Testimony of Raymond Mhlaba, defendant

Cross-Examination by Percy Yutar:

Yutar: Who were the members of the ANC in Port Elizabeth?
Mhlaba: I’m afraid I can’t assist you there.
Yutar: You are taking up the same attitude as Sisulu and Kathrada? In fact I have just heard an aside that you are all going to take up this same attitude!
Mhlaba: According to what I understand, yes.
Yutar: Who gave you instructions not to divulge their names?
Mhlaba: Nobody gave us instructions.
Yutar: But you are all acting alike?
Mhlaba: We are acting alike because we feel that it is not in the interests of the organizations and not in the interests of the oppressed people in this country.
Yutar: But you have taken an oath. Does that mean anything to you? What does it mean to you?
Mhlaba: It means that I must assist this court insofar as I can, in giving evidence.
Yutar: I want to put it to you that in December 1961 [when the first acts of sabotaged took place] you were either in Port Elizabeth or in Leipzig?
Barrage, defense attorney: The witness should be; warned by your Lordship in regard to the latter part of the question as to whether he was in Leipzig. That is a question which might tend to incriminate him on another charge, and under those circumstances he need not answer it.
Justice de Wet: You need not necessarily answer the question which may be an admission that you left the country without getting the necessary permit. It doesn’t follow that if you left for Leipzig you didn’t have a permit. But if you feel that the question incriminates you, you can refuse to answer it on those grounds.
Yutar: I want to tell you Mhlaba, on behalf of the Attorney General, that here and now in the presence of his Lordship, I grant you full indemnity for any prosecutions so you needn’t worry about incriminating yourself.
Mhlaba: My Lord, I am not taking your assurance.
Yutar: Even though I state it in open court, in the presence of the presiding judge? I give you the solemn assurance in open court, and every word I am speaking is being taken down, that I grant you here and now full indemnity, and that no prosecution will be instituted again you no matter what offences you might have committed as a result of your leaving the country without permit, so you need not worry about it.
[Mhlaba again refused to answer. ]
Justice de Wet: The position is, Mhlaba, that you say you were not in Port Elizabeth on 16 December, but you refuse to tell the court where you were on that date Is that the position?
[Mhlaba agreed that it was.]