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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
Held At: Cape Town
MR LYSTER: Good morning ! I want to welcome members of the public here today and Dr Neil Barnard.
There are not many people to welcome. It seems that the testimony that is being given in Johannesburg today has captured the minds of the, or the imagination of the press, but let me assure you that we are nevertheless very interested in what you have to say today, and we are looking forward to a constructive two days of hearing. I say two days because we hope to hear evidence this morning from Dr Barnard and this afternoon from General Magnus Malan and tomorrow from Mr PW Botha. There is a possibility as Mr Botha has gone on record to say that he does not intend to comply with the subpoena, so there is a possibility that he will not be here tomorrow, and we may use tomorrow to continue evidence of Dr Barnard and General Malan if there are issues which we still have to cover.
This hearing is a public hearing held in terms of Section 29 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, and it is a continuation of a hearing which was held in October this year in Johannesburg and in Cape Town and was postponed because of the inability of Mr Botha to be present through illness and the fact that General Malan was out of the country.
The purpose of the hearing is to examine the role of the State Security Council particularly in the 1980's. It is common cause that this Council exercised extensive influence over the Cabinet of the day and made recommendations to the Government on a broad range of Security related issues.
As I said earlier on we had hoped to hear evidence and we still do hope to hear evidence from the person who was Chair of that Council, State Security Council and State President Mr Botha, a position of enormous power and influence. It is unfortunate that he has stated publicly that he does not intend to comply with the subpoena served on him. He has gone on record to say that he does not intend to go on his knees before this Commission. Of course he is not required to go on his knees and he is not even required to apologise to the Commission. All he is required to do is to present himself here and to answer questions truthfully. However we will until tomorrow morning when Mr Botha is due to appear before making any further comment in that regard.
Before we start I'm going to just briefly introduce members of the panel.
On my left Mr Ilan Lax of the Human Rights Violations Committee, a Committee Member. Next to him Ms Glenda Wildschut a Commissioner on the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee. I'm Richard Lyster, Commissioner, and on my right Mary Burton also a Commissioner.
Dr Barnard was represented here today by Mr Albertyn from De Klerk and Van Gend and Mr Nick Treurnicht of the Cape Town Bar. The evidence will be led by Advocate Chris MacAdam. I think those are all the introductory comments I need to make.
I understand that Dr Barnard wishes to make a, to read an opening statement into the record and I think that we'll now get down to that immediately, unless there are any opening remarks that you would like to make Mr Treurnicht.
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman may I just say apropos your indication that this Committee might be sitting tomorrow to hear evidence from Dr Barnard, it's been, I think you've been informed or I think Mr Van Zyl has been informed that Dr Barnard has pressing commitments for the Province tomorrow it will be very difficult for him to be here. We trust that he'll be able to finish within the day.
MR LYSTER: I'm sure he will. I'll administer the oath, if you can please stand to take the oath Dr Barnard. Just give us your full names please. Can you just switch on your microphone, sorry, and just give us your full names and swear that the evidence that you will give today, will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
LUCAS DANIEL BARNARD: (sworn states)
DR BARNARD: -
"I the undersigned Lucas Daniel Barnard declares as follows. I am the Director General of the Provincial Administration of the Province of the Western Cape.
On the 14th of July 1979 I appeared before a Special Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The statement I made at the decision is attached as annexure LB.1. To avoid duplication I refer to paragraph 2 in which my terms as Director of the National Intelligence Service and the Department of Constitutional Development and the circumstances of why I left this department are detailed.
I make this statement against the following background:
On the 17th of September 1997 I was served with a written notice according to Section 29 to appear on the 16th of October before the Commission in Johannesburg. According to this notice my evidence was required for the purposes of promoting the motives and the perspectives of key figures serving on the State Security Council. The Commission required specific information regarding abuse of these people, regarding the conflicts of the past and the roles they've played in this regard. This appears from paragraphs 1a and b from the first notice, which was served on me.
More specifically the Commission wants to know whether any discussions of the State Security Council authorised illegal activities or whether it could be regarded as authorising illegal activities.
For the purpose of the evidence required from me, I'm referring to the first set of documents, it is impossible to give a complete perspective with only referring to the documents applied to me.
I want to emphasise as I've done previously, that there are many documents containing information, which support all the perspectives. My legal representatives told me that requests for the Commission to obtain these documents were of no avail. This hampered the preparation of this statement and I had to rely on my memory.
Before I refer to the specific incidences required, I want to emphasise the following.
On the 14th of July 1997, I accepted responsibility for the actions of the people of National Intelligence while I was head and I'm also doing it regarding the activities of the people of the State Security Council.
There are certain organisations and individuals which is not in my favour because of their own political agendas and they said that while I was member of National Intelligence that I was involved in illegal activities. This is why I want to refute these allegations.
While I was in Durban, I assumed that this was not the Commission's view. You are not able to make an informed evaluation regarding the work of National Intelligence without referring to all the documents, which were generated by all the parties party to this conflict. You should keep in mind that the NI documentation was the result of consultation and administrative processes. For the purposes of formulating an informed perspective, the Commission should also refer to these documents.
I wish to refer to specific incidences for which my evidence is required.
During that period under discussion as Head of National Intelligence and also Head of the Department of Constitutional Development I made certain inputs at the State Security Council. I cannot comment on subjective matters such as the motives or perspectives of other individual role-players in the State Security Council and I'm withholding these views then.
My own views are as follows. To put my evidence in the following context I will use the following details. My views regarding the strategic role of the State Security Council, the various structures and also the role and task of the NI during this period; furthermore, actions of the Government of the day in regarding the security situation with reference to actions in neighbouring States or other States; actions regarding internal opposition groups or liberation movements, and the role of National Intelligence in negotiation politics.
Firstly then, the strategic security situation in the period under discussion.
This statement is concerned with a period, the beginning of 1980 to April 1994. The conflict which South Africa experienced during those times was not a new phenomenon. Before the colonial times there was also violent conflict in South Africa. It was not exclusively related to South Africa. The struggle for political power was underlying this conflict. The conflict and the way it was solved here, and elsewhere moved away from the conventional forces, which waged war in a conventional way, and in this time the difference between the soldier and the civil person disappeared.
In South Africa the conflict was a result of the fact that various population groups were excluded from political decision-making - "who" decided "who" should govern the country, and how it should be done.
This conflict had a long historical beginning and this was because the so-called Coloureds, were excluded from the Convention in 1908 to 1910, and the establishment of the ANC in 1912. The initial peaceful protest developed into conflict where violence was used to realise certain purposes, and that was in the 1960's.
In the 1980's the position was that the White minority ruled the country while other population groups were not part of the political process. During that time the ANC, SACP alliance and other revolutionary groups were on all terrains involved in a struggle against the Central Government. There is a lot of documented evidence from that time to the effect that these groups, that it wanted to change the dispensation in South Africa and would use all various efforts to establish a new political order. Attempt to do this should be - because this struggle moved to all terrains of life and the idea of total onslaught developed, otherwise it was not a legend but it was a hard reality with which all South Africans were confronted. These people who did not participate in the political processes, wanted to bring about the fall of the Government, by using a Total Onslaught through undermining, by violence, mobilisation of the masses to make the country ungovernable, international isolation to bring South Africa, especially on an economic way on its knees, and the development of alternative structures, internally and overseas. to establish an alternative Government.
The application of this brought a tragic framework, nothing was left out of consideration.
On the military area, people who had to bring the Government to a fall, were trained world-wide.
Intelligence structures were developed which had to gather security information.
On economic terrain, boycotts and sanctions were orchestrated against South Africa.
On a social level and especially in the way of churches and in schools mobilisation was enforced, and said that no education was possible before political liberation.
The previous Government to use all possible methods, should be seen against the background of this total onslaught to get all the power. For each and every offensive assault a defence mechanism had to be found. This required planning, strategies etc in order to curb these onslaughts. Except for the factors that I have referred to, the following cardinal and very important factors have to be taken into account in the judging of the Government's counter-revolutionary strategy.
The realisation that the use of weapons was impossible, brought about strategic concepts of Total Onslaught and total counter-strategy. This included that other areas, other terrains of life also had to be included.
The SSC was motivated by the concern that a revolutionary war would also be successful in South Africa as in other countries, including in South Africa's neighbouring States. At that stage the concept of revolutionary war had the flavour of being unconquerable.
The conflicts in Southern Africa were not without blood-pouring and the concern of many of the members of the SSC at that stage, my own as well, was that such a development in South Africa had to be prevented. At that stage there was terror in the cities, there were motor bombings and bombs planted, without any concern as to who were blown up like in Northern Ireland and in Latin America.
At that stage also planes were also hijacked and it was general knowledge that ..(indistinct) in the city was creating panic in citizens. There were also other factors that the SSC had to take into account.
It was throughout, my point of view that the conflict would not be able to be countered and could not be ended if there was continued violence or political (en die ekonomiese aanwend)
The co-ordination and economic use of manpower and the security structures as well as the welfare departments were necessary.
There were great discrepancies between people with regards to the use of the Security Forces on the one hand, and the attempt to uplift people socially and economically, especially the military and the police, initially, pleaded for a renewed attempt in that direction. While welfare departments wanted more socio-economic upliftment attempts, the SSC came to the conclusion that in a revolutionary conflict the battle for the hearts and minds of people was more important than the physical battle on the security front. It is clear from the policy documents, that the Commission made available to me.
In the late eighties members of the SSC spent more and more time in developing more effective methods to curb the political conflict in South Africa and the possibility of seeking process was very important. The members of the SSC were throughout convinced that such a political settlement cannot be sought in chaos, but that the actions of the security forces had to bring about stability so that a political settlement process can be guaranteed that it will be in a peaceful way. The members of the SSC were kept up to date by Intelligence publications and National Intelligence assessments as well as other documents that were given to them during these information meetings with regards to revolutionary organisations. The evaluation of such information from time to time took place.
It was clear in these discussions that giving over was never an option and that the South African Government with the power at its command, had to protect the physical integrity of the State and its citizens, the structures of the Security Management System, and their tasks.
The planning of the State's ability during this period to maintain security and stability in this period was the responsibility of the SSC and its sub structures.
In paragraph 6.4 in my previous statement, referred to as annexure LDB.1, I discussed the background to the establishment of the SSC. As indicated there the existence of such a body was not unique in South Africa, and not only States, and also revolutionary movements also have these types of institutions. I refer in this regard to the ANC's political Military Council and the National Working Committee.
The SSC was under the political power of the Government of the day. Possibly as a result of the fact, that, because of the Total Onslaught policy, the idea of National Security was an all encompassing concept, and the strategy, and the constitutional, economic, social, also entailed the security terrains, and it was suggested that the SSC was actually the Government of the day.
On the 30th January 1984 the Prime Minister reacted as follows in Parliament, and I quote -
"When the SSC now takes certain decisions, the Chairman takes it personally to the Cabinet and presents it to the Cabinet. The Cabinet still has the right to discuss any decision of the SSC and to disregard it."
In a press statement, which was supplied by the Secretary of the SSC on the 21st September 1983 it was said that a decision taken by the SSC had to be finally approved by the Cabinet. To the best of my knowledge and as far as I can remember the SSC functioned as follows:
It gathered twice per week under the chairmanship of the State President. If necessary, special meetings were held. I remember that every year, one week before Christmas such special meetings were held in order to discuss the security of the country during the Christmas season. Special meetings were also held to discuss the security actions, which was regarded as important for the security and the management of the State. The institution and the relief of States of emergency was also decided on special meetings. Meetings of the SSC were also attended by the permanent members as determined by statute. Additional members were co-opted.
It was also used to use other officials or to invite them from time to time to attend various meetings and to inform the SSC to the best of their ability and to use experts. Matters which were discussed on a specific State and which were regarded as relevant to security were contained on these agendas.
This was divided into the following categories: the necessity of physically security action to avoid threats to the Government from overseas and internally, furthermore, general relationships between States and the consequent security implications for South Africa. In this regard the situation in the previous South West Africa during those years, took a lot of time from the SSC.
Furthermore, the increasing international isolation of South Africa on diplomatic, economic, cultural, academic and sport terrains and specifically the role of economic sanctions and boycotts, as well as the strategies to circumvent this.
Other matters such as the supplying of passports and various transport matters to people were regarded as politically sensitive people, as the supply of visas to opponents of the Government.
In my opinion the discussions in the SSC were held on a professional and high level. The agendas and the minutes of these meetings are available and give enough information in this regard.
The administrative support of the SSC was provided by a body called the Secretariat of the SSC, and this Secretariat's functions entailed the following: It served as a gathering point of all departmental inputs from about 15 inter-departmental committees, from the Working Committee to which is referred in paragraph 9.6. The processing of information to enable the SSC to handle accordingly. And also keeping SSC minutes and conveying decisions of the SSC to the people who had to execute these orders or decisions. The administrative activities of the SSC was done by the Working Committee of the SSC. The meetings of this Committee was important for the SSC and sometimes ad hoc meetings were held to discuss crises and to provide advice to the SSC.
The members of this Working Committee were those officials to which are referred in Section 4 of the Act on Security Information and the State Security Council number 64 of 72, as well as other Heads of departments, which according to the circumstances were necessary for the preparatory administrative work of the SSC.
As in the case of the SSC itself, many middle level managers and other experts were invited from time to time, to inform the members of the SSC regarding certain matters. There was also an extensive system of inter departmental sub committees of the Working Committee.
Certain State Departments were grouped according to line function activities to give expert advice to the Working Committee. For example, there was an inter-departmental Committee regarding the control of aliens, and this provided advice regarding matters pertaining to the supply of passports and visas, and the illegal stay of aliens in South Africa. The contents of the preparatory documentation which served as input at these committees is of great importance for the development of an informed and balanced historical perspective regarding this specific period and the views of various role players, regarding events in South Africa.
I had no access to that. If that means that the Commission does not intend to refer to that, important information will not be taken into consideration for their report.
The co-ordination of the Intelligence activities of the South African information community was co-ordinated by a body that was known as the Co-ordinating Intelligence Committee in short, CIC. In paragraph 10.1.6 and 10.1.10, I deal with this in more detail.
After the proclamation of the General State of Emergency on the 12th June 1986, the security management of the country was bettered by the National Security Management System in order to make it more effective. The existence of this management system must be placed in the following historical perspective.
During the mid-eighties, the South African police did not have the necessary manpower, funds and sometimes expertise, as well as training and management in order to counter the internal revolutionary onslaught successfully. The South African Defence Force, however, did have the necessary manpower, the equipment and an officer corps who had management skills but they were primarily responsible for the defence of the State's territory. In order to counter this dilemma a thought was mentioned to create a new force also called a Neutral or an In-between Force between the Police and the Defence Force. Such forces do exist in States like, France, Spain and Italy. I recall that there were even discussion documents at the Working Committee regarding the possible development of such a force in which it was referred to as a Third Force.
For practical purposes, I was at all times against the implementation of such a force and I was of the opinion that the South African police had to be made stronger rather. Addendum K to the bundle of documents that the Commission made available to me, reflects this.
Even though there was never such a decision to bring about such a force, many people continued in their attempts to put the bringing about of such a force in front of the SSC's door. During the mid-eighties it was clear that this conflict could not be alleviated by means of the use of the Security Forces and that the other departments, the Welfare Departments were better co-ordinated or had to be better co-ordinated to better the social economic circumstances of all South Africans.
In the terminology of the revolutionary conflict this entailed that the battle for the hearts and the minds of the people had to be won.
Various departments with critically important welfare functions, however, had a shortage of funds and skills. Accordingly a better co-ordinated management mechanism had to be developed in order to use funds and skills optimally. Against the background of the above two considerations, a Vice Ministy of Law and Order and Defence was created who was responsible to make sure that on security terrain the Defence Force as well as the Police co-ordinated in a harmonious way, and that the security forces and the welfare departments could be managed in a co-ordinated way in order to counter the revolutionary onslaught in an effective way. This system required a network of Management Committees in various functional areas and on various hierarchy levels. Certain committees functioning on National level were backed by committees on Provincial and/or Regional levels and sometimes even on Local level. This system initially encountered some resistance.
Departments and Administrations regarded this as an interference in their responsibilities and others were of the opinion that it was an attempt to militarise the State. The Management Committee was a well-meant attempt to gain an integrated use of manpower, funds and skills against the revolutionary onslaught to make this possible. It was not sinister and is definitely not unique.
