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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Goldstone Commission on Allegations of SADF funding of Violence in Townships
In the Weekly Mail of 3 January 1992 allegations were made concerning the funding by the South African Defence Force (SADF) of "front organisations", the purpose of which, inter alia, was to sponsor then current violence in Black townships. No evidence or witnesses were made available to the Commission which supported the allegations.
However, information placed before the Commission did make it necessary, in the opinion of the Commission, to inquire into the following matters:
2.1 The present whereabouts and relevant activities of some 200-persons allegedly trained at a base named "Hippo" in the Caprivi Strip during 1986, and thereafter at the Mkuze Camp in KwaZulu;
2.2 The training and activities of a group in Wesselton (Ermelo) known as "The Black Cats";
2.3 The present and recent operations of the following firms in so far and to the extent that they may be involved in recent or current public violence and intimidation:
CREED CONSULTANTS in Durban
DYNAMIC TEACHING CC in Port Elizabeth
MONTAGE (formerly GO HIGH) in Cape Town
DIA/PLUS (formerly JOSET HOUSING AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES in Kimberley
BETAPERS in Louis Trichardt
TSOJA ENTERPRISES (formerly LABOREL ADVISORY SERVICES in Johannesburg
TOPMAN BESTUURSDIENSTE CC
ADULT EDUCATION CONSULTANTS CC
2.4 Whether any of the person referred to in 2.1 and 2.2 are members of any organisation or group and, if so, full details thereof and in any event how their activities are organised and controlled.
2.5 If any of the aforementioned enquiries implicate persons or organisations in current or recent violence or intimidation, the role, if any, of the SADF in funding or assisting such persons or organisations in relation to such violence and intimidation.
3. In order to carry out the inquiry, the Commission established a committee of:
The Hon Mr Justice R J Goldstone as Chairman; Adv D J Rossouw, SC;
Mr G Steyn
Mr S Moshidi
4. The committee sat in Cape Town on 5, 6 and 7 February 1992 and in Pretoria and on 26-28 February 1992, 2-6 March 1992, 7-10, 13-14 April 1992, 1-5 and 8-10 June 1992, 12 and 18-21 August 1992 and 17 September 1992.
5. After the conclusion of the evidence the legal representatives of the following parties were requested to furnish the committee with written argument:
5.1 The SADF;
5.2 The South African Police (SAP);
5.3 The ANC Alliance and Weekly Mail;
5.4 The KwaZulu Government (KZG) and Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
6. For convenience, we shall report on each of the heads of inquiry under the following headings: The Caprivi Trainees; The whereabouts and relevant activities of the Caprivi Trainees, The Front Companies and The Black Cats.
When reference is made in this report to "current or recent violence", the committee intends to refer to violence which took place after 17 July 1991 i.e. the date of promulgation of the Prevention of Violence and Intimidation Act, 139 of 1991.
THE CAPRIVI TRAINEES
7. It is not in dispute that during 1986 some 200 young Inkatha supporters were recruited in KwaZulu for training by the SADF at the Caprivi in what was then South West Africa. They were recruited by Mr M Z Khumalo (MZ) who was then the personal assistant to the Chief Minister of KwaZulu, Dr M G Buthelezi.
8. It has been submitted on behalf of the KZG and IFP that the committee has no jurisdiction to:
"hear or consider any evidence relating to the training of the 200 in the Caprivi, or to draw any conclusions from such training as being a cause of public violence or intimidation in the Republic of South Africa."
That submission is based upon two main grounds, viz:
8.1 The training does not per se constitute either public violence or intimidation. If it constituted preparation for acts of public violence or intimidation that would only be relevant in the event of there being acceptable evidence of public violence and intimidation after 17 July 1991;
8.2 The training took place outside the boundaries of the Republic.
Counsel for the SADF and SAP associated themselves with these submissions.
9. The committee broadly agrees with the submission referred to in 8.1. However, the committee and the Commission have received information linking Caprivi trainees with acts of public violence and intimidation after 17 July 1991. The committee has no doubt that the nature of the training received by the trainees is relevant to matters falling within the terms of reference of the Commission.
