Crime intel unit facing torture, murder claims

Johannesburg - New allegations of torture, murder, bogus crimes and cover-ups have emerged against the police’s already controversial crime intelligence division.

The claims are made in court documents in a dispute by Colonel Johan Roos at the Labour Court in Johannesburg, reported the Mail & Guardian on Friday.

The unit’s suspended head, Richard Mdluli, is already being investigated by the Hawks and other agencies.

But one of the new claims is that suspended intelligence financial officer Major General Solly Lazarus faked two hijackings during which at least R1m in cash was stolen from him.

Lazarus allegedly did not report the hijackings and the normal procedure for reporting the crimes was ignored.

The documents also allege that a "special crime intelligence unit" created by Lazarus allegedly tortured and drowned a suspect in Booysens, Johannesburg.

Referring to the alleged incident in Booysens, for which the date is not given, a source in the document claims: "The suspect was interrogated and tortured at the scene, [and] died [drowned in the bath] under suspicious circumstances. But according to the death certificate, he died due to natural causes."

Roos, who was the crime intelligence unit’s internal auditor from 2004 to 2010, claims there were numerous incidents of fraud and corruption in the division which were covered up by senior officials.

Lazarus has been on paid suspension since November 2011. His lawyer told the M&G that her instructions from her client were that he did not want to comment "until all the matters have been finalised".

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