Experts on revolutionary warfare agree with each other that a management mechanism of all the State's forces was and is, a very important aspect of successful counter-revolutionary action.
Next, the role and task of the National Intelligence in this time. During this time that is concerned in this report, I was Head of NI and my contribution to the SSC was in that perspective. My view regarding the Central Intelligence Services like NI was throughout that it is in main in contrast to other departmental Intelligence organs, and like for example Military Intelligence Services or Police Intelligence Services. It had to deal with a universal Intelligence task which is to gather Intelligence regarding happenings and events that related to undermining the State power. Intelligence, Security Intelligence is only useful if it can be weighed up in an expert way and if it can be given to the political decision-makers in time. It is fundamentally important that such information must be given to the political decision makers in time and one of the problems of Intelligence Services world-wide is to give these political decision makers the information in time and to help them to understand the importance thereof. The evaluation of Security. The evaluation of this information, it could not be coloured by personal ideas, it would be very short sighted. No Government or Intelligence Service can in the long run use the security information for political or ideological point scoring. Intelligence Services are responsible for giving Intelligence and information to other State Departments which can be an embarrassment to the State departments and which sometimes has nothing to do with the political role plays ideological convict. Because of their unique manpower and capabilities of the Intelligence services they are sometimes used for secondary Intelligence responsibilities. Intelligence services should thus be act in the fullest confidence and have the ability to covert diplomacy, confidential discussions, the handling of security in the State dispensation and other forms of clandestine activities on military, economic, constitutional, social and other terrains and to handle all this.
The coordination of the information or the Intelligence communities activities during this at time to which I'm referring is done by the CIC which met bi-weekly under my chairmanship.
The various roles of the National Intelligence and the Military Intelligence division of the South African Army, the Security Force of the South African Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs was determined during an occasion known as the Simon's Town meeting. Members of the Intelligence Community kept to their various areas of works and they agreed not to spy on one another.
The CIC, like Intelligence Services world-wide, worked on a "had to know basis", according to which individuals were only concerned with the information they required to execute their various tasks. This compartmentalisation principle was for security reasons so when certain sources and information could not be harmed and if a member from one information service would become a member of a hostile information service.
Activities of the CIC was supported by a system of sub-committees which did the necessary preparatory work. These sub-committees were amongst others, firstly, Covert Information Gathering, then Open Information Gathering, then Technical sub- committees, then Evaluation sub-committees which was later known as the Branch National Interpretation, then, Counter Espionage sub-committee and lastly, Intelligence Security sub-committee.
Although CIC did it's utmost best to allow the Intelligence community of South Africa to co-operate in a co-ordinated way, there were certain overlappings in activities and there were strong differences of opinion regarding security Intelligence in general. Difference in opinions serve a purpose because this sometimes lead to new improved insights and consequently the CIC presented the participants the ability to give inputs regarding various critical matters. But political decision makers required consensus opinions and sometimes we had the dilemma that forced consensus, sometimes required that it didn't refect the standpoint of anybody at all.
During my previous appearance I've already said, and today again, and I've referred to the annual National Intelligence Evaluations. There is little, if any, documentation in South Africa available, which gives such a complete and balanced picture of what happened during the specific time on the security terrain. I want to reiterate that the objectives of the Commission and the openness or transparency which should be part of a democratic society would not be served or would be served by a continued denial or negligence to provide those Intelligence evaluation for public discussion or evaluation. The fact that I could not get access to that for the purposes of preparing this statement is a pity. More important is that the Commission would not do what it has to do if for the purposes of this report did not supply or present those documents to Parliament. The contents of those documents proves above all doubt that the Intelligence community and the SSC's structures were not an evil organisation, as said by some.
Taking the Commission's objectives into consideration, it will not be unreasonable not to investigate or report on a subject which is important today to refer selectively only to smaller parts of the large amount of available documentation, especially if those documents are not made available.
I am further of the opinion that the formation of a balanced perspective regarding the security events of the 1980's is only possible if the differences between the departments which were involved in the security process are taken into consideration. I refer here to the NI, the South African Army, the South African Police, the Department of Foreign Affairs and to a lesser degree the Department of Justice, Finance and Internal Affairs and the other State Departments which are known as the Welfare Departments.
National Intelligence which had no executive powers, the main task was the gathering, the processing and communication of National Security Intelligence. A study of all security documentation of NI from the beginning of the 1980s to the beginning of 1992 shows that one fundamental Intelligence fact was consequently emphasised by NI, that was namely that the call of South Africa's security problematics was political of nature and could only be solved through a constitutional negotiated process. Based on this point of departure, the standpoint was maintained that the security forces could maintain order and stability on security area to provide the basis for a political solution.
In the case of the South African Defence Force in general and the division Military Intelligence specifically, the emphasis was placed on the military street from our neighbouring and other States. There was a way of thinking in the Defence Forces emphasising the standpoint of a foremost defence strategy. This strategy according to the classical theory of international politics and strategy was based on the supposition that buffer zones between opposing States or even groups of States had to be developed to serve as a basis for inter-State power basis.
Against this background the Defence Force was militarily involved and worried about Angola and Mozambique and sometimes also Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. In depth debate about the main focus of the budgets of those years was not strange and the differences in opinion of the preferences which military matters had above the social, economic and development of the whole population often occurred. Because of the expertise of the Defence Force to which I've already referred, it had often happened that the Defence Force moved outside the typically military terrain and was often asked to undertake these type of activities. This position sometimes led to tension between the Security Department and sometimes between the Defence Force and the Welfare Departments. As the conflict grew internally the Defence Force was used more often and consequently it led to intensification of various differences.
The South African police was responsible for maintaining law and order in South Africa. By the end of the 1980's they had this task, unenviable task, to try and keep this country stable, while most of the citizens did not accept the political dispensation, and the revolutionary movements tried to destroy it in any possible way. Taken into consideration also that the police had a serious shortage in manpower and funds and sometimes also modern managerial abilities. the extent of this dilemma becomes very clear.
The Department of Foreign Affairs had against a strong attack to isolate South Africa had to maintain diplomatic relationships. This department was thus involved or worried about the influence which cross-border operations and economic actions against South Africa, by our neighbouring States would have on inter-State relationships. Members of this department had the standpoint that security activities in South Africa should be of such a nature that it would not lead to further isolation or economic boycotts. In this way the department contributed to it, that the voice of international thought, morality and influence could still be heard and was taken into consideration in the SSC and other security structures.
Late in the 1980's the welfare departments played an increasingly important role. It was especially when the thought was developed and became acceptable that a political negotiation was the only way out, and that could happen in a stable, social, economic environment.
You must take into consideration that the security management system, in the 1980's was well informed and was effective, and it was this system which laid the foundation for the peaceful transition to a democratic political dispensation. You must not allow that atrocities by individual members of the security forces which because of that gruesome nature, had an influence on all. This must not influence your evaluation of the bigger picture.
You cannot make a rule of the exception. These exceptions are very important and it must be emphasised and the perception exists that it's not true to reality. You have to be true to what you should do and you should put this right.
World-wide it had happened that some departments, sometimes acted in subjective line function. It often happened that departments interpreted decisions to give themselves the advantage of an interpretation which would enforce their own position and their control over forces and manpower. This leaves scope for individuals to promote their own careers or because of other considerations to manipulate instructions or decisions for their own benefit.
It is also true that in large bureaucratic institutions such as the public sector in a State where hundreds and thousands of people work in the public sector, that there is a danger that decisions and instructions are not formulated, conveyed or interpreted in a correct way. And also a degenerating security situation associated with attempts to undermine the power of the State and this leads to a greater pressure in the work situation and there can be certain misunderstandings.
Actions of the Government of the day, in the first place, actions in neighbouring States and other countries. I accept that my input is required regarding the emphasised parts of the documents presented to me as Annexures A to L . Before I do this, I give my viewpoints regarding activities in neighbouring States.
You would like to know according to me, in this context, you would like to know as far as I think whether the SSC authorised illegal cross border activities, held discussions or made decisions which could be interpreted as it had authorised these illegal cross-border activities. Before the 1980's, but especially during that time, the revolutionary resistance organisations of South Africa's neighbouring States was used as a basis for logistical support; training for revolutionary fighters which had to infiltrate South Africa or to source these people, and it was also used as a safe haven for revolutionary people. The correctness of this statement leaves no space for dispute.
Revolutionary movements, cross-border activities against civil and other targets in South Africa became a threat for the security of the State and the citizens. These States which allowed that the revolutionary movements which became part of these activities and which operated from their countries also became part of the contravention of International Law. Included in the state of these States to respect the sovereignty of the other States it is also their duty not to allow or to promote terrorist activities from their soil and to do all steps which might be necessary to prevent that.
In this regard I would like to point out that States who were members, or in which members of revolutionary organisations were, were in any case warned repeatedly not to allow their territory to be used for those purposes. Nevertheless, the members of the revolutionary organisations co-ordinated violent cross-border actions from these neighbouring states, and it was necessary for the State to defend itself in certain actions and to act against these people in neighbouring states. In terms of International Law as I understand it, self-defence actions against such members of revolutionary organisations who were present in neighbouring states is allowed. I cannot recall any decision or discussion of the SSC in terms of which an unlawful cross-border operation was authorised or which could reasonably be interpreted as being a decision to allow unlawful operations. NI and myself also was of the opinion that cross-border actions were authorised by International Law and was in principle not against it. It was sometimes expected from NI to give its opinion on intended cross-border security actions. This was not in all cases done. The fact that during some of these operations certain so-called non-combatants died, it was an unfortunate occurrence due to the vagueness of the border between soldiers and citizens.
I have to emphasise though, that members of the security forces, never aimed their actions against innocent civilians. To summarise I would like to reiterate that cross- border self defence actions is a natural and a necessary result of revolutionary conflict and is authorised by International Law. From a strategic point of view it would be extremely naïve to allow armed terror groups in neighbouring States and to allow them to go on with their revolutionary work and their blood letting.
In addendum A of the bundle of documents which was included in the first notice, my commentary was required with regards to paragraph 8 thereof. My commentary is as follows: After the conclusion of the Lancaster house accord people were sent to report on the events in Zimbabwe, Mr Neil van Heerden from Foreign Affairs and Admiral W.N. Du Plessis of Division Military Intelligence and a member of NI were also there. After they came back, they reported to a committee, of which I was the Head, they reported on what they heard and I informed the SSC with regards to their reports as is clear from the addendum.
One of the various aspects that was mentioned was that there was an attempt on the life or an planned attempt on the life of Mr Mugabe of the then Rhodesian security forces. If I recall correctly part of the suggestion that was discussed by the SSC was that if such an attempt, if it was successful would have very bad consequences and would be very negative. I gathered that my comment is necessary on this document because somebody is of the opinion that paragraph 7.8 thereof indicates that the SSC is involved in an assassination attempt on Mr Mugabe. This paragraph and the background facts as explained above shows that such an inference is completely unfounded.
Actions with regards to internal liberation movements, revolutionary groupings and resistance movements. In addendum G and J in the bundle of documents of the first notice, there is a reference to strategy number two, named Strategy to the countering of the African National Congress and strategy number 44, National strategy against revolutionary war in South Africa. This is about the planning of the safety structures against the revolutionary onslaught. The two documents offer a proper general view of thoughts on internal resistance groups of the security structures at that stage. There's no doubt that revolutionary resistance movements, especially since the mid '80's planned each and every plan and executed these plans with a view to make the State ungovernable, and in that way to lay a foundation for a process of revolutionary taking over of power. Examples of this are - an attempt of rolling mass action, to muster resistance in each and every sector of civil life; attempts by labour unions to destabilise the work force and to disable the economy and to make the country ungovernable. Furthermore the stabilisation of existing Government structures in mainly traditional black areas; furthermore, attacks on members of the security forces mainly in traditional black areas and also on their families; furthermore, the planning and execution of rent boycotts, the non-payment of lease and service charges which would make social economic development impossible and would in many cases neutralise it. The organisation of the use of consumer boycotts and the often brutal intimidation of the people who would not take part. The intimidation of Government structures in Transkei, Ciskei, Venda, and Bophuhatswana as well as structures of the then three house parliament.
Furthermore, the use of the liberation theology in churches; furthermore the creation of non-government organisations which would in each and every terrain of life put up resistance and orchestrate financial help from foreign goverments, welfare organisations, banks, church, universities, city councils etc. In this comprehensive organisation of internal resistance climate, the UDF and later also the MDM and various other organisations like the PAC, AZAPO, and the SACP and others had a very important planning and co-ordinating role. Against the background of this comprehensive internal and foreign revolutionary onslaught against the then Government, various security and welfare steps were taken to counter this onslaught.
The exercise of main responsibility of any Government which is to maintain an effective Government and administration of the country to guarantee the security of the inhabitants. As a perusal of the documents will indicate the strategy that was developed by the SSC in the '80's, caused a security management system to be placed or to be developed that would prevent South Africa to fall into the clutches of a war.
The minutes of the SSC in the late 1980's and early 1990's shows unequivocally that the SSC during those years were full time involved on a full time basis with discussion of methods to change the social economic circumstances of all South Africans, and to prevent the possibility of a bloody revolution.
Secondly the planning and implementation of a political agreement process in a milieu of optimal security stability to ensure a peaceful transition. This process was not without problems.
It is well known that reactionary members of the security forces and the welfare departments sometimes acted without, outside their mandates in the execution of these strategies. It is also true that instructions and mandates were sometimes vague and were communicated cruelly. It can also not be denied that members of the public sector had deeply seated and subjected personal convictions and sometimes that led to very serious activities which have been brought under the Commission's attention. Such deeds, atrocities which had been done on both sides cannot be ignored, but you must not allow that, that should be the norm.
And the full truth of the 1980's should be presented. The truth is not that the South African history's course was determined by those on both sides who were involved in various atrocities on both sides. The peaceful transition to a democratic system was possible because of the concerted attempts of those people who wanted a peaceful negotiated process. The truth, as I've tried to indicate, was that the SSC and their sub-structures played an incisive role to make the present democracy in South Africa possible.
This, I as a previous statutory member of the SSC, unequivocally say and I'm going to attempt to illustrate it shortly with referring to NI activities in the realisation of what I regarded as the strategy of the SSC. Then the role of the NI in discussions with ANC leaders and also the development of management mechanisms for politics in South Africa.
What I'm presenting in this regard must not be seen against a background as certain attempts to refer to the negotiated politics of the 1980's. What I've seen about this is superficial and it contains many wrong facts and interpretations and assumptions. I am not going to try to give a complete discussion of those moments in the political process, or in this political settlement process in which NI and I myself were involved. I still refer to main historical notes regarding my own actions during that time to provide the required perspective regarding my views during that specific period in the search for and the eventual achievement of a political settlement in South Africa.
NI during the 1980's in the security structures and elsewhere was of the opinion that South Africa's problems would only be solved successfully through political negotiation and settlement. South Africa's core problem was according to NI political of nature. No military action would result in a continued settlement in South Africa. In the security community of those years this was not a popular view. To make a political settlement in South Africa possible, according to me, the true political leaders of the revolutionary resistance movements in South Africa had to be negotiated with and the question, was the question, who were those leaders? And in which way during this revolutionary climate in South Africa, how could these discussions be held? Because of the political implications of such discussions, it was necessary that it had to be held very confidentially. Because of NI's unique ability to have these discussions on a confidential level and also the degree of confidentiality which we had with the State president P.W. Botha, NI during the initial reconnaissance phase could undertake these type of discussions. There was nothing sinister about that, that I and other NI members were part of the negotiating process. Also Mr Mandela and the ANC wanted to keep these discussions confidential.
And I during the start of this process of settlement politics and they took the standpoint that only the State and its organs in the final instance would have to undertake these negotiations, and the execution of this process. And we took a standpoint against the attempts of economic leaders, academics, church leaders, cultural leaders to act as facilitators. This point of view was that such persons did not have political responsibilities and this could not bear the brunt of the political results of the discussions.
Very early during these discussions with Mr Mandela, we reached the agreement that the political settlement process in South Africa between the South African goverment and the liberation movements had to be negotiated and that facilitators from overseas would not be used in a manipulating role.
During discussions with Mr Mandela in May 1988 in the Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town, after we had been planning that for a whole year. I remember that in the next year, next years, approximately 48 discussions took place and some of them took 8 to 9 hours. The discussions with Mr Mandela led to the widely published meeting between Botha and Mandela in Tynhuis, and this led to it that a process could be institutioned to enable the further planning of a negotiating process.