10. The fact that the training took place outside the borders of the Republic is not relevant. If persons presently (i.e. after 17 July 1991) engaging in acts of public violence in the Republic received military or other training abroad the committee fails to understand how it could be said that evidence concerning the nature of such training falls outside the jurisdiction of the Commission.
11. It should also be noted that these objections were not raised until all the evidence had been heard by the committee.
12. In the result the committee will consider the nature of the training given to the Caprivi trainees.
13. The reasons for the training were furnished by MZ and by Brigadier Mathe (Mathe). In 1986 Mathe was the Acting Commissioner of the KwaZulu Police (KZP). For many years he was the Deputy Commissioner of the KZP, a post still held by him.
14. Mathe first gave evidence before the committee in Cape Town. He stated that because of ANC terrorism there was an urgent need for personnel who could protect VIP's and public buildings and installations in KwaZulu. There were, however, insufficient funds available to the KZP for the training of such persons. MZ informed Mathe that he had found a private company prepared to arrange and pay for such training. He understood that the training was to be done by a security company.
15. Only later when Mathe visited the trainees at the Caprivi did he learn that the source of the funds was Military Intelligence. The plan from the beginning was to absorb the recruits into the KZP. Dr Buthelezi, who was also Minister of Police, was aware of the training.
16. MZ gave similar evidence as to the reasons for the training. He testified on the policy of the ANC which regarded Inkatha and Dr Buthelezi as the enemy of the ANC and "stooges" of the South African Government. Violence and unrest were on the increase. The UDF was actively canvassing members in Natal. It was conducting a campaign of violence. He said that in 1985:
"... there was reliable intelligence that ANC hit squads were being brought to be ready to infiltrate into KwaZulu to assassinate the Chief Minister and other Ministers of the KwaZulu Government and to destroy buildings and installations in KwaZulu . . I was told that the KwaZulu Police were unable to cope with the situation, mainly because of three reasons. There were no funds available to enlarge the numbers of the KwaZulu Police. Secondly, the numbers of the KwaZulu Police were insufficient and thirdly, the training of the KwaZulu Police was insufficient to cope with the new state of affairs. It was against this background that the recruitment of the Caprivi trainees must be viewed."
MZ stated further that the KwaZulu authorities approached the SADF and that it agreed to train the recruits. He added that the training had to be extensive and had to cover all aspects of defence against terrorist attacks which could practically be accomplished within a relatively short training period of six months.
17. As to which of MZ or Mathe arranged for the SADF to train the 200 recruits each placed the responsibility on the other of them.
18. According to the SADF version, at about the beginning of 1986 the South African Army was approached by the KwaZulu authorities concerning the security situation in KwaZulu. The KZP was considered unable to cope with the situation. In particular there was no adequate security intelligence structure or adequately trained personnel. The requirement was to train people for the protection of the Chief Minister, other VIP's, protection of buildings and the gathering of intelligence.
19. Against that background the SADF decided to train 200 people from KwaZulu for the aforegoing purposes. The training was to be arranged by the Intelligence Department out of the secret account of the Defence budget.
20. The first two months of the training were devoted to basis discipline and training; the following two months to weapon training; and the final two months to more specialised training in four groups, viz. defensive training group, VIP protection group, prevention group and counter-mobilisation group.
21. Furthermore, according to the SADF evidence, it was necessary to enable the KwaZulu authorities to set up an intelligence capability. This included instruction on how to educate the broad public and make them less vulnerable to intimidation and the activities of insurgent and terrorist activities.
22. VIP protection training included the handling of firearms, other weapons and explosive devices which might be used by attackers threatening the lives of VIP's.
23. None of the trainees became members of the SADF. Their salaries were, however, paid by the SADF. They were not provided with arms. After the period of their training they returned to KwaZulu and they had no further direct contact with the SADF. Reports on the activities of the group were received from time to time from MZ.
