Secret funds buy hideaway for top cops

2012-04-16 00:00

THE crime intelligence unit (CIU) has used secret state funds to buy a holiday resort on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast for the exclusive use of the unit’s top officers.

These and other shocking facts about the misuse of CIU funds have emerged in statements to Hawks investigators and a secret report to acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

Our sister paper Beeld is in possession of the statements and has had sight of the report to Mkhwanazi.

The secret funds were also misused to rent a townhouse at Gordon’s Bay near Cape Town for CIU boss Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli.

Sister papers City Press and Rapport reported yesterday that seven of Mdluli’s relatives had been appointed as CIU agents and were paid from the secret funds.

According to sworn statements, Mdluli had given orders that both his current wife and former wife be appointed as colonels.

The chief financial officer at the CIU, Major-General Solly Lazarus also appointed a convicted drug dealer as a “contact person” at the CIU.

The millionaire businessman, Panganathan “Timmy” Marimuthu, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in 1992 for dealing in 3 200 mandrax tablets.

His appeal against his sentence failed, but he never spent a day in prison.

Marimuthu was appointed as a “contact person” in the CIU and paid R50 000 a month.

Police also paid him R250 000 a month in rent for safe houses, some of which were not fit to live in.

CIU appointed five of his relatives as colonels and captains and two of his girlfriends as clerks.

The Hawks investigators said in their sworn statement that Lazarus in turn received gifts from Marimuthu, including overseas trips and jewellery.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo of the CIU said in a sworn statement to the Hawks investigators that the KZN resort was for the exclusive use of Lazarus and other senior members of the CIU.

Naidoo said Lazarus pretended to make official visits to the resort, but friends and family accompanied him and his trips there were always over long weekends and holidays.

The statements also described how Lazarus freely made use of money in the private funds to buy air tickets for his private use.

“Lazarus used funds from the Secret Service Account [the secret funds] to pay for the flights and accommodation of pastors from the African Dream Centre, a church he belonged to,” said a Colonel Roelofse in his statement.

The information in Beeld’s possession shows that extended “security improvements” were made to some generals’ houses. The secret funds paid for a security fence and an alarm system worth R150 000 at Mdluli’s home in Dawn Park, Boksburg, on the East Rand.

A lieutenant-general whose house was broken into received an alarm system worth R40 000, which was paid for with secret funds.

City Press reported last week that there were also security improvements made to the KZN home of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. He denied this.

Last year Mdluli was charged with murder, abduction, theft and fraud, but the charges against him were withdrawn.

He was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing, but this was also cancelled and he returned to his post recently.

Lazarus’s suspension was also cancelled.

The police, Mdluli and Lazarus did not respond to any requests for comment.


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