Harms releases his report



Tuesday, 13 November 1990

The one-man Harms commission released its report on its investigations in the activities of South African Defence Force Army and South African Police counter insurgency units. Supreme Court judge, Justice Louis Harms, headed the commission. Ironically enough, with a wave of assassinations sweeping the country targeting opponents of the government, the commission found no evidence to back up the allegations army and police involvement in hit squad activities. Although the report exonerated this unit, it was critical of the suspicious activities of the defunct Army Civil Co-operation Bureau.

During the hearing three former police officers Dirk Coetzee, Almond Nofomela and David Tshikalanga came forth to testify on the activities of the hit squad. Their evidence was dismissed as untrustworthy. Therefore, no evidence was brought forward to shed light on who is responsible for the death of anti-apartheid activists David Webster and Anton Lubowski in May and September 1989.

Although this report found the Minister of Defence Gen Magnus Malan politically responsible for the operations of the CCB, state president F.W. De Klerk exonerated him.

• Fraser, R. (1990) Keesing's Records of World Events. Longman: London. P 37843
• hrw,'Harms commission',[Online] Available at: www.hrw.org[Accessed:  11 October 2013]

Last updated : 13-Nov-2013

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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