Cops still using apartheid front company

2012-05-06 20:00

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Johannesburg - The front company allegedly used by crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and other agents to plunder a secret “slush fund”, was started by the apartheid-era police.

Universal Technical Enterprises (UTE) - a police front company - was established in 1988 by the security branch and used by its bomb-making unit to buy equipment to blow up anti-apartheid activists.

A Hawks investigation has uncovered that crime intelligence used UTE as a front to buy luxury vehicles for Mdluli and his family, cover their debts and pay for private flights.

UTE was set up by former security policemen and co-owned by, among, others a ­notorious apartheid bomb-planter and killer until 2004.

The existence and abuse of UTE and other crime intelligence front companies are ­exposed in affidavits made by two top Hawks investigators and in a top-secret report to acting police commissioner Lieutenant­ General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

The directors of UTE are chief financial officer of crime intelligence Solly Lazarus and former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego, who resigned from the police but is still listed as a director.

Company records show that UTE was set up in May 1988 and that its original directors were Wybrand du Toit, Christoffel Breytenbach and Adam Helberg.

City Press was told last week that UTE was among a host of former security branch front companies and was utilised by the unit’s technical division to buy spy devices and equipment to assemble explosives.

Du Toit was a brigadier in the security branch and was widely known as Wal du Toit.

Motherwell Four


He was the head of the technical division of the security police and was in charge of manufacturing bombs and other explosive devices that were used to blow up activists.

Du Toit is a convicted murderer who ­appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for his complicity in killing 13 activists.

In June 1996, Du Toit was convicted of murder for blowing up four policemen - known as the Motherwell Four - with a car bomb in the Eastern Cape in December 1989.

The security police were concerned that the policemen were leaking information to the ANC, but didn’t have enough evidence to charge them.

Du Toit had to manufacture the car bomb. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, but received amnesty.

Du Toit was also involved in the February 1991 murder of Johannesburg lawyer Bheki Mlangeni when he received a Walkman cassette player with a tape in the post.

The security police wanted to kill former Vlakplaas commander Dirk Coetzee, who was in exile with the ANC.

Du Toit and his men built explosives into the earphones of a Walkman and sent it to Coetzee. But it landed up with Mlangeni, who switched on the recorder and was instantly killed.

Equipment

Du Toit was also a mastermind behind the bombing of the ANC headquarters in London in 1982 and Khanya House, the Pretoria headquarters of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, in 1988.

A former security policeman told City Press the technical division provided the security police with phone-tapping and tracking equipment, listening devices and whatever gadgets they needed to fight their secret war against the ANC.

UTE was set up to enable the unit to purchase any equipment they needed.

Although Du Toit was suspended from the police in 1996, his resignation as a director of UTE was recorded only in April 2004.

That was also the date on which Lazarus and Mphego became directors.

Lazarus is accused of being instrumental in the looting of the secret fund and was suspended from the police with Mdluli until their controversial reinstatement last month.

Read more on:    trc  |  police  |  anc  |  dirk coetzee  |  nhlanhla mkhwanazi  |  richard mdluli
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