Exclusive: Mdluli report names ANC MP

2012-05-16 14:49

Senior ANC MP Cecil Burgess has been dragged into the ongoing controversy around former crime intelligence head Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli.

Burgess, the chairperson of Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence, is named in an explosive report by Hawks detective Colonel Kobus Roelofse, addressed to the commander of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) in March.

The ACTT is a joint corruption-busting body, consisting of the police, the Special Investigating Unit, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and other government entities.

The report, in which Roelofse details instances of interference in the Mdluli investigation, was filed in the North Gauteng High Court yesterday as part of an interdict application by rights group Freedom Under Law (FUL).

FUL is asking the court to interdict Mdluli from performing any policing duties and to review decisions to withdraw murder and fraud charges against the controversial top cop.

FUL’s Dr Mamphela Ramphele refers to Roelofse’s hard-hitting report in her founding affidavit before court.

In the report, Roelofse accuses Major General Solly Lazarus, finance head of the police’s crime intelligence division, of attempting to “influence” Burgess during the Mdluli investigation.

Roelofse states he had been informed that “Major General Solly Lazarus has approached the chairperson of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, Cecil Burgess, on various occasions without notifying his acting divisional head of these visits.

“Major General Lazarus is trying to convince Burgess that this investigation (into Mdluli and a crime intelligence “slush fund”) compromises national security,” said Roelofse.

He adds that investigators had seen a letter from Burgess to the acting head of crime intelligence, Major General Vele Matshatshe, requesting that senior crime intelligence official Major General Mark Hankel be removed from the team investigating Mdluli.

Hankel was appointed by police management to assist the Hawks investigators to get access to relevant crime intelligence documents.

He also co-authored a secret report to the Inspector General of Intelligence (IGI), Advocate Faith Radebe, outlining the allegations against Mdluli, Lazarus and others.

Burgess yesterday told City Press it would not be appropriate for him to comment until he had seen a copy of Roelofse’s report.

The committee headed by Burgess exercises final oversight over the crime intelligence unit.

Lazarus had previously faced internal disciplinary charges along with Mdluli for his alleged role in plundering the crime intelligence secret service account.

According to documents in the possession of City Press, the Hawks found that Lazarus appointed family members to crime intelligence, abused a police beach resort for private purposes and misused a crime intelligence travel agent to cover private expenses.

Lazarus controlled the secret “slush fund” central to the probe.

According to Roelofse’s report, an instruction was given by police management for all disciplinary charges against Mdluli and Lazarus to be dropped on February 29.

Roelofse also lists the following as instances of interference in the Mdluli probe:

» A crime intelligence source who provided information to the Hawks was taken to Lazarus’ house on two occasions and “confronted with the fact that he was working with the Hawks and they wanted to know what he had told them (the Hawks)”;

» Another employee of crime intelligence, close to Lazarus, also allegedly phoned an administrator of the secret service fund and told him “not to reflect the names of (certain people) on the invoices”. These names included members of Lazarus’ family;

» Lazarus had been informed of search and seizure warrants against him before they were executed. This was because the police’s Technical Support Unit was under his direct command;

» Senior Hawks officer Major General Shadrack Sibiya told Roelofse that he had been “taken to task” by “certain generals within the SAPS” for allowing the Mdluli probe to continue “beyond the scope of the murder investigation”;

» The Auditor-General’s office refused to take part in the investigation into Mdluli despite repeated requests by the investigating team and advice from Advocate Jay Govender, of the IGI’s office.

Govender had advised the Hawks that the IGI had no mandate to conduct criminal investigations.

Roelofse said the instruction to halt the investigation into Mdluli was given by Hawks boss Lieutenant General Anwa Dramat on February 13, who in turn was told to do so by acting police chief Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

In his report Roelofse said: “It is submitted that the level of interference with respect to this investigation has already reached a level which necessitates the use of a complaint mechanism.”

He also said the report could “be converted into an affidavit as the contents herein are true and correct”.

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