Generals live it up at ex-hit squad base

2012-05-13 19:45

Johannesburg - Generals from crime intelligence have been illegally living it up at a former apartheid-era hit squad base.

Island Rock was kept by police for covert operations after 1994, but is now being used for family holidays at state expense, a Hawks investigation has revealed.

The generals, including the division’s finance head, Solly Lazarus, and KwaZulu-Natal boss Deena Moodley, have been entertaining friends and families in the very place where ANC cadres were tortured and political assassinations plotted.

The abuse of the former Vlakplaas base near Sodwana Bay in the ecologically sensitive ISmangaliso Wetland Park on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast was uncovered by Hawks investigators as part of the investigations into the plunder of a crime intelligence “slush fund”.

Inspector General of Intelligence Advocate Faith Radebe is investigating the fund after receiving complaints from the Hawks and crime intelligence officials.

A report by Majors General Mark Hankel and Chris de Kock to Radebe states that the facility – retained at the insistence of former police chief Jackie Selebi and on the instruction of former crime intelligence head Rayman Lalla – became the private preserve of Moodley and his network.

Family holidays

The camp – known locally as Spy Camp – was “regularly utilised for family holidays and weekend getaways by a crime intelligence major general, his friends, colleagues and certain service providers”, the report states.

“It would appear that all expenses incurred for the above, including family breaks, are paid for from the [secret service account].”

City Press has established the general in question is Moodley, who was transferred out of the unit earlier this year but reinstated after winning a labour court interdict.

No vehicles, except for police, are allowed near Island Rock.

Visitors are greeted by a “private” sign nailed to a tree at the top of an access ramp from the beach. The camp consists of blocks of chalets, a common dining area, a deck and bar area.

The caretaker, former Koevoet operator warrant officer Piet Nel, was away on leave. Another couple who lived on the property said “the owner is private, not police”.

Built in the 1970s by the security branch as one of four secret facilities in the area, the camp was used for interrogations and planning cross-border hits.


Although the others were destroyed by KwaZulu-Natal Ezemvelo Wildlife after 1994 because of their location, Selebi ensured that this facility be kept, said a former conservation official.

“We were given all kinds of different reasons by Selebi’s office and crime intelligence as to why it should be kept. It was first as a safe house, then as a place for the president to hold top-secret meetings with foreign leaders, then that it had a strategic interest.”

According to crime intelligence officers in KwaZulu-Natal, the facility has never been used for official purposes.
“This is a disgrace,” said a crime intelligence officer. “People were tortured there, but now it’s being used for jolling – nothing more, nothing less.”

Former MK members complained the facility was being abused. “It’s disgusting that people are partying in the same place where our comrades were tortured. For all we know, comrades who disappeared are buried at that beach,” said one.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) heard evidence that Island Rock was used as a torture camp as early as 1976, when MK members Cleophas Ndlovu and Joseph Ndluli were tortured there for several weeks at a time.


Vlakplaas boss Eugene de Kock told the TRC it was used in the 1980s by his unit for debriefings, and to plan the assassinations of ANC members infiltrating from Swaziland and Mozambique. They also used it for partying and sexual liaisons.

Moodley denies that he is the person being referred to in Hankel’s report.

“I haven’t been to Island Rock in more than seven years. The person they are talking about is most definitely not me. I have never taken my family there as it is a secret facility,” Moodley said.

He said the camp was controlled by crime intelligence head office and not him.

Lalla, who now works for the SA Revenue Service, did not respond to questions.

  • lownabester - 2012-05-13 20:01

    Bunch of gravy train vultures,

      Dries - 2012-05-13 20:12

      Where was Mdluli.., he should know the 'facility' quite well.

      Jessica - 2012-05-13 20:16

      I cant believe this. People were tortured and killed there and now its an amusement park. Its a slap in the face of the memories of all those people who paid with their lives to enrich the political elite in the new SA

      Peter - 2012-05-14 08:23

      Lol i dont see any comments from the ANC supporters all of a sudden... Wonder why, Wheres Hadebe, Totsi and the like?

      Kala - 2012-05-14 08:39

      What is really amazing about this story is that all these people used the facility but don't seem to have any recollection of being there. Maybe the care taker, Piet Nel is still brain washing those utilising the camp.