Concurrent with this and when Mr De Klerk became head of the government and his important February debate in Parliament for clandestine meetings with the external wing of the ANC under the leadership of Mbeki took place in Europe. In such a way planning was done to manage the political settlement process in South Africa. The rest of what happened afterwards is not important regarding the purposes of the perspectives, which are required from me.
I want to say, that if the real facts regarding, the political settlement process in South Africa, had to be recorded as true and as objectively as possible and to show that it was historically and correct to show that the SSC and its sub structures, and the individuals which had leadership roles in those structures, possibly played the most incisive role to make the political settlement process in South Africa a reality.
Lastly, encompassing perspective. According to me a balance and equitable evaluation of the role of the security structures specifically, and events in South Africa in general during the 1980's and early 1990's should take the following points into consideration:
Firstly, there was an intense struggle on the one hand to maintain and, on the other hand to obtain political power, which was total in extent planning and the potential for conflict. Furthermore, there was a total onslaught, which required extensive counter-measures that is undeniable. During this conflict the various parties sometimes used unconventional and unorthodox methods to achieve their objectives.
Furthermore, the activities of the revolutionary movements which was sanctioned, presumably on the highest political level was, however, if you look at it from which point of view, they were illegal. I refer specifically to attacks on innocent civil targets, which led to bloodshed and death.
Although the State Security Council, to the best of my knowledge, never authorised any legal activities it has now become known that some members of security forces became part of the most gruesome atrocities possible. This was the tragic result which came after the intensification of the conflict.
Please allow me to suggest that you should not against the background of the knowledge which you have now that people when they were involved in the struggle and things were at its worst that they did not know about these things.
I also want to suggest that you should take into consideration that the thousands of people who only did their duties according to their own insights and they have been humiliated because of these things which they now know about. To brand them now, as that they were part of this, even to make it so difficult for them to still believe in their own human values, this would be a bad day for the national reconciliation process.
Furthermore, in the "stormingdrang" of this revolutionary conflict representatives of all parties often neglected instructions, took the law into their own hands and sometimes they disregarded the boundaries of human activities. Such actions is not only part of the time of conflict in our country but it still remains a tragedy. What we cannot deny, however, is that the security structures were used to maintain a relatively stable community structure which made it possible to initiate the politically negotiation settlement process. In a state of total anarchy it would not have been possible, and I want to reiterate my standpoint. The SSC and its structures established the base for the new South Africa and the establishment of a structure, a climate and ability to make possible the activities of this Commission.
MR LYSTER: We'll take a short break, about 15 minutes. Thanks very much.
MR LYSTER: Thank you, photographers and others can please take their seats, we are going to start now. Thank you Mr McAdam if you would like then to proceed.
MR McADAM: Thank you. Doctor I was informed that you were not regarded during the 80's or that you were regarded during the 80's as one of the best Intelligence Services in the world. Would that be correct?
DR BARNARD: Yes, the task that was described in the affidavit was very competent and cannot be classified as such a wonderful Intelligence Service, but it did its job.
MR McADAM: The quality of selection of members of NI training, what kind of selection and training was that people who would then act as operatives and people who dealt with Intelligence?
DR BARNARD:. NI had a training academy known as National Intelligence Academy where training was given on all aspects of Intelligence.
MR McADAM: During this period, that is during the mid-eighties, did you have any indications of actions by your members that were illegitimately unlawful?
DR BARNARD: No. There was no such indication.
MR McADAM: As I understood your submissions, the primary aim of the SSC was the countering of the revolutionary onslaught on the country?
DR BARNARD: Yes, the State Security Council was brought to life by the Act on State Intelligence. The activities are set out in that Act. It was not only about the countering of the revolutionary onslaught, but the Council had to discuss any threat to the State, it was therefore not only to do with revolutionary onslaught but anything to do with the safety of the State.
MR McADAM: Would you regard NI as an important role-player in the State Security Council?
DR BARNARD: Yes, it definitely did play a role, an important role.
MR McADAM: Was there close co-operation between the NI, the Military and the Police in directly combating terrorism?
DR BARNARD: I think in my statement I spent sometime on that to indicate that the Safety Departments, the Military and the Police worked closely together in various matters. I also indicated that due to the cultures in these departments they often disagreed about the nature of the security threat and we often disagreed quite sharply about the actions to be taken by the Government to combat the onslaught.
MR McADAM: Would these differences then be minuted during these meetings where NI for example said that it cannot support the views of the Military or the Police?
DR BARNARD: In the documents of the SSC no such disagreements were reported. The differences between departments were not necessarily minuted because of practical considerations but there were such differences.
MR McADAM: If we look at your submission where you dealt with the decision of the Defence Force to participate in operations in the neighbouring countries you indicated that it had been necessary to act against armed terror groups who resided in those neighbouring States. Did I understand your submission correctly?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair, I think I made it quite clear in my submission that I'm of the opinion that there can be no dispute regarding the fact that the neighbouring countries of South Africa were used by revolutionary fighters as safe houses and I made this very clear that it was the true facts of the matter. I also said in my submission that there can be no dispute on that.
MR McADAM: I understand that you made a certain remark on the Defence Force can you please repeat that.
DR BARNARD: The operations launched by the Defence Force, I just want to make sure that these actions were purely military actions against terror groups. The operations of the Military that I was aware of, with respect, were operations without any doubt, exclusively planned against bases of terrorists and terror groups. And Mr Chair, I indicated in my submission that it was also the case that "innocent", as I called them, non -combatants died, but that the planning as far as my knowledge or to my knowledge, was never aimed at anything else than terrorist groups. I have no information of anything like that and I have no knowledge thereof.
MR McADAM: These innocents would then be people who were in the same house as terrorist and it would then be impossible to tell them to leave the house before the attack is launched? DR BARNARD: I think that this is one of the sad realities of a revolutionary conflict when one operates in such an area that that is necessarily the case, yes.
MR McADAM: These operations would then necessarily exclude political and not military targets?
DR BARNARD: To my knowledge there were never any political targets only military targets.
MR McADAM: I would also then assume that it would also exclude elimination of people by means of poisons or assassinations or car bombs?
DR BARNARD: Yes that would be excluded, to my knowledge.
MR McADAM: And the cross-border operations that were done by the Military by the Defence Force, were they ever discussed and approved by the State Security Council before they were executed?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair,the documentation that was supplied to me by the Commission does not contain any indication whatsoever, that any operation, at any stage was authorised by the State Security Council outside of South Africa. What happened was that the principle, that is the document that you supplied me with, perhaps I should use it. You supplied me with a document marked D. It is about an Extraordinary Meeting where a point of discussion had been Lesotho. I think it might be necessary for me to read to you what it says. It says:
"Lesotho - Minister Botha reports that Lesotho was warned about the presence of ANC terrorists in the country. Only a refusing answer was received".
The next paragraph says:
"The Meeting approves that stricter actions be taken against Lesotho and that stricter measures be taken against Lesotho and six steps were envisaged.
1) Diplomatic negotiations;
2) Selective border control measures;
3) Intensifying these measures;
4) Practical closing of the border;
5) Repatriation of workers;
6) What is here formulated as, violence across the border.
Then there's a further paragraph which is important to the answer. It's important to read this as well.
"Furthermore, it must be publicised what the situation in South Africa's neighbouring countries is with regards to the latest terror actions against South Africa, initiatives have to be used. The Meeting herewith approves that a strongly worded notice by Ministers Botha, Le Grange, Malan and Minister Malan with regards to the terror actions planned from the neighbouring States and executed from there had to be formulated and sent".
It was approved after lunch by the Meeting and then it says:-
"Furthermore the Governments of neighbouring States had to be informed by telex".
If one reads through this specific example it is clear to me that the State Security Council acted in a very responsible way and in a responsible way maintained and wanted to manage it's relationships with Lesotho that it remained within the boundaries of inter-state politics. It wanted to convince them by means of political pressure not to allow its territory to be used as safe houses. The point of departure was supported that actions could be taken, that would be my interpretation of point number 6, the use of violence.
The principle therefore that the South African Government in principle would allow the Defence Forces to act against the military targets in neighbouring States was in principle approved by the State Security Council but individual actions was for security reasons never discussed by the State Security Council.
MR McADAM: And with these military attacks on neighbouring States, would NI be involved in these?.
DR BARNARD: NI would in no way be involved in such operations except in terms of CIC, to which I have referred, where it would have been possible that information could be wanted and if we had received information on military targets, we would have known that this was the policy of the Government. And if we had information on these targets, if I can call them that, we would supply the information to the Intelligence community.
MR McADAM: Perhaps you could help us. We have an amnesty application with a senior member of National Intelligence. He avers in his application and I accept that the document was served on your attorneys, I was informed that, that was the case...(intervention)
DR BARNARD: If you can just tell us who it was?
MR McADAM: Jan Anton Niewoudt.
DR BARNARD : Yes we have received that very late, but we have received it.
MR McADAM: The crux is that he explains a system that was developed. He developed a target dossier and gave that to the Head of the Defence Force. It was then given to the Minister of Defence and then to an/or the State Security Council or the Cabinet and then it was then approved, then a working group would have then been compiled. The purpose of this working group would have been how the target had to be eliminated and he avers that a member of NI was at all stages involved. Can you comment on that averment?
DR BARNARD: There are so many questions in that question of yours, can you just explain to me exactly what you want to know, what exactly your question would be?
MR McADAM: In the first place was whether a member of NI, would have been a member of that working group? With regards to how the elimination of these targets would have taken place?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair, we have received the document of the request from Jan Anton Nieuwoudt. May I ask you, are you referring to the case of Trevits, is that what you are referring to? MR McADAM : Unfortunately the pages aren't numbered but it would then be the 5th last page at the top, point number 3, "General Joop Joubert" and at the bottom it says "if any people were injured, killed etc". But point number 9 is that a senior officer of NI whose name I can't remember, is there mentioned.
DR BARNARD : On that same page to which you are referring, which says General Joop Joubert. Point number 11 thereof Airforce and Navy members, there's a paragraph that says, due to a lack of co-ordination Trevits was put in place in some year, if I remember correctly Trevits is an abbreviation for Counter Revolutionary Intelligence Task Force. In the period, especially from 1986 when the emergency was declared, a body was put in place in the Intelligence community to co-ordinate the Intelligence regarding this revolutionary problem. I cannot remember that Trevits ever was involved in foreign Intelligence but I understand that they did that on occasion. I'm referring to a senior officer of NI, and I want to say NI never had any officers. We were not an army structure and it should be referred here to NI. To the best of my knowledge we had a person and I think at certain stages more persons served on this body where the Intelligence was co-ordinated. And what is stated furthermore in this statement is it was a kind of Intelligence database regarding targets in Lesotho or internally and there we would provide a specific input but the actions afterwards of those departments and the departments who acted accordingly had nothing to do with NI.
MR McADAM: We are referring to the time before Trevits when this work group was established. According to Mr Nieuwoudt he was a Major and then he was promoted to a Commander, that the targets discussed for elimination were not only military targets based on military actions it also included political leaders who were senior members of illegal organisations who were hiding away in these neighbouring States and these methods entailed poisoning, car bombs and assassinations.
DR BARNARD: I can't react on that. My information is that the intelligence gathered and the contributions we made from the side of NI to the development of Intelligence databases had to do with people involved in a military conflict.
MR McADAM: You see one of the prominent targets for which he's applying for amnesty is Albie Sachs and I can't think he can be described as an armed terrorist.
DR BARNARD: I don't want to become involved in that argument, I don't know of such information, I can't answer that, I was not involved in that, I can't answer that.
MR McADAM: So, such actions would that be directed against the Government of the day?
DR BARNARD: Yes.
MR McADAM: And a member of NI, would he be involved in this discussions? Would you accept that he would report back and say that they were busy with illegal actions and certain steps should be taken against them?
DR BARNARD: The document you provided to me in no way refers at that stage, and you're mentioning a structure I don't know which structure you are referring to, you referred to Trevits at the end of the document and this person whose applying for amnesty says the information my duty was to gather Intelligence regarding two things: We interrogated ANC, SACP, PAC members who were interrogated . We got information from the Security Branch, the NI and a directorate covert information and reconnaissance by special tasks. These information was evaluated and correlated by me in a specific docket and presented to Constance Viljoen. I don't know to which structure you are referring.
My answer is "No, the SSC and the structures I know of, at no stage made any decisions regarding this matter. MR McADAM: So NI would not have been involved in any discussion to eliminate people, to eliminate political people?
DR BARNARD: What do you mean by eliminate?
MR McADAM: To kill.
DR BARNARD: No, no they were not involved in that.
MR McADAM: Can you think of any reason why a senior officer of the Defence Force in such a position would allege that there was one of NI members present when the execution took place.
MR TREURNICHT: I just want to mention that this question does not follow on the information provided in the amnesty application. In the paragraph 9 it says -
"The following members of the South African Defence Force also had knowledge, they had knowledge. All played certain roles in planning this operation...:
and then reference is made to certain people with certain ranks and then also to a senior officer of NIA, that was a structure which was established at that time. You know that NIA was only a recent establishment and I don't think the question could be formulated as my learned colleague is doing.
MR McADAM: On the previous stage mention is made of the planning of the operation and that was after a target was decided on, and authorisation was provided to act against that target.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman, this document in front of me says, with respect, not what I'm hearing, it's not saying that, I am repeating - NI provided Security Intelligence, provided information for Intelligence databases during the conflict of that time. We were not involved in this matter regarding Albie Sachs.
MR McADAM: And, if we go further on, CIC was established and you were the chairman for a long period?
DR BARNARD: That is correct.
MR McADAM: And, if I understand you correctly CIC was only for Intelligence purposes, not to eliminate or to kill people?
DR BARNARD: That is correct.
MR McADAM: And during that period with your time at NI and a member of the SSC did you have anything to do with Johan van der Merwe of the South African Police?
DR BARNARD: Like all Commissioners of Police, Johan van der Merwe was a member of CIC and I saw him there, he was a member of the Meetings. During that time he was Commissioner of Police .
MR McADAM: Did you have any liaison with William Schoon who.was the Commanding Officer of the Police Counter Insurgency Unit?
DR BARNARD: I had no contact with this specific individual he was not a member of CIC. CIC was a body established in Simon's Town and I see in your documents that it is alleged CIC was established after a meeting held in Simon's Town in March 1980 to determine the areas of responsiblities in the Intelligence community. During that occasion the roles of NI, Department of Military Intelligence in the Defence Force, Security Branch of the police and Foreign Affairs were established. CIC was established I was the chairman of the bases of NI and the Head of the security branch of the police, the Head of the military Intelligence and the chief directorate of foreign affairs. Middle level officers of police and Foreign Affairs did not attend CIC meetings.
MR McADAM: You can perhaps help us by giving comment on amnesty applications by Brigadier Schooon where they are asking amnesty for an attack in Lesotho where innocent people were killed and where they alleged that the authorisation for that operation came from CIC.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman my hearing was scheduled for October and it was postponed to December. You are asking me questions now regarding amnesty applications I have not received and I think it's unreasonable to ask or accept that I should react. I think that the rule is that no documents should be used here where people are required to give a perspective that they should have insight into that beforehand, I don't know which documents you are referring to.
I wish to assist you, however, and I want to tell you that CIC at no stage at all, I, being the chairman for 12years and CIC have a complete set of minutes, if you look at the minutes of CIC, I've asked for those but they were not made available. Can you just wait till I've completed my answer. If you look at the minutes of CIC you will see at no stage any decisions were made regarding cross- border operations. CIC was involved in the Intelligence gathering regarding these matters. At CIC the Defence Force and the police would have said that the operations could be planned against neighbouring States. Should you receive information regarding a terrorist basis I would be glad if you could provide it to the executive authorities. CIC did not authorise these activities. It gathered Intelligence.
MR McADAM: Did CIC receive any instructions from the Defence Force or the police for assistance regarding information of people belonging to illegal organisations?
DR BARNARD: I've already said that we did assist the Defence Force and the police. The CIC was a body who co-ordinated the Intelligence structure and to manage scarce manpower and resources. We each had our own line responsibility and we reacted on aproaches by the South African Defence Force and police, and apart from what we were doing we tried to present them with this Intelligence but at no stage information was required from us on the presumption that this information would be use for illegal operations.
MR McADAM: Is it correct to say that Trevits was a sub committee of CIC?
