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HARMS COMMISSION OF INQUIRY RECORDS 1990

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COMMANDERS of SA’s Death Squads. Left: Dirk Coetzee and right Eugene de Kock nicknamed Prime Evil.


Copyright 2010, Historical Papers, The Library, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Several judicial inquiries were undertaken in 1990. The most publicized, and ultimately the most disappointing, was the Harms Commission. Justice Minister Kobie Coetsee announced the establishment of the Harms Commission on January 31, in response to outcries by South African and international human rights groups over allegations by three former police officers in October and November 1989 that they had been members of an officially authorized and funded police death squad. In early 1990, another death squad, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB), sponsored by the South African Defense Forces, was revealed. The allegations presented the de Klerk government with one of its first major domestic crises and nearly provoked the dismissal of the Defense Minister, Gen. Magnus Malan.

Unfortunately, the Harms Commission was seriously flawed in both design and practice. At the outset, Justice Harms announced that he would limit the inquiry to acts committed within the borders of South Africa, even though many anti-apartheid activists had been assassinated on foreign soil. Government witnesses, some of whom showed up to testify in wigs and other disguises, were not required to produce pertinent documents. The CCB was disbanded in August, but no prosecutions resulted. The Harms Commission report, which was released in November, failed to name any special units of the army or police, let alone any individual officers, as participants in the death squads. The report was denounced by opposition groups as a whitewash.

Source: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,HRW,,ZAF,456d621e2,467fca2c2,0.html

The records in this collection consist of 2957 pages of evidence heard in South Africa and 960 pages of evidence heard in London. The collection is digitally available, see below in this online inventory, but there are no hardcopies.
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LISTING OF EVIDENCE

A LONDON EVIDENCE

A1 Tshikalange, 264 pages
A2 Coetzee, 679 pages

B SOUTH AFRICA EVIDENCE

The South African evidence streches over 2957 pages. Please use the list of persons below, which will indicate the page numbers, where their evidence can be found. The links to the online documents are arranged by the very same page numbers.

Badenhorst, pp 8-60
Barnard, pp 898-929, 1469-1546
Botes, pp 1684-2011
Botha, pp 2121-2149
Brits, pp 1168-1307, 1367-1419
Buchner, pp 2812-2823
Burger, pp 1420-1469
Cilliers, pp 1307-1364
Du Plessis, pp 2763-2811, 2930-2957
Du Plooy, pp 2012-2042
Joubert, pp 61-89
Klopper, pp 64-73
Mamasela, pp 2164-2258, 2475-2512
Mostert, pp 993-1168
Neetling, pp 2841-2886
Ngqulunga, pp 2258-2344
Nofemela, pp 96-518, 580-690
Pfeil, pp 74-82
Schoon, pp 2512-2596
“September”, pp 2887-2919
Van der Hoven, pp 2344-2367
Van Deventer, pp 2043-2071
Van Dyk, pp 2597-2633
Van Rensburg, pp 2823-2840
Van Zyl, pp 524-579, 700-897
Vermeulen, pp 2633-2652
Verster, pp 1547-1683
Webb, pp 2072-2120
Wright, pp 524, 985-993

http://www.historicalpapers.wits.ac.za/?inventory/U/collections&c=AK2300/R/

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