24. According to the SADF information, the first group of trainees was incorporated into the KZP during 1987. However, because of administrative and financial problems the KZP was unable to incorporate most of the trainees before June 1989. The SADF continued to pay salaries to the recruits until their incorporation into the KZP. Bridging finance for that purpose was paid by the SADF to the KwaZulu authorities over a seven month period in 1989. Money was also made available for the improvement of the Mkuzi Camp in KwaZulu where some of the recruits were housed.
25. Mr C, one of the recruits, testified. before the Commission. He described how his training included the use of weapons including the AK47 the Uzi, the G3 and the Tokarev. They were taught how to fire, dismantle and reassemble these weapons. They were taught how to use and fire RPG7 rocket launchers. They were given instruction in urban and guerilla warfare; and how to attack buildings using handgrenades and smoke grenades. Structures made of corrugated iron and piled sandbags were repeatedly repaired and rebuilt after being destroyed during practice exercises. They were taught by a "Mr Anthony" how to interrogate captured persons using both violence or aggressive styles as well as gentle or protective styles. They were taught how to abduct people as well as surveillance procedures. They were given lectures on the ANC as an enemy of IFP and the KZG. The secrecy of their training was impressed upon them.
26. The evidence of Mr C was not materially placed in issue either by counsel for the SADF or counsel for the KZG and IFP. It is not at all inconsistent with the version contained in the memorandum furnished by the SADF.
27. Mr C denied unequivocally that the purpose of the training was for membership of "hit squads". In answer to a question as to the purpose of the training he replied:
"What the ulterior motives were that I cannot tell, except to say I went there to undergo a training as a policeman in KwaZulu".
Mr C, as a witness, was anything but well disposed towards the KZG or IFP and if to his knowledge there was any truth in that suggestion, the committee has no doubt that Mr C would have said so.
28. The evidence as to the activities of the trainees after their return to KwaZulu is highly unsatisfactory. The probability is that the majority of them were kept idle. A small number were used for the protection of Dr Buthelezi and IFP offices at various places in KwaZulu.
29. The particular unsatisfactory aspects to which we would draw attention are the following:
29.1 The inability of the KZP to produce a single file concerning the training or subsequent deployment of the trainees;
29.2 The inability of the SADF to produce a single document concerning the training of or subsequent financial support for the trainees;
29.3 The fact that, according to General J Buchner, who became the Commissioner of the KZP on 1 September 1989, the training of the recruits was kept from him by Mathe;
29.4 The fact that the training received by the trainees has played no part at all with regard to decisions concerning the employment or deployment of those of them who were incorporated into the KZP.
THE WHEREABOUTS AND RELEVANT ACTIVITIES OF THE CAPRIVI TRAINEES
30. The present whereabouts of the trainees has been satisfactorily dealt with by the KZP. For reasons concerning the safety of the former trainees the committee agreed that the detail of their whereabouts would not be made public. Suffice to say that the great majority of them are still employed by the KZP.
31. As to the relevant activities of the trainees, the committee heard the evidence of several witnesses. Certain inferences may be drawn on the strength thereof.
31.1 Mbongani Khumalo testified to a number of Caprivi trainees being sent to Sasol II in Secunda to assist that company in its problems with its workers and their trade union. According to the evidence of MZ, at that time he had a number of unemployed Caprivi trainees on his hands and was able to find employment for nine of them at Secunda. Because of the labour unrest and a generally explosive situation there, he sent Xesibe, one of the leaders at Caprivi and then a member of the Security Division of the KZP, to accompany the nine and keep an eye on them. In order to do that Xesibe resigned from the KZP. All of this occurred at the beginning of 1990.
Sinister conclusions drawn by Mbongani Khumalo concerning these events were based upon speculation and conjecture. The committee is unable to find support for such conclusions on the evidence it was able to gather or on that placed before it.
31.2 Vela Mchunu one of the trainees also testified that he was involved in certain acts of violence. The committee can, however, not find that he committed those acts as a direct consequence of his training at the Caprivi.
31.3 As was pointed out in par. 28 above, the activities of the trainees after their return from the Caprivi were highly unsatisfactory. An inference can be drawn that they were not trained solely for VIP protection.