DR BARNARD: That is a matter to which I've already referred, I've already referred to the sub committees. You did not provide me with the documents. I'm careful to say that it was a sub committee of CIC. I would rather try and explain to you how it operated. I want to refer back to my statement. You did not give me an opportunity to refresh my memory regarding CIC documents. But this morning while reading my statement, and I want to refer back to that and I refer to that on page 23 paragraph 117, and I said the activities of CIC was supported by a system of sub committees who did all the preparatory work. The sub committees among others covert information or Intelligence gathering. And I would say that Trevits was part of this covert information gathering. I think that could possibly be the case.
MR McADAM: I think there was mistake on the side of the people who had to provide the documents that they did not provide you with these amnesty applications. I'm asking you to forgive us. We could provide you with that and you could peruse it and we could come back to that. I just want to establish whether you have accepted or received rather the amnesty application of van der Westerhuizen?
DR BARNARD: Yes, I did. If you want me to throw light on any matters required by the Truth Commission I would like to do that in written form I can't do it now. I have received Mr van der Westhuizen's statement, yes.
MR McADAM: Once again a senior member of military Intelligence is Mr van der Westhuizen. He also refers to a mechanism according to which targets were identified for elimination.
He alleges in his application that at a certain stage there was friction between the police and the Defence Force regarding an attack in Swaziland and they were reacting on information obtained from NI and therefore Trevits was established to avoid this type of problems. This you will see on page 13 the rest of that specific statement.
DR BARNARD: I have it Mr Chairman. What is your question?
MR Mc ADAM: I just want to determine whether that statement according to you is wrong or correct.
DR BARNARD: I can't assist you in this matter. I can think that the establishment of Trevits could have been the consequence of differences and a lack of co-ordination of Intelligence as subjective allegation in an amnesty application that was said because there were differences between the Defence Force and the police and that the Intelligence was provided by NI. I can't comment on that. It could have been that NI presented the Intelligence but whether that led to the establishment of Trevits I can't say. The provision of Intelligence was important for us and therefore Trevits could have been established. The coordination of that Intelligence was not with the purpose of eliminating people, definitely not to eliminate people that was for countering the revolutionary onslaught.
MR McADAM: Perhaps you can assist us and tell us how a person like Mr van der Westhuizen who had a senior position in the Defence Force, he has long been involved in the Defence Force could make such a wrong conclusion regarding the purpose of Trevits.
MR TREURNICHT: I'm sorry Mr Chairman I just need to interrupt you. In this amnesty application nothing is mentioned, nothing is mentioned that Trevits co-ordinated these attacks. If you read this properly it says there was a body which co-ordinated information or intelligence namely Trevits and certain projects were developed by this person who applies for amnesty and he kept a target dossiers but no mention is made that Trevits formulated the planning of an attack. I don't think you can ask a question in such a way.
MR LYSTER: Is that the case, I haven't read the amnesty application myself. But to what extent ....(intervention)
(The speaker's microphone is not on) ....
MR McADAM: If the document as a whole is read, as a whole the clear impression is that Trevits was one of the structures which was involved in planning or gathering information with the aim of killing people. If we look, for example, at the bottom of page 14 -
"The members of Trevits not only looked at Intelligence but also looked at the ANC structures within our identified areas".
And the person goes on to describe a long term involvement with Trevits he said he's the first secretary of the organisation and he goes on to say that at a later stage when the negotiations were well under way that is when the killing of people stopped and there was efforts devoted to then the peaceful solutions to the country but he clearly says that in this period Trevits was one of the organisations involved, may well only be involved in the process of providing information on which attacks could be carried out, but clearly that murder of persons was involved and he's applied for amnesty for those cases.
DR BARNARD: Respectfully can I answer, is there any question I have to answer?
MR McADAM: I just want your comment that a person in this position would be under such a wrong impression regarding the purpose of Trevits.
DR BARNARD: These documents it goes to annexture E and there are certain interviews I don't know what this entails. This documentation I received at a very late stage. I understand that. I want to ask if that is your question. I wanted you to refer to where in his application Trevits was used to eliminate people. Where is this stated in his application that Trevits was used to eliminate people?
MR McADAM: Well in the first place on page 13 that the establishment of Trevits was because of the failed action of the ANC....(intervention)
MR TREURNICHT: May I assist my colleague Mr Chairman. If he looks on page numbered 3 of this application he will find at the bottom of that the following: a general description of Trevits which I submit is in line with w hat I have suggested earlier on.
"Trevits was an inter- departmental work group and it enhanced the working of projects. The inputs of the various working groups and Trevits is one of those working groups enhanced the process of target identification. The so-called target dossiers were held at Headquarters".
The applicant in this application, when he describes in general the functions of Trevits he doesn't describe it in the fashion in which my learned friend suggests, has suggested it to the witness.
MR LYSTER: Mr MacAdam you said that Trevits was not involved in the elimination or the killing of people as such. Is it your contention that the gist of this application is that the purpose for which they developed targets was so that such targets could be. Is that what you're saying? (speaker's mike is not on)....
I think just put it to the witness in fairly crisp terms I don't think that Trevits itself was an executing body, but I mean that not in the sense that they kill people but that the purpose for which they gathered information was so that those people could then be eliminated by that I mean killed by other bodies. Is that what you suggested?
M McADAM: That's correct Mr Chairman.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I have already made my standpoint but that was not the case. That would be wrong if you draw the inference that, that was the purpose of Trevits. I want to place it on record that I do not agree with that, it is wrong.
M McADAM: And possibly just to conclude there are various applications by former members of Trevits for matters where they provided Intelligence which led to the killing of people. I am only putting facts which should be considered by the committee in the end.
This is not a personal attack on you. But I just want to give you the broad picture according to which we are working. A lot of publicity was given last year at a public meeting of a Brigadier of the Security Branch which committed varied assassinations in South Africa and he alleged that when he attended Trevits meetings the people who had to be eliminated were discussed, information was obtained to enhance this elimination and to establish where they were staying, were there people with weapons nearby whatever. Would you like to comment on that?
DR BARNARD: I still support my standpoint regarding Trevits. I want to add that I think that it is not fair that during this hearing to bombard me with a lot of amnesty applications which I do not have, and to make certain allegations about what Trevits had done or should have done, I think it's unfair and not correct. I'm still supporting my own point or view.
MR McADAM: If we go onto a next point and that is specifically regarding the Security Council provided to you. If you read through this documentation you see in the early 1980's the terms are used like "detentions etc", and it's rather moderate terms. but after 1985 there is a difference in terminology and the way the language is used and now suddenly reference is made to elimination, permanently taken out of a community, disrupt etc.
The first question I want to put to you is the year 1985. Was that a watershed year in the revolutionary onslaught against the country at that stage?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman, unfortunately I did not receive any documentation as to before 1985. The question you are asking is, yes 1985 and afterwards the revolutionary climate and conflict in South Africa escalated drastically internally and overseas, and this also led to the declaration of the State of Emergency.
MR McADAM: Would it be correct to assume that at that stage the South African Government was busy losing this battle, but before that it was just single cases by the so-called trained terrorists planting a bomb or just shooting somebody but now whole communities resisted and places were made ungovernable and security forces couldn't move in places like Port Elizabeth, economic pressure was put on the Government by stay-away actions and also these civil societies established by the Government, those people were murdered. People did not want to be involved in things associated with the State.....(intervention)
DR BARNARD: Please ask your question.....(intervention)
MR McADAM: Can you confirm, was that the background to that area at that time. iIs that so?
DR BARNARD: On page 35,36 I described in detail, I don't want to reiterate and my standpoint is that was an escalation of conflict.
That what you're saying is true. That is what I've also said in my document. That is what I've also said in my document
MR McADAM: Did that situation cause a big problem for the country of the day?
DR BARNARD: Certainly it led to the problem that a Government had to find a negotiated political settlement because it had to do with people who did not have political power and they tried to use violence and conflict to obtain political power.
In my presentation I also said that many people were frightened that there would be a revolutionary takeover, but the argument was we cannot get a negotiated agreement with its broad divisions of all the peoples in this country if we work in a revolutionary climate. We had to create a stable climate where this negotiated settlement could be reached.
There is no example where there are deeply divided communities in the world whether it's in the Middle East whether it's in Northern Ireland, it's not possible to get an answer to a problem if there is anarchy and that was also the point of view of the SSC that the situation should be stabilised. A climate had to be created where this whole process could be developed in a peaceful way.
MR McADAM: Would you say that the primary policy of the Government of the day was that we should counter this problem to find a peaceful settlement so we can negotiate it with the oppressed people?
DR BARNARD: The answer is yes.
MR McADAM: Then I would accept that it would not be that we had to enforce stronger military action against the masses.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair it is clear that due to the escalation of the revolutionary onslaught the murders committed and bombs that exploded in Wimpy Bars etc. the actions I have already described, because of the climate and the growing revolutionary dilemma surrounding that it would by necessity require increased security forces. It was, however, never about a point of departure that the problems in South Africa could be solved by the military and it had to be solved in such a way that a political solution could be found.
MR McADAM: Would you agree with me that an important central point was that prior actions by the ANC, I believe that the ANC was at that stage more active in the area of making the country ungovernable, it was not a matter of one trained person coming in and leaving again and nobody knew who he was or what he was doing. They operated in a very clandestine way in the early '80's.
DR BARNARD: Yes, Mr Chair I agree that the climate had been one of mass resistance of problems in schools and it is true that "certain parts" and I say that in inverted commas, "certain areas" were not governable in the ordinary sense of being governable. It therefore, was not only certain people, the majority of people who were excluded from political rights started mobilising themselves.
M McADAM: And also what would have happened, I put it to you, with the policy of the ANC of making the country ungovernable they would act in public and would then basically tell people not tO - they would order people to break the law and they would then challenge the country and the Government basically, saying that you cannot arrest me because this would cause further unrest. That was the actions of the ANC.
DR BARNARD: That was one of the problems of the Government at that stage.
MR McADAM: Was it important to you that these prominent leaders who were acting in such a blatant way that they would be part of the negotiating processes?
DR BARNARD: It would of course be good for the country if one could get leaders of all sides not to spend their energies on destabilising the country but to get them to take part in negotiated settlement politics in South Africa.
MR McADAM: Would it then be true that information be gathered on these people so that this information can be transferred to the people who wanted to obtain this negotiated settlement, to convince this person to take part in the negotiation?
DR BARNARD: Yes, the answer is yes.
MR McADAM: I am surprised that at that stage, and we have to look at the Eastern Cape, at that stage suddenly the three leaders of Pebco disappears, a prominent organisation in East London and then Fedora who was behind all the unrest in the Eastern Cape. They were either murdered or disappeared from the face of the earth.
DR BARNARD: With respect I do not understand what the question is.
MR McADAM: I want to determine if you knew that this happened.
DR BARNARD: All South Africans know about this unfortunate incident where these people were murdered.
MR McADAM: What did your department do to investigate either the death or the disappearance of these people?
DR BARNARD: I have taken great pains to explain what NI's role was. Investigation and gathering intelligence on criminal matters was not the task of NI.
MR McADAM: But these people were important to you for the negotiating process and you are an Intelligence service. The one disappears after receiving an order to meet the British Ambassador at Port Elizabeth airport and the other is found dead and the car was burnt, they were burnt out and you want to tell us your Intelligence information was never tasked to find out what had happened and who had been involved?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair I have answered that question I am not going to try and answer it again. That was the task of the NI. I cannot answer the question any better than I did answer the previous question..
MR McADAM: On page 11 of your submission you clearly said that the State Security Council was kept up-to-date on the plans of the revolutionary organisation. If that had indeed been the case, you would have looked very carefully at these people and you would have been interested in finding out what happened to them, who had been responsible for their disappearance and the murders. At that stage there was international concern and questions were asked.
DR BARNARD: I have trouble understanding the question. On page 11 of my submission, I want to read the whole sentence paragraph 8.12.5. It starts with, in the middle thereof -
"The members of the SSC were kept up-to-date by means of special Intelligence publication and National Intelligence assessments they were kept up-to-date".
This is about the transferring of Intelligence to enable the State Security Council to be informed at all times. The incidents you are referring to concerned very unfortunate murders in the country. I have already twice said that NI was not there to investigate murders or other criminal matters. It was not its statutory task. If NI investigated those matters it would act contra to the statute which brought it to life. It was not our concerns, it was not our task and that is why we did not do this.
MR McADAM: Was there any involvement in JMS of the SSC?
DR BARNARD: I have indicated that after 1986 the Joint Management System was expanded and NI, who had a small personnel in the country at that stage, NI's task was, in foreign countries we wanted to provide Intelligence to the various parts of the Joint Management System.
MR McADAM: What influence did JMS have on the local commanders of police, can you tell us?
DR BARNARD: I think that the Joint Management System not always had the successes it wanted to achieve. I have explained that at that stage in the late 80's the conflict was escalating, it became necessary in a changed conflict situation to have a new and changed system. All the examples that can be named where there were successes against the revolutionary systems in Malaysia etc, the State had to develop a management system which could deal with the processes.
In this case the management system attempted also on local level to deal with the battle of the hearts and minds of people so that we could win the negotiated settlement politics. I do not always think they acted correctly, they made mistakes from time to time, but the point of view and the position was a co-ordinated attempt to build schools and to bring about economic development, to enable economic development.
MR McADAM: Are you in possession of the amnesty application of Harold Snyman?
DR BARNARD: Yes I have it in my possession.
MR McADAM: He recently testified at an amnesty application on the kidnapping and murder of the Pebco 3 in the Port Elizabeth area. He avered that he had decided to eliminate these people because of pressure on him by the JMS system and also by senior members of the State Security Council.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair is this the document you are referring to, can you refer me to the page you are referring to I would just like to follow that up.
MR McADAM: If you would look at page 4 the second paragraph.
"By means of the State Security Council arrangements were made that the JMS was addressed by members of the Government as well as the top structure of the State Security Council. I can remember that at various occasions we were addressed by Botha, Malan etc. During these visits it was stressed that the current security situation had to require drastic steps in order to control. Enormous pressure was exercised by the ...
(it is impossible to interpret at this speed).
I apologise I was just informed. I will read this slower again.
"On page 4 by means of the State Security Council there were often arrangements made that certain role players of the JMS were addressed and visited by political members, political figures and also the top structures of the political forces. I can remember that we at the JMS at various occasions during this period was visited and addressed by, amongst others, PW Botha, Louis Le Grange, Magnus Malan and Adriaan Vlok. During these visits it was stressed that the security situation had to be revised and drastic actions was pleaded by these people to bring these unrest under control. Pressure was exercised from the Government's side to act in a drastic way to neutralise activists and to help the security situation to normalise".
Then we will look at page 5 which is paragraph 5 middle paragraph.
"This situation was discussed at the JMS and it was clear that the normal legal options like detention and restrictions of political activists did not have the wished results, the required results".
If we then go to page 6 the middle paragraph thereof.
"At this stage pressure was exercised by the JMS and political figures on the security forces to bring about stability and to bring the situation under control".
There is then reference to things that PW Botha and Malan said as well as things that other political leaders said, where things were said,
...."like fire must be fought with fire" and "we are in a guerrilla warfare situation" and also a reference to the total onslaught and communist expansionism; the taking over that we are looking in the face and the western lifestyle as well as the well known black danger statements by means of the intensified JMS actions I gained some knowledge which indicated that the political activists of Pebco were a threat, a serious threat to the Government because their activities were causing chaos in the black areas".
I'll leave out a couple of sentences.
"It was decided to neutralise these activists by killing them".
and then he explained how they proceeded to eliminate these people.
DR BARNARD: Thank you I just want to know what is the question.
MR McADAM: I just want to put it to you that this does not correspond with the policy of the SSC that they want to negotiate and make peace with these people. This document of the Colonel, I think his rank is colonel, Colonel Snyman, I've read his submission, the reference you are making based on the paragraphs that the JMS was visited by political figures and during that stages they gave their opinions is based on Snyman's subjective opinion. I think it was Mr Botha's management style and the management style of the security, it stood them in good stead that they did not stay in their offices in Cape Town and in Pretoria and looked at the increasing conflict from their ivory towers. I think it was good for them that they made the time and that they sat down with the various officials, visited certain regions like in the Eastern Cape, talked to the officials who handled the situation who wanted to motivate them, who had to put their standpoint and to convince them that they had to make their contribution to stabilise the country. I think it's the fact that political leaders participated in these discussions. I was part of some of these discussions, not all of them, I'm not basing them on hearsay I was involved in some of these and not at one occasion Mr Botha and any of his people or officials said or referred to the elimination of people. It was all about stabilising the situation, motivating people to stabilise the situation, motivating people to stabilise the situation.
