-operated in these gross violations directly or by means of cover-ups?


5.1. Who ordered and who executed raids on ANC houses and other targets outside South Africa, including the Matola raid of 1981, the Maseru massacre of 1982, the Gaberone and Lesotho raids in 1985, the raid on Lusaka in 1987 and so on?

5.2. Who was responsible for the political approval, planning and execution of the destabilisation campaign in Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and other neighbouring countries? In addition:

5.2.1. Who authorised and commanded the operations to assist Unita and Renamo; what forms did these actions take; and when were they terminated?

5.2.2. What are the true facts behind the crash of the plane which was carrying President Samora Machel and other Mozambican officials, and who was responsible for this action?

5.2.3. Who authorised and commanded the activities of Koevoet, 5 Reconnaissance Regiment, 32 Battalion and other such units; and what have been their activities since their re-deployment within the country?

5.3. Did the apartheid regime use chemical weapons in its operations in Angola, Mozambique and other neighbouring countries: who authorised this and who carried out the operations?

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to theThis resource is hosted by the site.