Interim report into the allegations of a “Third Force” by the Goldstone Commission is published

Friday, 18 March 1994

The allegations suggested that Deputy Police Commissioner Lt-Gen. Basie Smit, the head of counterintelligence Gen. Krappies Engelbrecht, and the commander of the central investigation department Lt.-Gen. Johan le Roux, had masterminded a third force with the aim of making the country ungovernable. This emanated from evidence given to the commission by a senior police officer named as Q. The three were linked with various atrocities that took place in KwaZulu-Natal, such as vigilantism, political murders, and the manufacture, purchase, smuggling and supply of weapons to Inkatha. Senior Inkatha leader in the Transvaal, Themba Khoza, was also implicated in these activities.

Judge Richard Goldstone emphasised that the allegations were yet to be proven, and even acknowledged that the commission rushed to release this evidence to thwart any conspiracy theories people might have had in preventing the April elections. These allegations seemed to strengthen the long-held belief of the African National Congress (ANC), that there was a conspiracy amongst high-ranking security force officials to destabilise the country. President F.W. de Klerk stated that there was not enough evidence and that arrests could not be made on suspicions only. He said that an international task force would investigate the accusations. However, he made it known that the allegations were shocking. The accusations were vehemently denied by the three generals, and they refused to accept the "temporary leave" order. They were outraged by the manner in which the commission and the president handled their affairs, and were supported by Police Commissioner Gen. Johan van der Merwe.

• Keesing's Record of World Events. News Digest for March 1992, P 39895.

Last updated : 17-Mar-2015

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

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