With respect I want to draw your attention that here in Snyman's submission there is no reference that an instruction had been given it's a perception he has in this regard. I want to state it in a sentence which he started and he did not complete it. On page 6 he started saying -
"The decision to neutralise these four activists by killing them could not be taken lightly".
and it caused a lot of problems for me and he was struggling with his conscience.
And then on page seven the long paragraph 4/5ths from the bottom -
"And then consequently I instructed them that some of the leadership elements from Pebco should be eliminated to stabilise the situation."
He said I gave the instruction. My point of view is that the contribution of political leaders and senior officials did not have anything to do with the climate in which people had to be eliminated or killed. It had to do with motivating people who during a difficult time and with limited human resources and with international isolation to make a contribution to stabilise the country to make a contribution. But this Colonel Snyman at that stage was 58 years of age and he was the commanding officer of one of the most important security branches in the country. What surprises me is that he had made such a decision all on his own without feeling that his action was justified with the pressure from above.
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman with respect this debate can continue forever. The information in this submission being put to the witness is saying what he's saying. He decided and he instructed the people to be killed,. With all respect what can this witness contribute to this. It's already been stated what this person has said in his amnesty application. We know what he is saying and my learned colleague cannot change this fact. It is not clear what he is trying to get from this witness. Could he just say unequivocally to this witness what he really wants. Does he agree to what he is saying? Does he just want a comment from this witness otherwise the question cannot be answered.
MR McADAM: Just to determine why this person would refer to the JMS system established by the SSC. Why he is mentioning pressure from members of the SSC if the SSC did not play any role in the factors he took into consideration before making his decision.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I've just answered this question when I've just referred to that I can't add anything else thank you.
MR McADAM: In your own submission on page 39 you referred to violation of human rights by the security forces. You cannot be denied, you saidthat many members of the public sector had deeply- seated and personal convictions which sometimes led to serious misunderstandings and various activities. I'm putting it to you, you sketched a picture of a goverment with clean hands, a Government which will not use illegal methods and I want to know how did you come to the conclusion that the people who committed these illegal deeds that they did it because of subjective convictions?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman if I understand this question correctly, the recent history of this country which goes over ages, it's not free from conflict not even till today, even after establishment of our democracy for which we are all very thankful, there's still conflict, people are still being killed. Against the background of this history people from both sides of the political perspective had the wrong view, and this had an effect - did not only have an effect on people in the security forces but on all people. A practical example : a few weeks ago in the Cape a person who was functioning on a third political level taking responsibility there, he was caught by people applying law and order and he said "after Mandela disappears we will kill the white people like flies." That was reported in the press. This is an example from both sides that there are deeper inner feelings in people's hearts. What I'm trying to say here is that people in the security forces certainly had certain subjective meanings or subjective understandings when they took certain actions. I'm not trying to create an impression of security forces being little angels. The conflict of the past were not waged by angels people on both sides did wrong deeds. People from the liberation movement also did that in a very cruel manner. My point of view was that the SSC, of which I have knowledge, not of the Cabinet, the SSC and its structures did not ever authorise any illegal actions, that was my standpoint. My standpoint was that the SSC and it supportive structures never supported illegal actions like the elimination of people.
MR McADAM: The problem for the Commission is that especially during 1985 to '89, and this is without referring to any amnesty applications, it was determined that many political activists had been murdered, many senior members of the security forces had applied for amnesty for the elimination of those people. It's not junior officers and those operations did not involve people acting on their own. Various peoples from various departments were involved and in-depth planning was done. Its very necessary to accept that those people did get official authorisation for those activities, because it could not be established that they did that for any personal gain.
Mr Chairman before I make the following statement I would like to elicit the meaning of Advocate Treurnicht and the Lawyer Kallie Albertyn - but if you do not have facts in these documents and these allegations which are not based on facts and that is you can infer that the TRC is biased and they have certain pre-conceived ideas which they are trying to confirm. I can't react to your question in any other way.
I've already stated my specific point of view and I can't repeat this point of view time and again. I just want to maintain what I have said. If you in the Commission has a dilemma in this regard I've already given you my meaning I can't give you another meaning.
MR McADAM: Apart from the evidence supplied during previous hearings regarding the SSC and the security forces....(intervention)
DR BARNARD: If it refers to those documents provided to us numbered A-L...(intervention)
MR McADAM: No, it's transcipts ....(intervention)
DR BARNARD: I've been provided with documents of evidence given by Botha, Vlok, an deputy minister Meyer and various generals of the Defence Force and the police. And, in a lighter vein, I want to say somebody whose accountable in the public sector, there's a lot of documents to work through but I have done that.
MR McADAM: And Johan van der Merwe's documents have you read through that?
DR BARNARD: Just give me a minute please. I have it thank you.
MR McADAM: If we look at page 22 and that is in response to a question by Glen Goosen, I see the transcipt is all in English so I can proceed in English.
DR BARNARD: I have no problems Sir.
MR McADAM: In the middle Mr Goosen said -
"I understand you correctly that there is no general authorisation or necessarily a general policy that certainly unlawful actions could be carried out, but that unlawful actions were carried out were authorised in particular instances and that senior members of either the State Security Council or senior members within either the police or the military or the......"
DR BARNARD: I am sorry Mr Chair I don't know where you are now. Just refer to this page please.
MR McADAM: I beg your pardon. It's on page 22.
DR BARNARD: Unfortunately our page 22 or my page 22 certainly does not say what you are reading now Sir. I can show you.
MR McADAM: It seems that there is a mistake. Page 21. It appears to be 21. Do you have the right page? I just go back to what Mr Goosen said.
"If I understand you correctly, you would say there's not a general authorisation or necessarily a general policy that certain unlawful actions could be carried out, but that unlawful actions were carried out were authorised in particular instances and that senior members of either the State Security Council or senior members within either the police or the military or politicians in those instances would have been aware of that and that they agreed with that. Is that I understand the thrust of your answer?
General van der Merwe: That is correct, this is also presented in my amnesty application'.
He then goes onto the following page at the middle where General van der Merwe then says.
"Mr Chairman I have already testified before the Amnesty Committee and before the investigation team and I have confirmed that certain instructions were given with the approval of the Minister..."
and he is referring there to the Minister of Safety and Security.
"I have no doubt at all that he would have informed the State Security Council, consequently if that is denied that the previous Government in this case specifically in State Security Council did not have knowledge of certain unlawful actions that is not true".
Can you comment on this statement by the General?
DR BARNARD: On page 22 which had just concluded I want to do from the back to the front. General van der Merwe says:
"Mr Chairman, I have already testified before the Amnesty Committee and before the investigative team and I confirm that certain instructions were given with the approval of the Minister. I do not doubt that at all that he would have informed the State Security Council".
I find that a very strange remark by van der Merwe. He was a member of the SSC according to the statutes, and I personally was present at most meetings of the SSC and I find it really strange that he, who was also present, that he could think that the SSC could have been informed. That's the first point I want to put. I do not agree with van der Merwe's point of view at this stage and that it was authorised that it was inferred, as he infers.
Now back to page 21 . He says that he can draw the inference that at some stage the SSC authorised it and then van der Merwe said - "I do not agree".
MR McADAM: It would also not surprise you that the Minister of Law and Order also applied for amnesty, for actions during these times.
DR BARNARD: The amnesty application of the Minister of Law and Order, I think you referring to Vlok, I haven't seen that I can't comment on that.
MR McADAM: If we can go on to the evidence of Craig Williamson. He testified during the same hearin - just give a minute please I think it's in the same bundle of documents it's on my page 90 we start on page 90.
DR BARNARD: It starts with - "Now further to the academic aspects..." is that were we are?
MR McADAM: I see we have wrong page numbers. My page begins - "No, no, Chairman - thank you General". One of my members can just help you to get to the correct page.
DR BARNARD: I don't know how we have to work in this way. I work with documents on which I've made some notes and I please want to find this specific place in my own documents. These documents do not correspond. If you bear with me I might find it.
MR McADAM: It is just at that specific page, he sketches briefly his background service in South African police and security branch then in the South African Defence Force and going over, next to finally being on the National Party parliamentary caucus, defence study group as a member of the President's Council. He then went on to say - that's where he gives his background On my page 98 he then goes on in the middle of the page I'm going to send this person over, then he can point you directly to the page.
DR BARNARD: We have it.
MR McADAM: If I could just read firstly what he says there and then possibly I'll ask you to give comment if necessary.
"By their very nature covert operation rarely to my knowledge discussed or written about".
He then goes onto quote, report about the Intelligence symposium held by the Intelligence service Head office in Pretoria on the 25th June 1982.
"When survival is important it is often necessary for a service to resort to secret actions which does not comply with the laws, morality, norms or values which controls the public actions of the State. Secretly both defensive and offensive is important coverage is used to allow the operatives to execute secret instructions".
He goes on to say,
"When I was instructed to present a paper at the symposium on the use of cover and secret operations as well as on the recruitment of long term deep cover agents or moles I discussed the contents of my paper with my colleagues and found no disagreements with the views expressed. At the symposium I was not challenged on my views. This report was also circulated to the highest level as the distribution list shows".
He then goes on on the next page to say.
"I had no doubt that secret, violent and other actions against the revolutionary enemy were an accepted and approved procedure and our overall arsenal of counter- insurgency weapons".
He then goes on and this is again at my page 102. At the top of the page it says -
"Nevertheless the drift in the 80's was more and more towards a military dominated State."
Mr Chairman we are almost to one o'clock, could we have an adjournment now and then at least we can check these two volumes and then see that they are correctly numbered and highlighted. I think it's going to be a lot easier than having to battle like we are at the moment.
Dr Barnard perhaps what we will do is during the adjournment we'll correlate the page numbers so that we don't waste time and then just before the break if I may just ask you one specific question in relation to Trevits which we referred to earlier. Can I first ask you whether you received any military training?
DR BARNARD: I don't following the question.
MR McADAM: Sorry, can I just ask you whether you yourself received any military training.
DR BARNARD: Whether I've undergone any military training. Yes.
MR McADAM: And are you aware that in the South African Defence Force there is a division known as special forces?
DR BARNARD: Yes, I'm aware of that.
MR McADAM: Could you briefly outline for us, as you know it, the task of special forces.
DR BARNARD: I'm aware of the existence of the special task force in South Africa like in any country in the world. These task forces are in America, in England there it is called the special air services. You know they are in Israel the ...(inaudible) and in Germany there's special forces ..(inaudible), the existence of specialised military forces to, under specific military circumstances, provide specific top class functions is a matter as old as the history of waging wars it's not only in South Africa, it's worldwide. To the best of my knowledge there were special forces in South Africa, and I'm under the impression this special task force with reference to the Defence Force was especially used for cross-border operations for Intelligence gathering regarding targets.
MR McADAM: And when you refer to cross-border actions what do you mean by that ?
DR BARNARD: With that I mean what I've already stated in my statement, that I was in favour of should there be terrorist bases in neighbouring States military action could be taken against them. That is in the first place.
Secondly the responsibility to gather intelligence regarding targets.
MR McADAM: And would you agree with the statement that in summary special forces are generally highly trained top level military operatives skilled in the conduct of operations. They are trained to use specialised weapons in many instances and generally are trained to carry out operations which would include, as you correctly say as in other countries in the world, actions which may lead to deaths, that sometimes special forces are brought in in military conflicts and take actions which may result in deaths.
DR BARNARD: You have mentioned a lot of concepts here specifically what are you referring to.
MR McADAM: Sorry I will try to put it more crisply. Would you agree that it would fall within the perview of the task of somebody in special forces to take armed action which may result in the death of a military target?
DR BARNARD: Yes.
MR McADAM: Alright. And special forces are members of the military they are not traditionally used and it would be very strange if they were used to effect arrests. You don't generally employ special forces to arrest people for purposes of bringing them before courts of law .
DR BARNARD: If it's in the classical situation where there is war and peace neatly divided and where the country internally is safe and only regarding cross-border operations, that is the case.
MR McADAM: Now earlier you told us that the functions of Trevits was the identification of targets but you maintained that it was not the function....(intervention)
MR TREURNICHT: No, Mr Chairman that was not the evidence.
MR McADAM: I beg your partdon. Earlier you told us that one of the tasks of Trevits was the collection of information in respect of Intelligence targets.
DR BARNARD: I would say there is a big difference in the way you are formulating the question now and which you formulated previously. I said Trevits was established to co-ordinate security Intelligence and to establish information databases regarding the specific matters regarding the internal situation and I said I can't remember very well, but it might have been that overseas Intelligence could also have been part of that.
MR McADAM: Correct. But they gathered that information for a purpose, that information would be handed on to another group of people, not Trevits, for action to be taken .
DR BARNARD: For the steps which those people could have taken, yes, that was why the information was provided.
MR McADAM: Correct. And included in the groups that Trevits passed information to were in fact, you could say the people acted on the information co-ordinated by Trevits were two groups - firstly special forces and secondly the security police, would you agree with that?
DR BARNARD: Yes I don't have any knowledge of that. I assumed that was the way it happened. The Defence Force was not under my responsibility neither the police. What the police or the army did with the information I do not know.
MR McADAM: But I put it to you as a fact, and you don't have information that would countermand that, that in respect of information co-ordinated by Trevits action was taken by only two groups, special forces and the security police .
DR BARNARD: This standpoint I cannot establish that, I do not have information against that and I cannot confirm.
MR McADAM: And you earlier identified, you earlier asserted that in respect of the information collected by Trevits that that information was used for the purposes of internal operations.
DR BARNARD: My standpoint was that the internal operations, there's a big difference between internal operations. My standpoint was Trevits was established to gather security information to establish information databases regarding the situation in South Africa. You did not give me the benefit to provide documents to refresh my memory. And in the third place I draw no inferences from the documents and I think that this information could also be applied to cross-border operations.
MR McADAM: In respect of information co-ordinated by Trevits and acted on internal to the country by special forces, would you not agree that it is at least forseeable given the nature of special forces and the tasks that they are designed to carry out, that when Trevits gathers information or co-ordinates information and it is acted upon by an institution such as special forces it is at least forseeable based on what one understands the tasks of special forces to be that that may result in deaths.
DR BARNARD: I've already put my standpoint I don't know what any new additions I can make.
MR McADAM: How is it Dr Barnard that if you have agreed - (i) that special forces are highly trained operatives, that they take actions - you don't typically use special forces to arrest people, that if you gather information and task special forces to act on the information it is not reasonably forseeable that in some instances death may result. How is that plausible?
DR BARNARD: I am very sure that the information, Trevits information and the information contained in the information databases and these information databases to contain information regarding internal activities. I am not going to say that it led to the death of people.
MR McADAM: But what do you think special forces would do with information provided to them by Trevits?
DR BARNARD: I think that is a question you should ask a representative of Trevits
MR McADAM: No, but Trevits is a structure which falls under your department
DR BARNARD: No, Mr Chairman that is not correct.
MR McADAM: Dr Barnard you testified earlier that Trevits was a substructure of CIC, correct? And you were the Chair of CIC...(intervention)
DR BARNARD: Please complete your question first
MR McADAM: Sure, you testified earlier that you were the chair of CIC and that Trevits was on the evidence you testified earlier possibly one of the substructures of CIC.
DR BARNARD: That is what I've said, it was an interdepartmental structure it did not mean it was under my authority ...(intervention)
MR McADAM: But would you not ....(intervention)
DR BARNARD: Just give me a chance please, I'll apreciate that.
MR McADAM: I beg your pardon.
DR BARNARD: It was a body through which activities were co-ordinated for the Intelligence community. I was the chairman for that regarding military Intelligence. It was not under my personal authority.
MR McADAM: I beg your pardon, I didn't mean to imply that if fell under your personal authority but it was a structure that was a subcommittee of a structure that you chaired, so it fell within your broad perimeters of authority.
DR BARNARD: Yes it was a structure which I've already said did play a specific role, yes.
MR McADAM: And when a structure gathers information which is subsequently acted upon would you not agree that one has a responsibility to at least enquire as to how that information is used and what steps are taken based on that information?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I'm surprised, just repeat your question. Are you saying if you are working in the Intelligence work, you have a revolutionary conflict on hand which has to be managed, there's an escalation of conflict internally and externally and you establish varied bodies to co-ordinate the Intelligence so that you can work on the basis of information, are you saying that when the Intelligence comes to these structures you should ask what the lines functionaries are doing with this information, is this what you're saying? If that is your point of view I want to say that is not the case that is not the way it operated.