The Wallis committee of inquiry in Natal is also, inter alia, conducting an inquiry into the relevant activities of certain Caprivi trainees. The Commission still awaits the outcome of that inquiry.
THE FRONT COMPANIES
32. On the documentary and other evidence produced by the SADF, the committee is satisfied that the front companies referred to in 2.3 above were used prior to 1990 primarily in programmes to educate members of the SADF and members of the public on matters conceived by the SADF as relevant to the internal security of the Republic. Prior to 1990 these companies were fronts for the SADF and were wholly controlled by it. After 1990 a programme of privatisation was commenced and the companies were used by the SADF solely for educational programmes directed at its own members.
33. The committee was unable to find any evidence linking any of the companies with current or recent public violence and intimidation.
CONCLUSIONS ON THE CAPRIVI TRAINEES AND THE FRONT COMPANIES
34. The committee does not propose to analyse the evidence which was given over many days by Mr Mbongani Khumalo which initially led to the Weekly Mail article of 3 January 1992 and other articles subsequently published by it. His evidence, for the most part, was based on hearsay. On certain aspects he was shown to be an unreliable witness. However, the information which this witness gave to the Weekly Mail did lead to the present inquiry and resulted in direct evidence being made available during the course of the inquiry. It is unnecessary, therefore, to rely on the hearsay evidence of Mr Khumalo.
35. The committee has read and carefully considered the written submissions of the legal teams concerning these issues. They have all been taken into account. The fact that they are not set out and analysed in detail in no way detracts from their weight or usefulness to the committee.
36. On these issues the committee has unanimously come to the following conclusions:
36.1 Having regard to the current political and social reality in South Africa, the secret training of the 200 Inkatha supporters in the Caprivi in 1986 is unfortunate and has added substantially to the suspicion and perceptions of political bias on the part of the KZP and SADF. However, the secret training must be seen in the circumstances that prevailed in 1986 and in the light of the Government policies of that time;
36.2 The tardiness, if not refusal of co-operation, in disclosing the facts and details of the training by both the SADF and KZG had the effect of adding to the suspicion and negative perceptions referred to above;
36.3 The training of the nature given the trainees without having any regard to their subsequent control and deployment points to a grave error of judgment on the part of the SADF. The committee does not agree with the submission by counsel for the SADF that if it gives training to people it cannot be held responsible if such persons "thereafter go out and employ their skills for illegal purposes";
36.4 The secrecy of the project had the consequence that very few members of senior officials of the KZG or KZP were aware of the project and this inevitably led to the inefficiency and lack of control which were the hallmarks of the whole exercise;
36.5 When the matter became public in consequence of disclosures in the Weekly Mail, the SADF informed the State President that the purpose of the training of about 150 Zulus was for security and VIP protection. This does not reflect the full picture. Had the full extent and wide-ranging nature of the training been disclosed at the time, the negative result of the information which subsequently came to light would have been averted.
36.6 There is no evidence at all to suggest that the SADF provided the training for the purpose of "hit squads" being established. Indeed, as mentioned in 27 above, Mr C's denial in that regard is accepted as truthful by the committee. This notwithstanding, the nature of some of the training, the secrecy of the project, the lack of candour when the truth began to emerge and the connection of trainees with acts of public violence, all continue to fuel the perception that the SADF was assisting KZG and IFP leaders build a private hit squad facility for use against the UDF and later than the ANC. The committee need hardly add that the conduct of illegal activities by some elements in Military Intelligence which emerged at the end of 1992 gives yet further credence to these perceptions;
36.7 As already suggested above, although certain Caprivi trainees may be involved in some current acts of violence there is no evidence to suggest that such involvement was a direct result of the training they received at the Caprivi.
36.8 There is similarly no evidence to suggest that the front companies have been or are involved directly or indirectly in current or recent violence.
37. The committee's recommendations which follow from the aforegoing conclusions will be found at the end of this report.
