‘Police dismissals backfire on lies’

2011-03-26 18:23

Two policemen, dismissed after being implicated in the assassination of Mpumalanga politician Jimmy Mohlala, could be reinstated because of a false affidavit.
Musa Finish Mkhabela (31) of KaNyamazane detective services and Dumisani Stanley Mhlanga (34) of the Nelspruit flying squad were dismissed on March 8 after an internal disciplinary committee found them guilty of corruption and misconduct.

The committee based its findings on whistleblower Evans ­Mabika’s affidavit – which ­bizarrely implicated his mother and brother – and records of the SAPS vehicle tracking system.

But a source at the SA Police Union (Sapu), which is appealing against the dismissals, said the ­affidavit was false and the union would would base its appeal on the tracking system records.

According to the affidavit, Mkhabela, Mhlanga and three co-accused – Jenny Mabika (58), her son, Sakhile (31) and Moses ­Mahungela (33) – were together at Mabika’s home in Matsulu on ­January 4 2009, the day of the murder.

It claims the two officers were driving a police-registered white Chevrolet sedan – issued to Mkhabela earlier that week.

However, the Sapu source said the police vehicle register of the KaNyamazane police station showed Mkhabela was issued a Mazda 323 and not a Chevrolet ­sedan, as the affidavit claims.

The source also said the vehicle tracking records showed that the car was not in the street where Mohlala was shot dead at the time of the murder.

Mohlala’s murder sent shockwaves through political circles in the province. It has been linked to his role in fighting tender corruption relating to the construction of the R1.2?billion Mbombela World Cup Soccer Stadium.

The five suspects each face a charge of murder in the KaBokweni magistrates court.

Sapu’s provincial chairperson, Isaac Magagula, would not ­divulge any details except to say the two cops were being victimised.

“The vehicle locating system records say nothing (about our members’ involvement). We suspect there was influence from somewhere to have them ­dismissed,” said Magagula.

“They questioned Mkhabela for having driven in Entsabeni Street. He’s stationed in KaNyamazane and had cases to investigate in Pienaar and Msogwaba. Entsabeni is the main street that leads out to those places, so he had no other road to use.”

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Hlathi said: “We don’t want to re-open a discussion on this case while there’s a pending criminal case against them.

“The provincial commissioner (Lieutenant-General Thulani Ntombela) agreed with the findings of the disciplinary committee and we can confirm that the two were linked by technical ­evidence from a vehicle locating system, and that we’ve a witness who said they were there.”

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