MR McADM: What I am asking is that you gather information for a purpose and that once you've gathered that information if that information is acted upon you need to at least foresee what use the information that you gather will be put to you. Not so?
DR BARNARD: Information was gathered to combat the revolutionary onslaught internally. That was the contribution by NI and Trevits. I've already said that five or six times.
MR McADAM: Yes. Sorry, just to round up this line of questioning you've just said that the information was gathered to counter the revoltionary situation inside the country. Countering of that revolutionary situation was carried out because gathering of information in and of itself doesn't counter anything. The countering of that revolutionary situation was carried out by special forces, highly trained military men who in the usual course of action take military steps which may result in deaths.
DR BARNARD: I've already stated my point of view is, that the security information gathered was also used for the political negotiation process. I do not agree with your stand of view that that information was used for killing people. If the special forces or the security forces used this information it could have been the case.
MR KHOISAN: Mr Barnard when you are looking at the situation of the Lesotho raid of December 1985, do you accept responsibility for the end product, the fact that several targets were ANC people were eliminated, they were killed and as you put it a lot of collateral damage occurred, do you accept responsibility for that?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I certainly do not accept responsibility for that.
MR KHOISAN: Now if I put it to you, and as it has been put to you already, that three people have applied for amnesty, a colonel, a brigadier and a general. That is Colonial Eugene De Kock currently in C-Max prison, Brigadier Schoon and General van der. Merwe. And all three of these senior officials, I'll call them senior officials of the security forces, security police if you will, point to you. They point first of all to your structurem, the structure that you chaired, CIC, as the final line of authorisation for the raid in Lesotho which resulted in the death of Jackie Quinn, Leon Meyer and other people who were already in the Trevits database. ...(intervention)
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman ... (intervention)
MR KHOISAN: No let me finish here one second. These amnesty applications before I say we can and I think you if you don't have the amnesty application of General van der Merwe we can hand it to you, but I'm saying to you, are you putting to this Commission that a general, a colonel a brigadier are lying to this Commission when they say that CIC and its Chairman, Mr Neil Barnard, who they have named by name are lying when they say that CIC and you as the Chairman provided the authorisation for the Lesotho raid in 1985 which resulted in the death of several targets of ANC people and a lot of collateral damage the death of Lesotho citizens etc?
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman before the witness answers this I strongly object to this line of questioning. We've been given amnesty applications for the very purpose for my client to prepare on that to see what's in it and to be able to reply. He's now aggressively asked about applications, or the contents of applications which hasn't been handed to him. We don't know why this is sprung onto him and I do object, and I want you to rule that before he is to reply to that, he is given access to those documents and be allowed to take advice and then to allow the continuation of the questioning.
MR LYSTER: Certainly, if he doesn't have the applications he should be given them now which is the time we said we would adjourn for lunch and you will be given an opportunity during the break to study them and then to give an advised answer.
I think we should take as short a time as possible for lunch and try and get back here at 2.45pm.
MR LYSTER: Thank you we are going to start again now. People please take their seats. Unfortunately we haven't yet got the third application which was referred to earlier on but if we could leave that question over until....
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman I will leave it but before I leave it there's been a pertinent statement put to Dr Barnard. I will leave it but I want to counter it immediately I don't know whether the questioner is going to come back. He promised to come back in 15 minutes time he hasn't yet.
MR LYSTER: He's the one who has gone to fetch the other amnesty application so he will be back. Do you want to respond to this specific question which he put?
MR TREURNICHT: I just want to place on record what actually, the suggestion put to Dr Barnard was totally and utterly incorrect. What was put to him is that at least three senior officers have used his name, they have named him have called him by name in the amnesty applications. I've now got two of them and I will certainly object in future if this kind of incorrect statement is put to my client as a fact. For the record I've got two of those applications before me and the one the following was said :
"General Johan van der Merwe (this is Schoon's application) ordered me to determine whether the security branch had the necessary information and capabilities to act in Lesotho. I then delegated the order to Major de Kock. Major de Kock submitted a report in which he explained and motivated his reasons for acting against the targets. I handed the report to General van der Merwe and on the same day he discussed it at CIC and he got the authority to act".
What you see is that Schoon is surmising as to what van der Merwe did.
MR LYSTER: Did Brigadier Schoon there say that authorisation was obtained from CIC from CIC?
MR TREURNICHT: He says, he gave this (verslag) to van der Merwe and then he goes on to say :
"....and on the same day at CIC he discussed it and got the authorisation:
But what I am saying is that from this alone it appears that Schoon, the maker of the statement is surmising as o what happened with van der Merwe at CIC. Van der Merwe's application says,
"I havee have taken cognisance of the contents Brigadier Willem Schoon's application regarding this incident. Although I can recall the event I do not if or at what stage the matter was dealt with by CIC".
It's quite clear the man who must know from these two applications, doesn't know. So it was utterly irresponsible to put to my client something that he hasn't seen and which is factually incorrect. And I don't know, I see the questioner has arrived, whether he's got de Kock's application because I would like to see it and I will deal with that but maybe not to waste time we should proceed on the other lines.
MR LYSTER: Ja, Mr McAdam.
MR KHOISAN: Yes Mr Chairman I do have de Kock's application and also his evidence in mitigation when he was testifying in court.
MR LYSTER: Mr MacAdam if you could just read that part of it which relates to authorisation for cross-border raids and if it names CIC and or Dr Barnard. Or if it's going to take some time to find it I think we will have to make a copy available to Dr Barnard that we should perhaps deal with it at a later stage. Okay will we find the relevant spot, we will make copies and we will read it at the end of this line of questioning.
MR McADAM: Mr Chairman I will just place on record that this is a panel which was convened to gather information which would then be put to the various witnesses and that it's been decided now that only questions by myself will be put to the witnesses not by other members of the panel. It appears that there have been some errors made by the persons responsible for ensuring that the other side had everything that they were entitled to, and that I propose at this stage not to put questions to witnesses on matters that they have not been supplied with documentation.
What I've seen of de Kock's amnesty statement is the reference to intelligence services but nothing as clear and specific as was put by Mr Khoisan. I think that in the circumstances that this issue should not form part of this hearing. Once these documents have been properly studied and if it is relevant I would propose that possibly questions be put to Dr Barnard with specific references to page references and they can be replied with if it becomes relevant at that stage for the committee to have his comments on these documents.
MR LYSTER: And we have taken note of the comments made by Mr Treurnicht relating to the two applications which you have seen and of those by Mr McAdam relating to the third one which doesn't appear to mention CIC or Dr Barnard . Thank you very much.
MR TREURNICHT: Mr Chairman.
MR LYSTER: Mr MacAdam do you want to continue with general questions to Dr Barnard?
MR McADAM: Yes Mr Chairperson. In the adjournment the pages have now been cross-referenced and flagged. If I can go back to where I started because when we started reading it there was the adjournment and in fairness, I'll start from beginning it will be easy to pick up. What I propose to do is just read out what Mr Williamson said before this Committee in its entirety and then come to come back with comments and questions from Dr Barnard where he can shed light on certain aspects. I'll read passages in their entirety first.
Chairperson on my page 99 it starts off -
"Now by their very nature covert actions were rarely to my knowledge discussed or written about. I append here to document 21 and I quote the report of the National Intelligence symposium held at National Intelligence Head office Pretoria "when survival is important it is often necessary for a service to resort to secret actions which does not comply with the laws, morality, norms or values which controls the public attitudes of the State. Secrecy both defensive and offensive is important. Coverage is used to allow the operatives to use secret instructions.
When I was instructed to present the paper to the symposium on the user of cover and secret operations as well as the recruitment of long term deep cover agents or moles I discussed the contents on my paper with my colleagues and found no disagreements with these expressed. The symposium I was not challenged on my views. The report was also circulated to the highest level as the discretion list show".
Turning to the next page and then the second paragraph Mr Williamson expresses the opinion -
"In the light thereof and in the terms of the knowledge which I had of standard secret and/or special force procedures in the then South Africa as well as in many other States I had no doubt that secret, violent and other actions against the revolutionary enemy were an accepted and approved procedure in our overall arsenal of counter-insurgency weapons'.
Turning over to the next page he deals with fact, and I propose to mearly summarise key features of that page and not read it out, is that there was a conflict between some officials from the Police and Justice and Foreign Affairs department who wanted the counter-insurgency programme to be conducted strictly in terms of law and if possible for the law to accord with acceptable western norms.
"On the other extreme we had officials especially from the counter insurgency element to the police and the military who felt that a democratic State using democratic methods could never withstand a concerted Soviet-backed revolutionary effort. Their solution was to spend democratic freedoms and militarise South African society.
Now the upshot of this debate was a mish-mash of compromise".
Turning to the next page and to then pick up from the third paragraph,
"Along all of the above the State and the security forces maintained and expanded their secret ability to attack their enemies without necessarily having to accept responsibility for what was done. The basis of such operations in the grey zone was deniability but it's for this reason that specific so-called chains of responsibility will in many instances be impossible to determine.
The operational procedures were designed by people who knew the law in order to circumvent proof of legal responsibility for the deed by the upper echelon. Such covert action leading to mysterious explosions deaths etc cannot said to be unusual in South African political life".
Turning to the top of next page.
With the benefit of hindsight it appears that that upper eschelons, especially the politicians, were so keen to be as what I say legal arms length from covert action that they abdicated their responsibility to exercise close operational supervision of such actions and so lost significant operational control. Nevertheless. they can never deny responsibility for the budgets used to fund covert actions".
Then if we proceed to skip to my page 112 and towards the bottom Mr Williamson is then quoted as saying -
"I would imagine so Mr Chairman I now go further so that every serving high level politician, now I'm talking of a politician in an executive position, a Cabinet minister, most of his Deputy ministers, Chairman of committees have the advantage of receiving on a daily basis Intelligence summaries. Insums, which summarises everything that happened the day before, the week before, projected what would happen tomorrow and the coming week and which reported all incidents".
Turning over to the next page at the very top -
"Some politician would have asked the Intelligence team to determine who was responsible for these activities and asked why with monotonous regularity the ANC cadres in one or other neighbouring States start their cars, their cars explode, but these questions weren't asked. There was a tacit acceptance and an understanding that this had something to do with South Africa's counter-insurgency programme that's the only answer I can give".
MR LYSTER: You want to formulate that into some sort of question.
MR McADAM: In the first place Doctor, would you accept this explanation or exposition that was read?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair I cannot accept it.
MR McADAM: If we look at Mr Williamson's background I think that the most important thing is there where he ends as part of the National Party's caucus on defence. How would he express such a view.
DR BARNARD: It is Mr Williams' right to express his position as he did I am not here to comment on a political party or department in the light of what Mr Williams said, I can't do it.
MR McADAM: In your submission you mentioned that you, in your department were involved in negotiations with especially the ANC.
DR BARNARD: Yes, we played a very pertinent role in that respect.
MR McADAM: Did the ANC as part of that process express any concerns about the fact that prominent political people were murdered or disappeared?
DR BARNARD: In the period of time when the discussions took place with Mr Mandela in 1988 in May and also after that during the discussions with Mr Thabo Mbeki and other members of the ANC in Europe, specific names of political figures did not receive any attention from either one of the parties. The discussions were aimed at finding a way to get Mr Mandela out of prison on certain provisions so that he could participate in the negotiation process.
In the second place the ANC had external wings, had an external wing in overseas to suggest how these people could come back to the country to participate in the political process.
The question that you asked later on at the Groote Schuur meeting, discussions were about general amnesty and the atrocities they were committed . It was discussed how these things could be addressed it was also addressed at the Pretoria minute. I can say that I was quite sad that at a certain incident where during the Pretoria minute political amnesty was discussed but no agreement was reached due to the views of a Cabinet minister of the then Government. That is a pity because here at the Truth Commission we are now addressing the issues of political responsibilities and this is of you can address much earlier.
MR McADAM: Would you agree that in the propaganda that was spread by the ANC from 1985 until the unbanning of the organisation there were various accusations that the South African goverment was busy using the South American elimination tactics.
DR BARNARD: I do not know about the South American elimination techniques I don't know what you mean therewith in the propaganda Mr Chair that was spread by the ANC these points of view were spread it was said that these people were responsible for these murders.
MR McADAM: In the same period of time in South Africa there were various human rights organisations that were very active and made some averments that prominent leaders were being murdered and the people detained are tortured in detention. As far as you know what was the State Security Council's reaction to these averments?
DR BARNARD: The State Security Council in it's dealing with the revolutionary climate and how it was dealt with it consequently said that no illegal action had or would be allowed and that all attempts must be mobilised from the side of the State. I have already mentioned before that the internal situation was supposed to be stabilised to such an extent that the political negotiations that have already been started there could be guided that we could have a true democracy in South Africa.
I must perhaps place this in the perspective that one of the main negotiating points in the discussions before Mr Mandela's release and also at Groote Schuur and the Pretoria minute was the question surrounding the ending and suspending of violence by the ANC as everybody can well remember. One of the difficult points was that a prominent member in the search for peace did not want to end the violence. At the Pretoria minute the word "suspension" was mentioned, the "suspension" of violence was then accepted. The violence the question of violence the argument is that at the beginning of the negotiating processors one of the very prominent main parties to the solution of this conflict was not at that stage willing and prepared to leave violence.
That is then very important and it must be stress that the South African goverment could not just simply leave its security forces in order to ensure that there is peace in the country when one of the main parties to negotiations did not want to stop violence. MR McADAM : Was it brought to the attention of the security forces that human rights violations were committed by the military and by the police?
DR BARNARD: One was of course aware of certain steps that were being taken, people who were being murdered. We did know about it because we were very upset and worried about that because we didn't think that, that was the way to go about.
MR McADAM: What did you do about this information I discussed?
DR BARNARD: I discussed it with my colleagues of the Defence Force and the police and I told them that it seemed to me as if in the executive levels, I must stress this, this is a very important point, at the executive levels regarding the policy that we wanted to implement these people were acting illegally. I do not have any proof thereof but I suspect that it is happening and that that would be something that is very important to consider.
Then Mr Chair it is not the task of the Head one department to make sure that these matters are addressed in other departments. I would like to repeat I had discussions with them and indicated to them that at the executive level there are people indulging in illegal actions, I did not have any information to prove this but I informed them that they had to investigate the matter.
MR McADAM: At what level did you address the questions at the departments?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chair I had just said the Head of the Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police.
MR McADAM: What was their reaction?
DR BARNARD: They said colleague we thank you for the information, do you have any factual evidence? I said no, I read it and I see it in the papers and they said that they would to the best their ability pay attention to the matter or attend to the matter.
MR McADAM: The National Intelligence service under which Minister did it resort?
DR BARNARD: National Intelligence services functioned under the auspices of PW Botha the State President.
MR McADAM: Did you monitor that after you have transferred this to the Head of the Defence Force and the Commissioner of Police it was taken any further.
DR BARNARD: As the process proceeded such actions were taken it was not my responsibility to invigilate what was going on in South Africa at that stage lawfully and unlawfully. At more than one stage I brought that to my colleagues attention and I would stand by my answer that I have just given.
MR McADAM: You said that it was not your department's to interfere in other departments?
DR BARNARD: When I discussed the Security Department's situation in my submission I said that each department had its own function I have chosen my words like that. The members of the Intelligence community did not try to spy on each other. In any country this would not be allowed that members of Intelligence branches spy on each other. We therefore did not do that.
MR McADAM: Did you at any stage give this information directly to Mr Botha ?
DR BARNARD: In that climate at the end of the 80's when this conflict was going on at various stages I voiced the same sentiments towards Mr Botha. .....(intervention)
MR McADAM: What....
DR BARNARD: If you can just give me a chance I told him, Sir it seems as if there are problems regarding the communication, I said that there must be some misunderstanding somewhere. I do not have facts to verify this but it seems to me as if members of the security branches could possibly be involved in some of these things which are illegal and we cannot be involved in illegal actions.
MR McADAM: What was his reaction?
DR BARNARD: He said that he was also very worried about it that he would deal with this at a political level.
MR McADAM: Can you remember in which year this was?
DR BARNARD: It is difficult to say......
MR McADAM: A certain year would you say it was the middle 80's or late 80's?