THE BLACK CATS
38. The question of the "Black Cat" gangsters at Wesselton, Ermelo was raised by the "Weekly Mail" in its January 24-30 1992 issue. Under the heading "Two Hit-squad Men Speak" it was, inter alia, alleged that according to their two informants:
38.1 The gang was called "Black Cats" but was better known as the "hit-squads";
38.2 It carried out violent attacks on "township targets", often in collaboration with the security forces;
38.3 The "Black Cats" came into being during 1990, ostensibly to combat criminal elements in Wesselton. They, however, ended up as criminal. (They were eventually recruited as members by Inkatha, apparently to establish an Inkatha presence in that area).
38.4 At a certain stage, after suffering several defeats at the hands of the "comrades", 32 "Black Cats" were taken to a place in Ulundi where they were trained in military activities by Military Intelligence experts.
38.5 Back in Wesselton they used force and intimidation to build up an Inkatha presence. They went on a rampage and backed by a handful of "Caprivi graduates", who routinely visited Wesselton, as members of the KwaZulu Police, they attacked members of the ANC, and also bombed the offices of a local human rights lawyer.
38.6 That there is indeed a "third force" in Wesselton, master-minded by the SADF and aided by the KwaZulu Police, with the aim of establishing power bases for Inkatha. That the vicious plan involves recruiting township criminals, giving them weapons and teaching them to kill and recruit others for acts of random violence.
38.7 That the "Black Cats" received intensive backing from White police officers in Ermelo who failed to arrest "Black Cats" involved in violence.
38.8 That a local warrant officer Van Zweel recruited them to bomb the officers of a local lawyer. That he thereafter "investigated" the crime and found no evidence.
38.9 That in August 1990, during the funeral of an ANC member killed by the "Black Cats" a number of professional "hitmen" from Ulundi carried out an attack on the mourners killing and wounding a number of them. About 30 people were arrested by the SADF as result of this attack. Amongst those arrested were eight KwaZulu police members. Their weapons and other weapons of the "Black Cats" were seized. The SAP released all the arrested persons and the weapons were returned to Ulundi.
38.10 Both "Black Cats" who turned Weekly Mail informers, confirmed claims of police complicity in "black-onblack" violence.
39. Three "Black Cats" furnished information to the Weekly Mail. They all testified before the committee. The evidence of Mbongani Khumalo was also relevant. A number of policemen were also heard. A large number of police dockets relating to complaints of public violence in Ermelo were produced at the inquiry and were made available to all the legal representatives.
40. For some time Wesselton, situated just outside Ermelo, had been the scene of violent confrontation between a number of criminal gangs. One of them was the "Black Cats". Some of these gangs were initially established with the laudable aim of protecting their community. Unfortunately they soon began to prey on those they set out to protect. Rivalry between the gangs was the result - and with disastrous consequences. The position was exacerbated by the gangs attracting the attention of political organisations which used them in order to enlarge their political support and power. All of these factors combined and led to violence and ruthless murder.
41. It emerged from the evidence that the South African Police at Ermelo became burdened with numerous investigations. Their task was complicated by the frequent intimidation of witnesses and a general lack of co-operation from the community. On occasion, evidence such as spent cartridges found at scenes of violence, was removed and withheld from the police.
42. Any attempt to apportion blame for the violence in the Ermelo/Wesselton area would be futile. The real tragedy of the situation is that the security forces were unable to prevent the on-going violence. That inability was partly due to a failure to ensure successful prosecution of the perpetrators of the violence. The reasons advanced by the SAP for that failure were unconvincing.
43. The committee has carefully considered all of the evidence led on this issue as also the written submissions of the legal representatives. It will serve no good purpose to embark upon a detailed analysis of the evidence.
