R3.5m for dodgy cop

2011-10-15 17:53

Former Crime Intelligence (CI) boss Joey Mabasa, who is under police investigation for bribery and corruption over his links to Radovan Krejcir, was this week given a R3.5-million golden handshake. He was also given credit for an additional 14 years service to boost his pension.

The 46-year-old Major General Mabasa, who was fired earlier this year as Gauteng CI boss for his alleged links with Czech fugitive and fraud accused Krejcir, was under police investigation for bribery and corruption.

Police announced last week that Mabasa was “discharged” because “his services were no longer needed and because it was in the interest of the service to discontinue his job”.

City Press spoke to two sources closely involved in the investigation into Mabasa and both were taken aback by the package he was allegedly offered.

Mabasa, who sat for six months at CI doing nothing, was apparently offered a multimillion rand package to leave the force after he refused to be redeployed as station commander of the Phalaborwa Police Station in Limpopo.

Mabasa was given permission to add 14 years to his service, which enables him to retire at 60. Besides his multi-million payout, he will continue to receive his pension and free medical insurance.

Mabasa’s wife, Dorcas, and Krejcir’s wife, Katarina, started a company together in 2009 and, in the process, became co-directors. At the time, Mabasa claimed they were separated, which was allegedly false. Mabasa’s wife allegedly received a bakkie from Krejcir.

Mabasa was also linked to circumstances surrounding the murder of Teazers boss Lolly Jackson last year. He was said to have received a call from Jackson’s alleged murderer, George Smith, after the killing.

Mabasa didn’t answer his phone this week and after a series of text messages responded: “In the Eastern Cape. Only coming back on Sunday. Signal very, very bad.”

The revelations surfaced in a week where it was also revealed that a special Hawks’ task team had uncovered evidence of nepotism, corruption, fraud and mismanagement in the CI unit.

City Press was informed by top intelligence sources that cash from the R200 million-a-year CI secret fund – officially called the Secret Service Account – was unaccounted for and was central to the investigation.

The Hawks special task team was headed by Colonel Piet Viljoen and four colleagues who were brought from Cape Town to Gauteng in March by Hawks head Anwa Dramat to investigate murder charges against former CI boss Richard Mdluli.

During this investigation, Viljoen unearthed widespread corruption and nepotism, allegedly committed by Mdluli.

He had, among others, appointed seven family members and friends at CI, where most still worked.

Mdluli, on trial for allegedly murdering his former lover’s husband, was charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping, assault and intimidation.

He was also standing trial on fraud and corruption in a separate trial.

During Viljoen’s investigation into Mdluli, he uncovered further corruption and nepotism in CI and several of its top police officers, among them the chief financial officer, Major General Solly Lazarus. Lazarus was in charge of the secret fund.

Last week, another senior CI officer, Colonel Heine Johannes Barnard, appeared in the Pretoria Commercial Crimes Court on charges of fraud and corruption.

The Hawks investigation sparked a war between the Hawks and Crime Intelligence.

City Press was informed that Dramat was summoned by police chief General Bheki Cele and questioned about the extent of the investigation.

Sources revealed that Cele suggested the preliminary findings of the Hawks investigation might simply suggest “administrative shortfalls and oversights” and requested Dramat stop the investigation. Dramat refused.

Both Cele and Dramat denied that there was a call to stop the investigation.

“The secrecy provisions around the administration of the Crime Intelligence Secret Service account can never be used as a shield to hide fraud and corruption,” said Cele.

“Nor can the mere fact that this fund is audited yearly be interpreted to mean that a need to investigate its administration can never arise.

“I most definitely never questioned the need for this fund to be investigated either by the Hawks or by any other organ of the SAPS.

“Whether an investigation into this fund shows one or hundreds are guilty, you can rest assured that arrests will follow,” Cele said.

Dramat said yesterday: ‘‘It is not true that there is a probe into the CI as a whole. We are investigating certain individuals, as it has been reported in the media already.

“It will be incorrect to say there is a grand investigation of the CI. It is wrong. It is not what I am doing.’’

City Press understood that this investigation had put enormous pressure on Dramat, who indicated recently that he might leave the unit as a result of the pressure and interference.

‘‘We realise that there are people who might want to create an impression that there is tension between the Hawks and the CI, but that is absolutely not the case.’’

City Press was also told that Dramat received an email from the State Security Agency (SSA, formerly National Intelligence) saying that Viljoen’s phone was being tapped by CI. The two agencies shared facilities at the Office for Interception Centres and this was where the SSA discovered that CI was doing surveillance on Viljoen.

City Press reported in March that CI policemen tapped the phones of Hawks investigators.

The Hawks team found several examples where top police officers appointed family members and friends in CI or registered them as agents and informants. Allegations include:

» CI members bought a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a quad bike and a farm in KwaZulu-Natal from the secret fund;

» A group of policemen recently spent R22 000 on a dinner at a fish restaurant in Johannesburg that they paid for from the fund;

» Top policemen took spouses and girlfriends along on overseas trips, all paid for from the secret fund; and

» An incident two weeks ago when two CI policemen were robbed of R2.2 million in the middle of the day in downtown Joburg after they had drawn money from the secret fund. They were held up at the Xavier

Road off-ramp in Johannesburg last Friday, City Press reported.

Mdluli alone appointed his former wife as a colonel, his present wife (who used to be a clerk at Home Affairs) as a colonel, his son as a captain, his daughter as a warrant officer, his sister-in-law as a warrant officer, his wife’s cousin as a colonel and a friend as a constable.

According to media reports in October last year, a number of concerned CI operatives compiled dossiers that the unit was teetering on the brink of collapse owing to mismanagement, fraud, corruption, nepotism and a lack of leadership.

The cops alleged that top CI leadership were caught in a web of criminality – that cops abused covert premises, abused secret funds and registered family and friends as agents.

The dossiers alleged that Lazarus had created 250 new CI posts without consulting human resources. Family and friends of top officers were in several cases appointed to these posts.

Shortly after these revelations, police obtained an interdict that prevented the Sunday Independent from publishing details of malfeasance and violations of law by CI.

Mdluli didn’t answer his phone this week.

– Additional reporting by Julian Rademeyer and City Press staff reporters

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