DR BARNARD: I cannot remember all the details of the events but this kind of thing would have occurred during the discussion between the Head of the Intelligence Services and the Head of the State under which he acted. It would have been around somewhere 1986 the emergency the State of emergency I was still at NI at the stage when Mr de Klerk came into office
MR McADAM: Was there anything official from the State Security Council which said that these channels had to be cleared or that the junior officers had to.....?
DR BARNARD: I would like to understand your question please can you just repeat it for us please.
MR McADAM: You said that you conveyed these concerns to Mr Botha and he also indicated that he also had the same concerns what I want to determine is did the State Security Council formulate any policy to curb such actions?
If we refer to the documentation there was an in-depth discussion of for example the combatting of activists, the various methods of dealing with them was there a similar document on control over the Security Forces?
DR BARNARD: Sir, I am very sure that if you had found any such document you would have been able to use that to verify such statements, and the fact that you do not do it must be clear that it was not discussed with the State Security Council.
Can I take it further. You are talking about very serious allegations here and I am certain that Advocate Treurnicht is going to object now, but I myself was accused in the legislature that I am a murderer and that I have blood on my hands which is absolutely untrue. Where there's a privilege to make irresponsible personal accusations if one is running a State in such difficult times one must be very, very careful of making serious allegations of this nature towards one's colleagues. That is why one is not at that stage where one is in meetings entitled to make wild allegations regarding such things. It must be verified by the facts, and that is why I am under the impression today that the police - I was under the impression that the police made the necessary enquiries and that it was their job to determine what the facts were it was not my job.
MR McADAM: Is it correct that members of the National Intelligence Services could also have worked for the security branch of the South African police or military Intelligence before that and then they were transferred to National Intelligence?
DR BARNARD: All officials in any State can be transferred from department to department. In the Bureau for State Security that was formed in 1969 it was formed from people who were previously involved in State departments, that is true and in the run of time it did not occur that much but people in the Intelligence services also transferred from one department to another.
MR McADAM: Did your department at any stage gain knowledge of the existance of a military component called the CID, Civil CCB excuse me the Civil Co operation Bureau?
DR BARNARD: The answer is no.
MR McADAM: There are certain aspects other people would want clear up.
I just want to determine whether there was a movement called the Wit Doeke were active in the Cape environment during the 80's?
DR BARNARD: This matter regarding the Wit Doeke and the fact that they acted in Cape Town in certain stages was reported in the Intelligence documents I referred to.
MR McADAM: Would you have been involved in any support of these Wit Doeke?
DR BARNARD: I think that I have often said that we were not an executive department I'm answering, no definitely no.
MR McADAM: Are you aware of the attempt to overthrow the Government in the Seychelles in the 1980's?
DR BARNARD: Yes I know about that.
MR McADAM: Do you know about the allegations made at that time that you were involved in that attempt? Is your answer then that I am aware that NI was involved?
DR BARNARD: Yes I'm aware of those allegations.
MR McADAM: And those allegations a great deal was based on a member of the Intelligence Services?
DR BARNARD: Please excuse me Mr Chairman but Mr Dollichick was not a senior member of the Intelligence Services. But I leave it at that. Mr Dollichick was a member of the Durban Regional office of the National Intelligence Service at that time. I paid a visit to Durban because we tried to visit the regional offices every two years. During that time during that visit I asked whether I would hold a discussion with Mr Mike Ward I did just that and he informed me that they had a plan to execute a coup in the Seychelles and he said couldn't provide assistance in this regard? And I answered no we won't support them. The next thing I heard about that was that a plane of Air India which landed on the Durban airport and it was mentioned Mr Dollichick was also involved in this matter. He was never authorised by NI to undertake that coup.
MR McADAM: So you would deny any official involvement in that?
DR BARNARD: Yes definitely.
MR McADAM: There was a criminal case in which some of these people were accused in the court and most of them were members of a reconnaissance unit. Were any investigations instituted by the Government why these people become involved in such a lawful action?
DR BARNARD: As far as I know I can't say whether the security police or whoever were involved in this matter. This Seychelles matter was subject to a judicial inquiry. There was a long court case where all State departments made various inputs. I don't know whether new light will be shed regarding this whole matter. It was a subject of a whole prolonged judicial inquiry.
If I remember correctly the judgment says that NI was aware of that and I've just told you in which way we were aware of that matter.
MR McADAM: I just want to determine, there are a few questions derived from a document which was provided to you, it's marked "trictly confidential" 15 V '86 and that's regarding counter-revolutionary strategy's comments. Do you have that document?
DR BARNARD: Yes I have it.
MR McADAM: I want you to look at page 9 at the bottom 126.96.36.199.
DR BARNARD: Yes I have the place thank you .
MR McADAM: "The activities of the comrades or the street committees as communication channels or as communication channels regarding a community organisation or intimidation will be to make ungovernable by the leader elements by operation Vasvat to clandestinely make them the target of the Wit Doeke".
And then we go to 3.2.5.
"The activities against and the intimidation of anarchists and revolutionaries by the vigilantes or hamanagalala including for example an organisation such as Inkatha should be strengthened, expanded and enforced as a natural counter-measure against anarchy. After order had been established it should be tried to recruit these people as law enforcement officers to render service in various communities. Can you comment on that?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I would ask don't you want to ask a specific question regarding this ?
MR McADAM: What is bothering me regarding this is on page 10. Mention is made about making vigilantes clandestine targets and then also actions and intimidation by vigilantes must be done through Inkatha and it should be expanded as a natural counter- measure against anarchy It seems to me you can assist me. I did not write this document but it shows support of the vigilantes and their actions.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman in trying to interpret this document In that paragraph you've read 313 activities of the comrades and following on that and then also leadership element being curtailed by Vastrap etc, it means this is the point of departure I've already put forward in my statement. In this revolutionary climate there were many leaders in a local communities right across the country especially in the areas known as the people who did not have any political rights in those areas, those leadership elements played a role in activating the revolutionary climate and a way had to be found to neutralise them, that means to take away the ability to strengthen the revolutionary climate. That was what is meant by that they should be neutralised, that they should not have the ability to strengthen revolutionary climate. In that type of climate the process which we tried to make a peaceful negotiation was not possible.
MR McADAM: Your department, did you give any inputs in the development of this policy?
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I just want to come back to the heading of this document.
MR McADAM: If you look right at the top you'll see strictly confidential and there's a code number saying NI etc. I draw the inference that this document was drawn up by NI and other departments made contributions.
DR BARNARD: Yes that is what the document is saying.
MR McADAM: Are you aware of the fact that these vigilantes were people who took the law into their own hands?
DR BARNARD: Yes the possiblity was there that they took the law into their own hands. The National Intelligence service did not manage them. Our task was to gather Intelligence regarding all that and to provide to the authorities.
MR McADAM: That Intelligence that you have gathered for example would you have indicated that this vigilante group, although they were against the ANC, that they intended attacking squatters and that the military and the police should come in and by way of blockades or whatever should stop this violence?
DR BARNARD: That would be the NI's contribution. I can't remember this document specifically, it was 1985, 12 years ago. This document, the information contained here it would be an inter-departmental committee in which the other departments with executive capabilities they took responsibility.
MR McADAM: Would it be applicable that people participating in violence would be appointed as law enforcement officers?
DR BARNARD: I think you are referring to page 10 paragraph 10. In order to establish law they should be tried to recruit these people as law enforcement officers. I just want to say regarding the status of this document. This is not a document with any official status. I just want to repeat it's a very important point. I've said this previously. You selectively chose a few documents from many many documents . This is only an information document and as I can see that it reflects no permanent decisions. With that I want to say this document was compiled by officials who were working on a concept strategy how you could counter the revolution and what you see there is the standpoint of various officials. If you wanted to establish law and order which it was a possible by the compilers of this document, is that those people should be looked after and then they could also help in enforcing law in their own communities, this is how I see it. There was a hearing earlier this year where an expert gave evidence regarding the revolutionary war and they said the South African Government used counter-guerilla groups that was where the ANC was active and that is why they established groups to neutralise them it started outside but it also spread to various groups. Do you know of that policy?
DR BARNARD: Yes I know of such allegations I don't know of any decision in this regard to execute this matter.
MR McADAM: So according to your view that was wrong role interpretation of the real profession?
DR BARNARD: I don't have the complete picture of what you are referring to I don't know what his complete testimony was and it's unfair of you to expect from me to the state of counter revolutionary warfare. Certain allegations were made regarding that internally and externally. The structures of the State I'm aware of, namely the State Security Council and the Security Council never authorised the establishment of such groups.
MR McADAM: And lastly while listening to your evidence NI with the illegal abduction of people from overseas?
DR BARNARD: No.
MR McADAM: I just want to hear whether there are other questions, then we'll finish off. I have finished. Thank you very much, Dr Barnard.
MR McADAM: Thanks, Dr Barnard you can correct me if I'm wrong but I heard you say that you were not aware of any formation and then use of such middle groups for a refer to in counter revolutionary period. Middle groups in other words you were saying that to the best of your knowledge you know of no instance where, particularly internally middle groups were created by the State, but the thrust of my question is subtly different. Were existing organisations internally used as middle groups by the State as far as you are aware?
DR BARNARD: I think my standpoint is not that I did not know of such groups. There were such groups. But my standpoint was that the NI did not give any legal authorisation to these structures and that remains my answer regarding that question.
MR McADAM: I just want to go back to the Seychelles incident just for a moment and that was you said that your department had knowledge of it and you explained how you came to have that knowledge and so on. The question is what did you do about that knowledge? What steps did you take to prevent that thing from happening when you were aware that it was on the go?
DR BARNARD: After I had become aware of that and after I had returned to Pretoria from Durban I and a senior member of NI who were present with the discussion with Mike Ward. We made an appointment with PW Botha I informed him regarding these possibilities and I also told him there was a possibility of military involvement in this matter. After I told him that, he told me that he wanted to discuss this matter on a political level wiith his colleague. He asked me to address this matter with the Head of the Defence Force because this could have negative results for South Africa. That was the last thing I heard about this Seychelles incident.
MR McADAM: I want to just look at, in more general terms and I understand your reticence to answer questions dealing with specifics where you have not been given the documents, and one accepts that . there is a general thrust that we have become aware of if you like an argument that certainly some people are putting forward that says the State was involved in a counter-revolutionary struggle and that everybody below a certain level operated consistently in terms of that strategy, and yet the people at the very top level are saying, yes we are aware there was such a strategy but the instructions we gave weren't intended to mean what the people at the bottom did.
How do you explain this disjuncture? We have two totally different realities here. I must tell you that I was in the Defence Force myself as a troop, later as a two stripe non-commissioned officer round about 1975 when our people went into Angola for the first time, and the evidence that we've been hearing and the insinuations that the people have been making are utterly consistent. With my recollection of the milieu of that time. I am speaking of my own personal experience of that time so I don't see - for me the consistency is even greater then because what we understood as young conscripts of that day is absolutely consistent with counter- revolutionary warfare theory and yet people at the top are saying, that's not how we meant it to be. It's not what we intended people to understand. Can you explain that for us maybe?
DR BARNARD: Before I answer your question what specifically are you asking? Are you asking between the executive actions on grassroots level and the evidence of the people in the top echelons, is there a discrepancy?
MR McADAM: My recollection of South Africa in 1976 for example, was for a State under siege, where we were fighting an anti- communist, anti-revolutionary war and the things that were subsequently done in the late 70's and 80's and so on are absolutely consistent with the principles of counter-revolutionary warfare. The people who have appeared before this Commission have said time and time again that they operated within that milieu and they understood that, that was what they have been asked to do. Now, I'm not asking this question in a judgemental way and don't get me wrong, I'm asking it because we need to, one of the objects of this commission is to understand, what is it that let's people on the ground, in that situation, behave in that way precisely the things you're talking about in your submission. Those people who feel betrayed, need to understand what led them into that mindset that allowed those things to happen when the people at the top as you say didn't intend it to be that way?
DR BARNARD: I want to answer this question in two parts. I am under the impression that up to now it seems to me that there has not been a breakthrough. I have the impression that no breakthrough has been made at the Truth Commission or it cannot be made on the basis of various submissions. I've also tried this morning to do this to tell you about the revolutionary climate which existed in this country. People were killed not only the questions I have to answer repeatedly about the security forces also by the liberation movement. People went home landmines exploded and the most immoral actions were committed. How do you know who was the next person travelling on that road? If you plant a bomb in front of a office building in Pretoria, and I would like to say, those deeds were absolutely immoral.
The Government of that day through its security structures followed the line of thought where the dangers of communism were underlined. I'm not always sure whether at certain instances it was exaggerated, you must remember you're referring to 1975. I'm talking about a world environment in which revolutionary and the so-called what we called in Afrikaans "terrorism and terror" and that's also something which you could not beat. Mao Tsung overtook China, Che Gueverra, Fidel Castro took over Cuba in that way. Many books were written in this regard. There was - we had that fear that here was a communist inspired alliance of people who wanted to use the power to usurp the Government of the day. This was supplemented by all these deeds when all these people were killed. The SSC's contribution and also the remarks of PW Botha and his colleagues consequently when I was there they felt responsible and they said we would act within the law. We should act morally and in the execution of these deeds if people act unlawfully it should be understood within this context. I find as if you are hitting your head against a wall to determine how did the people from the old order, how did they experience this? When people were killed, landmines exploded and I hear that, that various points of view saying that people in this country were necklaced in a most barbaric way. I think that in the 26 ages this was the most barbaric method ever used. This led to a psychosis of anciety. This is what I want to say on the one hand.
On the other hand, and that is the second point I want to put, is that certain people who were involved in the middle, who were in the middle of the struggle on grassroots level and as I said there were no angels involved on both sides, and in this climate sometimes and have already committed atrocities, which are unacceptable and I cannot justify that at all. It was absolutely unacceptable. But that was the climate in which the activities or the actions of those times should be understood.
A last remark I think it's not just, if the inference is drawn that the leaders of the Government or the Government figures of that day who functioned within the law and who acted morally correct are not accepted.
MR McADAM: Earlier in your evidence you spoke about the situation where information was being gathered together by your department and it was then being handed over to other departments and you said in essence, "our job was to gather this information - we handed it over and it wasn't our problem what happened to it afterwards". In essence that's what you were saying. Did I get you correctly?
DR BARNARD: You now express it in too strong language. It was not our responsibility to check what was happening to that, that's what I said.
MR McADAM: You said, your words were, "it wasn't my responsibiliy, I wasn't my problem", I think that was the specific word you used at that point, I wrote it down as such as a note here.
What I didn't understand at that time and I didn't want to interfere in the questioning at that moment was, in essence it was your problem if that information got used in a different way. It wasn't strategic to the purposes which you were seeking to be used. In essence you collected information on person X, whoever that person was, and a month or so later person X wound up dead in the most bizarre circumstances, and then it really did become your problem because particularly that was not strategic. How would you have dealt with that situation?
DR BARNARD: I think I have already indicated to you that after these murders occurred I discussed the matters with colleagues of mine involved in the security structures and I said to them, that while I do not know who are responsible for these murders that this would not facilitate that we could have a peaceful negotiated settlement in South Africa. Such actions were worked in a destabilising manner on the negotiations and that would definitely then reflect my position.
MR McADAM: Do you not think that this fairly neat compartmentalisation of operations and structures which allows one group to collect information, another group to execute, literally and figuratively and allows the allocation, if you like, of responsibility in a way to be dissipated. What Craig Williamson refers to as the "arms-length ability" in a sense, the ability to take arms-length lawfully or otherwise of the situation. Should we not restructure the security services in a way that doesn't ever allow that to happen again?
DR BARNARD: The original reason for the creation of a Central Intelligence Service, called the Central Intelligence Capacity was exactly to prevent that what you have not described if you have information to execute an action then you use the information to guide the execution of that action. If one has to look at it in this way, one looks at how many people there are in a ministerium that determines the strength of your department. That is why the development of a national independent body was not supposed to be involved in executing certain actions because then one would look for information to justify one's actions.
For the future of our country in the security and Intelligence community it will have to be investigated very carefully. I do not want to express an opinion on that. When I left in January 1992, I refrained from getting involved in Intelligence, but because you have asked me the question, and because I want to say something about Intelligence I do not think it makes sense to have the division that one has in Europe, like the National Intelligence agency and the South African Intelligence service etc. There's no model which works for example in England which says it will work here. You just asked me the question but that restructuring is necessary is critically important.