CONCLUSIONS ON BLACK CATS
44 The unanimous findings of the committee with regard to the allegations published by the Weekly Mail are the following:
44.1 The evidence given by the three "Black Cats" did not establish claims of organised "hit squads". The situation was one of an on-going conflict between rival gangs;
44.2 Many violent attacks took place. The allegation of security force involvement in such attacks was not substantiated;
44.3 The "Black Cats" constituted a criminal group involved in violence. They did become members of the IFP. They received training in KwaZulu as alleged after their homes were burnt. There is conflicting evidence as to the exact nature of their training. However, there was no evidence to establish that Military Intelligence was involved in that training;
44.4 After their return from KwaZulu, the "Black Cats" continued their criminal activities in Wesselton. They continued to fight with rival gangs. It appears that members of the KZP, trained at the Caprivi, did visit the "Black Cats" in Wesselton. However, it was not established that they were involved in any criminal activities themselves;
44.5 It would also appear that members of the "Black Cats" were involved in the bomb attack on the house of a human rights lawyer in Wesselton. The identity of those members was not established. The allegation of W/O Van Zweel's involvement in this incident was not substantiated. He denied it and the evidence implicating him was unreliable;
44.6 The only evidence of SAP complicity in the criminal activities of the "Black Cats" was that of the three informers of the Weekly Mail. Each of them was discredited in cross-examination. They contradicted themselves and each other. They were quite unreliable. On the other hand, evidence adduced by the SAP satisfied the committee that these allegations were devoid of substance. In particular there was no justification for the allegation that the "Black Cats" received "intensive backing from White police officers";
44.7 The SAP investigation of the shootings at the ANC funeral was conducted in a deplorable manner. Shots were fired at the mourners and shots were fired by some of the mourners. This conduct clearly constituted public violence. No such charge was investigated by the SAP. The arrested persons were released on the basis that there was no evidence connecting them with the killings.
44.7.1 The explanation furnished by the SAP officers in this regard were unconvincing. When complaints were received from the ANC a new investigation under the direction of Major Otto was ordered. He instructed W/O Van Rensburg to take control of all the relevant dockets relating to the events which occurred at the funeral and to fully re-investigate the matter. W/O Van Rensburg took possession of the dockets. He took new statements from all of the witnesses. His failure to use the initial statements is difficult to comprehend. On completion of his re-investigation the matter was placed before a public prosecutor who refused to prosecute. An inquest was ordered.
44.7.2 One of the original dockets contained statements which directly implicated persons from KwaZulu as having been responsible for shooting at the mourners. They had been arrested by the SAP. These highly relevant statements were not placed in the dockets which were handed to the prosecutor. They were only produced in consequence of an investigation conducted by the committee's counsel, Adv J J du Toit. The SAP witnesses were unable satisfactorily to explain this conduct;
44.7.3 Counsel for the SAP conceded that the criticism of the police conduct "was not completely without reason". That is an understatement. He submitted that the explanation lay in the overworked and over-stressed situation in which the policemen found themselves. That the police in Ermelo were overworked can be accepted. That, however, does not at all explain the unsatisfactory conduct referred to above;
44.7.4 The committee is unable to find as proven that the SAP was unwilling to take action against the "Black Cats". It may well have been so. Whether or not, there was every justification for the perception by many people that the SAP were working with the "Black Cats";
44.7.5 That perception was further fueled by the SAP returning weapons brought from Ulundi to Wesselton to the KwaZulu Government. They did so because they could not be connected with the shootings at the time of the funeral. This decision and its implementation was not satisfactorily explained by the police witnesses;
44.7.6 It might be mentioned that the dockets with all the statements were again placed before the Attorney-General. He decided that the inquest proceedings should proceed;
44.7.7 In the view of the committee the evidence did not establish police complicity in the violence which occurred in Wesselton. At best for the SAP, and as stated above, ineffective and inefficient policing created the justifiable perception of such complicity in the minds of many members of the Wesselton community.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
THE CONDUCT OF THE WEEKLY MAIL
45. In the result, many of the allegations contained in the Weekly Mail articles were found by the committee to be unjustified. Others were wholly or partially justified.
46. Whatever the position, the committee considers that the Weekly Mail was justified in publishing much of the information given to it by Mbongani Khumalo. The South African public was entitled to be informed thereof for two reasons. In the first place it was furnished by a senior member of the IFP. In the second place the allegations in themselves were such that there was a public interest in the information.
