New spy war in SAPS

2011-05-08 14:55
Johannesburg -  A vicious smear campaign targeting a senior police spy master is at the heart of a crippling battle for control of the police’s crime intelligence division.

The attempt to discredit Major General Mark Hankel, who briefly served as acting crime intelligence head after the arrest of police spy boss Richard Mdluli for murder, is the latest in a series of recent scandals involving the division.

Hankel is head of the division’s operational intelligence analysis section.

Senior police have warned that the crime intelligence division has been all but crippled by the scandals in which it has become embroiled.

City Press can reveal that classified police documents, which attempt to link Hankel to the abduction and murder of Eastern Cape political activist Matthew Goniwe in 1985, have been systematically leaked to a number of journalists over the past three weeks by an intermediary acting on behalf of an unnamed "source".

Police insiders claim Hankel was ­targeted because he was seen as a likely candidate to succeed Mdluli.

And ­police believe the smear was orchestrated by someone embittered at ­Hankel’s appointment as acting head.

The documents, which include a "top secret information note" dated July 6 last year and bearing a signature attributed to the head of police counter-intelligence, Major General Dan ­Mokgabudi, call into question Hankel’s "top secret" security clearance status.

Polygraph


It alleges that during an August 2008 polygraph test, he "reacted significantly to questions pertaining [to the]) ­commission of a serious crime”.

According to the note, Hankel was ­retested and failed again "until he had admitted to conspiring in the death of Matthew Goniwe... who he had attended the same university with, Fort Hare, during the apartheid government".

The note continues: "This office (counterintelligence) resolves that the current valid security clearance issued to... Hankel be withdrawn with ­immediate effect and his current ­position in crime intelligence be ­reconsidered for placement where a clearance to the ­level of top secret would not be a ­requirement."

But the allegations contained in the document appear to be factually flawed.

The information note was apparently sent to Mdluli and a response, marked "secret" and dated July 22 last year, was sent to both Mokgabudi and Hankel.

The letter states that in terms of the National Strategic Intelligence Act, Mdluli, as head of police crime ­intelligence, has a "discretion to issue, ­degrade, withdraw or refuse to grant a security clearance after evaluating the information gathered during the ­security screening investigation".

But rather than degrading or ­withdrawing Hankel’s clearance, ­another vetting of Hankel was ordered.

Contacted by City Press on two separate occasions, Mokgabudi claimed he knew "nothing" about the document.

“Where did you get those documents? You know, our names are so much in the newspape,? I don’t want to ­answer anything, please."

Mdluli could not be reached for ­comment and Hankel declined to talk.

Police spokesperson McIntosh ­Polela said they could not support or dispute the claim that the note was ­designed to smear Hankel.

Polela said: "Mark Hankel himself has not indicated that he is interested in contesting the post [of crime ­intelligence head] should it become ­vacant. In fact, such a question never arose."

According to Polela, there is no ­investigation into the leaking of the document yet, but "management will have a look at them to make an assessment". He wouldn’t be drawn on ­whether Hankel undertook a ­polygraph test. "It is confidential," he said.

Phones tapped


Earlier this year, City Press revealed that Hawks investigators had ­evidence that their phones were being illegally tapped by crime intelligence officers.

Relations between the two divisions are said to have broken down completely and it is understood the Hawks now make use of the National Intelligence Agency for operational support.

Following Mdluli’s arrest for the murder of an alleged love rival in 1999, a supposed "ground coverage intelligence report", which alleged that senior ANC figures were embroiled in a ­bizarre conspiracy to oust President Jacob Zuma, was leaked to the media.

At a press conference last week, ­Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale, one of the alleged "plotters" named in the report, slammed the allegations as "libelous".

Sexwale also expressed concerns that his phones may have been tapped, and cautioned: "I am told we have not seen the last of these dirty tricks."

Read more on:    police  |  jaco zuma  |  tokyo sexwale
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.