MR McADAM: Then, sort of physical line functioning, restructuring and stuff like that.
DR BARNARD: I have no doubt in my mind that exactly as in the governing of a country that there must be checks and balances between the executive and the judiciary, there must be checks and balances to deal with this. The security people have to be a) under political guidance and b) that there must be taken care that they do not indulge in unlawful actions. Thank you.
MS WILDSCHUT: Dr Barnard Brenda Wildschut. It's actually the job of the Chairperson to say my name. We were quite intrigued by the theory that was put forward in the various political parties submissions. The theory that was put forward by the National Party for example seemed to me to be the so-called "bad apple" theory. There seemed to be a group or some people who misinterpreted or did not understand or acted mala fide in the execution of their duties and so on. That seemed to be the threat that I understood to be running through the submission. I read in your submission on page 30 paragraph 10.1.25, you will excuse me if I misinterpreted this because my Afrikaans is not very good. It seems as though you're saying that there were some people who were not behaving professionally and acting very well, in your opinion. Can you just explain this a little bit more can you explain why you put this in, what really are saying and is it really pointing to the "bad apple" theory?
DR BARNARD: Thank you Chair I just want to make sure is it 10.1.25 on page 30? Chair I do not wish to comment on this from the point of view of commenting on a political party submission.
MS WILDSCHUT: The other previous paragraphs 24 and 23 and so on sort-of lead up to this so I'm just linking those two. In a sense I'm also linking my question to what my colleague Ilan was talking about in the sense of checks and balances and never again kind of situation.
DR BARNARD: Paragraph 10.1.25 means in practice the following. After the Cabinet in a case which was relevant to the security the State had to execute the relevant order and the normal procedure that would then follow would be that the minister calls the Director General if it's in Cape Town and if there are other senior officials involved, they would not be there, they would tell the AG that the Director General - the director general who would then fax people responsible for that in Pretoria. He would then say that these people and that the Minister wants this information. Those people would contact the other under them. The Commission must understand in the Government of a country's administration there is often a discrepancy between the how an order is given and how it is given through the hierarchy. It often does not carry the same weight and the same meaning. That is an international truth regarding bureaucracy.
I also think that it is in our current South Africa, a critical problem, it's a general problem and that is why it says that orders regarding sensitive safety matters had to be communicated very carefully. If orders aren't given carefully there can be misunderstandings and that can only lead to problems.
The second point I want to make is I say in my submission that the most important departments taking part in that time disagreed with each other or there were differences between them. The police, the Military and the National Intelligence worked closely together. It was in their line function. And as a matter of fact and of course officials disagreed. It is also relevant that there was the granting of a budget. We have to budget, if you can just grant me a minute, must we leave hospitals or schools or what must we cut out of the budget? In this people take certain stances on certain matters and people might on purpose often say things wrongly. An official has an empire and he does not want his turf to be decreased or made smaller. That is a point that one must remember. South Africa in those years was not free from differences between departments who disagreed with each other. I think it was healthy that we disagreed with each other.
I must then also formulate something that I mentioned to Mr Lax in a different way especially during the late 80's when the conflict was at its peak, senior officials worked under pressure. I think if I now think back, it was in a certain sense an undeclared war. There was great tension and people could have made mistakes under that pressure. That is the perspective I would like to put it in.
MS WILDSCHUT: Perhaps you might want to comment on this because I have noted that you do want to comment on something but rather specific questions. I don't really - what I'm struggling with is that it seems to me, even though we have before us, your explanation with regards to people acting mala fide in some situations or people pursuing personal agendas and so on, what we have as a Commission before us is reams and reams of testimony of people actually dying at the hands of bureaucrats or of security police persons and so on, so it seems to me that is not one or two or a few people who are acting mala fide, but it seems to me that there was a systematic almost regular pattern of abuses and I'm trying to struggle with the theory that there were few people who were acting, a few people that are not behaving professionally and in their line of duty. Who were acting outside of orders. But the evidence before us proves different, and I'm trying to put those two and that's a disjunture that Ilan was talking about. How do we put this together? How do we make sense of this? And I'm appealing to you to help me understand that.
DR BARNARD: (Ek dink nie ek kan better doen as wat ek nou net 'n poging voor aan gewend it. Die staan punt wat u in neem dat daar in die voor van die konflik ook van die oeverheids sector in hierdie verband bepaalde optreedes geneem is en greuwel daar 'n plaas) and that certain atrocities were committed is true. I want to explain to you that I find it strange that the Commission does not take into account that the security forces and the officials at that time worked under the force and under the stress of a revolutionary war basically. It was to them a reality they saw it happen and in those circumstances they acted in certain ways. I personally do not try to paint white any of the atrocities committed at that stage. That is the point I would like to make. The problem about the orders and the authority I cannot explain on any further and I do not want to waste your time any further on that.
MR LYSTER: It may be repetitive but I think I do need to say it and in saying it, I just have a feeling and I may be wrong that you have been less than forthcoming and frank with us. Because you have painted a picture in your description of the State Security Council and the various Government agencies of which you were a Head and the others, Military Intelligence, the security branch etc, you have painted for us or sketched for us this State Security Council and these various agencies as being primarily and essentially benign in their approach, concerned only preventing the destabilisation of this country, and the identification of people in the broader community with whom in the later 80's with whom you could successfully facilitate and further the negotiation process. That's the sort of picture that you provided for us.
There is another view and I'm not saying it's the view that this Commission has accepted, but there is another view and it is the view that is supported by the cumulative effect of the testimony that we have received in this Commission and by the amnesty applications of very senior people, I'm not talking about sergeants, I'm talking about colonels and generals, the cumulative effect of amnesty applications of amnesty applications which suggest contrary to your view that there was a well co-ordinated strategy to target and eliminate people that the Government agencies had in fact identified. They were assisted in this by well-resourced agencies which produced detailed target dossiers. There's a fundamental dilemma and I'm repeating what my colleagues have said for this Commission that there are two very different views. Your view is not supported by the people who've come before us, by some people who've come before us and have said the words uitroei, uitwis, eliminate they meant one thing and one thing only and that is the disingenuous of people at a high level to suggest that it meant anything else than kill. We have a very, very fundamental dilemma because at the end of the day we have to make a finding to what, for example bodies like the State Security Council, what their directives meant when they said in the '86,'87 those years when the counter-revolutionary war became more intense, when said use all means possible to fight the enemy. That they, there is a view that says that they intended the lower orders those charged with carrying out these directives to do exactly that to eliminate them, to wipe them out.
As you know there has been this during the Political Party hearings and the Armed Forces hearings people have said well, we may have used word like uitroei, uitwis, maak 'n plan met eliminate but of course we meant that to mean arrest or detain or ban. Whereas the people who did the uitroeing and the uitwising understood it at all times to mean one thing and one thing only, which was to kill people. Where I have a problem with the role of NI in that, is that if politicians were using words like eliminate, uitroei, uitwis and they intended them to mean arrest than anything within the scope of the law, but people at the lower level were in fact taking them to mean something else, why didn't the NI the NIS become aware of this? Why didn't it bring immediately and urgently to the attention of the Government that there was a loose and highly reckless and irresponsible use of language here, which was leading to a situation which strategically that you say that you are against?
It seems - I can't understand how these sort of things were happening. I can't understand how people were being killed, eliminated by for example Head of the security branch for the Eastern Cape, security branch in KwaZulu Natal. I am talking about Snyman and General Serfontein in Natal who applied for amnesty for the deaths of many people. Why didn't the NIA know about this? You described yourself as probably the best agent, well you said amongst the best in the world or very good I see your counsel shaking their heads, I presume you put yourself above merely a good intelligence agency. How was it that you didn't know about these things?
I've asked a lot of questions but it's a huge dilemma for this Commission. We have two, as my colleague Ms Wildschut said, we have two fundamentally different realities confronting us and we need your guidance which, where we are to find the truth somewhere between those two. I don't know if you are even able to comment on that or answer a question. It may just be an observation that I'm making.
DR BARNARD: I'm sorry I've listened attentatively to what you've been saying. I'm looking for a specific document in which the remark which you started with namely: that my evidence was less than forthcoming was also made by you towards somebody else. And Advocate on Lieres von Wilkau at that same instance objected to that and now I also object to that. I find it very strange, while it's not my task to make judgements about the Commission, I find it very strange that this Commission which at a stage the chairman and the vice chairman were involved in certain cases when they made statements regarding the evidence of certain people, I find it absolutely unacceptable in the spirit of reconciliation. I have to draw the inference that you have already made a judgement regarding my testimony. I think it's wrong, it is unacceptable. Secondly I wish to state you have specific points of view which you are subscribing to. I'm under the impression that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is there to find the truth, discover the truth to be able to establish reconciliation. I can draw the inference from your standpoint.
MR LYSTER: Perhaps Dr Barnard if I can just interrupt, that isn't my view, I said there is a view and it is not necessarily the view of the Commission those are my words. It is not my view. I said there is another view to the one you have expressed, it's not necessarily the view of the Commission but it is a view which is supported by the cumulative effect of testimony we've heard and amnesty application, it is not my view.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman I want to ask you to give me a chance to make my arguments.
My first point is that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is a commission which should discover the truth to facilitate reconciliation. If the Truth and Reconciliation Commission listened to evidence which you would like to hear otherwise is that in a country where we need transparency, where we need democracy, where everybody should be able to give their input and now you won't allow me to put my points of view. I've substantiated my points of view with a full statement. It does not concur with what other people have said. I think it's right of the democracy to put your point of view like you see it. What I have said today is how I saw that state of conflict.
I want to refer to a specific document and you refer to certain border activities and you refer to words like neutralise, take out etc. The document you have sent to me on the 6th October, additional documentation is provided, there's no heading no date but it should, it's the 15th April 1986 and annexure 2 is added. The plan is called, and it's called a plan to solve problems in the counter-revolutionary warfare. I want to read paragraph 6 of that document you provided me with. From the way , this is paragraph 6 -
"From the way in which the revolutionaries and their associates tried to exploit the institutions in South Africa, it becomes clear that the security situation would not be stabilised without the enforcement of the Republic's security legislation".
Then it goes on.
"The State cannot afford declaring a State of emergency and legislation providing wider powers to the security situation is necessary to prevent the Republic from taking more drastic steps. An element of this legislation, a necessary element is the ability to remove revolutionary elements from the community by detention, undetermined detention where only judges, magistrates, doctors and senior police officials would have access to them".
I want to repeat -
"a very important element of this legislation is the ability to remove revolutionary elements from the community by detaining them where only lawyers, judges, doctors and senior officials have access to them".
By that I wish to say, that the point of view as I understand it and as I have expressed it to the Commission supports this, and I'm not going to expand on this matter any further. I'll abide by that.
MS BURTON: Mr Chairman I will try not to repeat your questions that have been made before or cover the ground, please feel free to stop me If I do. I want to respond to Dr Barnard and say that, yes, we need to discover the truth and I would like to echo the remarks that you need to make about our task also heading towards reconciliation and doing the work that we need to do. We see that exposure of truth as, however painful it may be, as an essential component of that reconciliation. We are asking those questions that you are suggesting we need to ask of the liberation movements and asking for their responsibility for the deeds that were carried out by their members and supporters. We're asking you of course about the areas that we feel you have first hand knowledge of and we keep coming back to the same things because we are pushing ourselves against that brick wall that prevents us sometimes from finding what the truth is. I am reminded of the remarks that you made about the psychosis of anxiety which I think we do recognise existed particularly amongst those people who were charged with the task of trying to maintain stability in a situation which was very unstable. You referred to the task to try and win the hearts and minds of the population, what was generally known as ..(unaudible) in those days. The "wam"(?) strategy I think was familiar to many of us, yes the building of schools, the attempts to improve the lives of people and also one has memories of troopies in the townships playing football or handing out sweets. Was it not also the task of the State Security Council to be identifying other things which might win hearts and minds, like beginning to change the political rights of the people who were demanding them at that stage, and which was a demand which was gathering, which was informing so much of the instability in the country, would that not also been part of the Intelligence gathering work?
DR BARNARD: In the time after 1986 after the negotiations started with the Groote Schuur minute the SSC and the documents which you have provided to me discussed this for hours and hours, what we could do on the social economic and welfare spheres. I think it would be good and I think, won't you ask from information documents from the South African Defence Force, what they did in the late '80's early '90's, what they did to put for example taps in the townships. What they did to put taps in the townships not the theory, what the Defence Force did in the townships to uplift the social economic lives in those townships for the perspectives, I'm referring to these taps. I can remember how the Defence Force at that stage in the educational level, how they made teachers available. Then they had the problem, we're goin to have you would say it's military orientation. We were well aware that the social economic development of the country formed the basis of our development. The South African Defence Force had the abilities and resources to do all these things on a wide level. They were involved and the enforcement of the socio-economic lives of the people and the circumstances of that time.
Shortly I want to state that I've tried to answer in detail that early in the 1980's it was clear that the problems could not be solved by a continual conflict. You cannot solve or find a political negotiation in a state of anarchy. With respect I want to allege that this above all logic there should be stability for a political negotiation or a settlement. The NI with all its problems and they put the basis there and I think or rather the South African Defence Force formed the basis and that should be used as a point of departure.
MS BURTON: May I follow up with a question on a differen topic. Mr MacAdam I put a question to you about the role of groups such as the Wit Doeke. Groups who were perhaps in conflict with other sections of the disadvantaged population and therefore might be used as potential allies for the State. I think that it is very easy to understand that the State, charged with the need to create stability, would seek such allies as more-or-less classic divide and rule strategy. I think it is possible, really possible to understand the argument that you are making about stability having to precede the political changes and I can understand that. But as I understand it the Intelligence gathering structures would also identify the groups or individuals who would be opposing such groups as the Wit Doeke. And also helping to forment or suggesting ways in which conflict between such groups could be formented.
Now if that is so, and there may have been indications that that may have been so and I realise that Intelligence people would not carry out such actions but might be identifying the possibilities, then surely that is contributing to instability rather than to the kind of stability you are talking about. I would like your comments on whether the Intelligence work was in fact gathering that kind of information and perhaps making that kind of suggestion.
DR BARNARD: We did gather Intelligence, I've already referred to that. We provided that to responsible departments and that kind of action could lead to instability as you've said, that is correct, your point of view is correct. It is true, it did make a contribution in that regard. Thank you.
MR McADAM: Sorry, Dr Barnard, just one little thing that struck me. It's Ilan Lax just for the listeners out there. I keep forgetting to say my name. You referred us to this passage in this document. It struck me as you were reading it, I highlighted something which with the benefit of hindsight you'll probably concede is part of the problem. I will read it again -
"In the way in which the revolutionaries and their associates used democratic installations and methods...."
I find that utterly ironic but there it is looking back certainly history and the world at large regarded us as exactly not democratic. We certainly weren't a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word, yet here is a document that informs policy-makers, that informs the security structures of the country and the assumption in this document is that we are a democratic country and that our constitutional order is a democratic order and clearly that can't possibly be so. Looking back obviously we have to accept that.
MR LYSTER: That brings us to the end. If there are any issues which we come across we would like to be able to put them to you in writing through your counsel. We will certainly let you know if there are any matters which need any further clarification.
Thank you very much for coming today and when I suggested earlier on when I felt that you were not forthright I certainly didn't mean that you were not telling the truth. If you gained that perception I apologise. But we thank you very much for coming today and assisting the Commission.
MR McADAM: Mr Chairperson during the adjournment I had a discussion with Mr Maritz who does act for General Malan, he's also been subpoenad to give evidence before this Commission and firstly I was informed that the General does not intend to make any detailed written submission but his role will be primarily to answer questions put by the Commission on issues that the Commission needs relevant. We've already lost some time today because certain documentation which should have gone to the witnesses was not received and where we had documentation it appeared there was incorrect numbering of the pages. It's been suggested that we then have General Malan's evidence tomorrow and that I then be given the opportunity for the rest of today to check the documentation with Mr Maritz to ensure that the documents which they are not missing and correct pagination, if that is acceptable to the Commission then it would be appropriate possibly to take the adjournment until tomorrow morning.
MR LYSTER: I won't take that decision on my own. I think that we'll just adjourn for about 5minutes to discuss it and we'll let you know immediately we made a decision. Thank you.
DR BARNARD: Mr Chairman before you adjourn I have two documents of the Commission I don't want to be stuck with them. It's extracts from the amnesty applications of Schoon and vd Merwe. May I just for the record hand them back.