47. Having said that, the committee is of the view that the Weekly Mail did make some extravagant allegations which went further than was justified by the facts relied upon. However, it did not in any way abuse the freedom of the press which is a fundamental right in any democratic society. It is even more important in a society which is not yet a democracy and which is in political transition. The committee believes that investigative journalists should in no way be dissuaded let alone be prevented from pursuing their lawful objectives. Authorities should not act in a way which would h ave a chilling effect on the work of such journalists and so prevent them from bringing to light unlawful or unsatisfactory conduct on the part of Government or any political parties or organisations.
48. The Commission has commented before on the duty of newspapers to exercise restraint and judgment in times of violence and turbulence. In this regard when there are procedures which make the -authorities accountable to the public this duty is easier to fulfil. Where there are no such bodies the press is left very much to itself in what can be a lonely and dangerous profession. The Commission is being approached more and more frequently by journalists with unverified and serious allegations concerning public violence and intimidation. In a substantial number of cases the Commission has been able to assist in establishing the truth or falsity of such information. This experience demonstrates the need for an objective authority to investigate allegations of this nature - a body which has the confidence of all or at least of most of the community.
49. The Commission clearly does not have the capacity to establish the truth or falsity of all allegations of public violence and intimidation which are made daily by many people and organisations. It may be considered advisable to establish such an independent body or to increase the staff of the Commission to enable it to carry out this function.
THE CONDUCT OF THE SADF, SAP AND KZP
50.The conduct of the SADF with regard to the training at the Caprivi must, as set out above, be judged in the light of Government policy and the security and political situation which prevailed in 1986. It would be quite inappropriate for this committee to comment on the wisdom or lack of it with regard to that conduct.
51. What does concern the committee are the perceptions which are created by current events views against the background of conduct which may have occurred prior to 2 February 1990. No better example could be found than the training of the Caprivi trainees and certain criminal conduct committed by them since their return from Caprivi. Whether there is a direct link or not is irrelevant to the conclusions which many people will draw or the perceptions which will be created. So too, inefficient or ineffective investigations of such criminal conduct will result in conclusions of police complicity and again negative perceptions will be created. So, too, with regard to the KZP. The fact that about 200 of its members were chosen for training by the SADF and that they were selected with regard to their loyalty to the IFP is hardly a fact that would instil confidence in the KZP on the part of members of parties or organisations other than the IFP. In all of these cases the fault certainly does not lie with those who draw the conclusions or hold the perceptions.
52. The committee has found no justification in the allegations made in the Weekly Mail concerning the involvement of the SADF in current violence in South Africa. The perceptions of many South Africans that there is such involvement is hardly surprising in the light of the activities of the CCB and more recently, the Department of Covert Collection.
53. In short, the committee has no doubt that these negative perceptions concerning the SADF, SAP and KZP will not be removed until the majority of South Africans believe that those institutions are conducting themselves in a lawful, open and accountable manner. That is not yet the position. The past cannot be ignored and it would be folly to expect all South Africans to forget recent history. In virtually every inquiry held by the Commission in which the IFP or KZP are involved, the history of ANC actions and statements against the IFP and Dr Buthelezi are raised and for the IFP and KZP that is the backdrop against which any current violence is judged.
54. In the view of the committee the solution to those vital and difficult problems are essentially of a constitutional, organisational and political nature. They are obviously and directly linked with the present negotiation process and in all the circumstances the committee considers that it would not be appropriate to suggest any solutions. That firm and visible action is required cannot be doubted.
55. In conclusion the committee would like to emphasize that particularly in a politically divided society openness and candour are essential and particularly so from Government departments and officials. There is no other way in which confidence can be built in State institutions. Not only the factual situation requires change - perceptions based on the wrongs of the past also have to change and that process is a difficult one.
56. That decisions taken in 1986 may have been justified by the political situation and policies of the time is not now relevant. What is relevant is that the public of South African should know that what are considered by the majority of South Africans to be unacceptable practices, have ceased.