      Pierre - 2012-05-14 10:23

      Just keep in mind these guys only went here for recreational purposes. The former government went here to torture and kill. Because of the homelands the NATS argued they had the right to treat people very harshly when they are outside these homelands.

      Foe - 2012-05-14 10:49

      ** YOU HAD YOUR TURN..... ** OUR TURN NOW ...

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-05-14 11:37

      How embarrassing for the new regime.

  • Piston - 2012-05-13 20:02

    Yawn...nothing will happen.

      Erich - 2012-05-14 08:31

      Same script, just new actors.

      Kala - 2012-05-14 09:03

      Some of the old actors are still involved albeit from their prison cell/hospital bed, namely Jackie Selebi.

  • Faizie - 2012-05-13 20:06

    Wait while I wipe the puke off my computer screen

  • marais.adriaan - 2012-05-13 20:12

    This country is turning into a banana republic. Get out while you still can! What pisses me off the most is that it's MY tax money being wasted by a bunch of reprobates who in any other civilised country would NEVER be employed by the government. Soon, there will be nothing left to plunder!

      karl.vanrooyen - 2012-05-13 21:09

      if I had they money I would have left years ago ... But they took all my money as TAX

      marais.adriaan - 2012-05-14 07:35

      I see the few 'dislikes' on my post and wonder whether these people are blind and deaf...

  • Andrew - 2012-05-13 20:14

    There is absolutely nothing that can surprise one anymore with this repulsive and digustung ANC regime we have. A bloody disgrace to mankind and sadly to the blacks.

  • Wayne - 2012-05-13 20:16

    Come on ride the gravy, the gravy train!

  • thamifraser - 2012-05-13 20:17

    Instead of changing the culture, they have embraced it and are perfectly comfortable with it.

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-05-14 00:00

      Perhaps that was the whole point from the start

  • Piet - 2012-05-13 20:18

    It seems like we are in for a new set of nats. They seem to agree with what the old regime did. But still the people vote for the wolf in sheeps clothing.

  • Jonny Lee - 2012-05-13 20:18

    SARS is another safe place for corrupt people but is never investigated.

  • Ruan - 2012-05-13 20:22

    ...any chance of a "free pint"...while you are there...?

  • kobus.botes999 - 2012-05-13 20:24

    Animal Farm

      marais.adriaan - 2012-05-13 20:28

      Couldn't have said it better!

      brenton.tyrrell - 2012-05-13 22:17

      These animals have certainly made themselves more equal than others, but all story's have an ending...

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-05-14 00:02

      Excellent comment. In 100 yrs the present govt will be the epitome of how not to run a country

      StoneAgePeasant - 2012-05-14 07:46

      Yip. I propose that we rename KZN to Cowteng, just to confuse the tourists that little bit more - that's if there are still any tourists.

  • tony.kirby1 - 2012-05-13 20:29

    As a tax payer could I go spend a weekend there.

      cliff.slabbert - 2012-05-13 21:19

      I wouldn't go there on principal!

      Warren - 2012-05-13 22:29

      @ tony.kirby1: Nope, the only thing welcome there is your hard earned tax rands.

  • Erna - 2012-05-13 20:32

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  • Sonja - 2012-05-13 20:43


      Jaco - 2012-05-13 21:25

      Those who have not yet read Animal Farm by George Orwell, please do so soon. We are nearing the end of the book!

      Hadebe - 2012-05-13 21:46

      Where can i find it

      Dee - 2012-05-14 00:19

      Hadebe - a free online version of the book at this web site : Another excellent book by George Orwell is titled '1984' ...both books can be downloaded here : Or Wikipedia is (usually) a useful site to get some information on many topics :

      Keith - 2012-05-14 06:08

      Dee, you forgot 'Black Mischief' by Waugh.

  • Hadebe - 2012-05-13 20:45

    Every hour there is something coming out of the closet, theres a third force operating tirelessly behind the scenes, there must be an investigation. i dont like it.

      Piet - 2012-05-13 21:12

      dark matter....

      Keith - 2012-05-14 06:12

      The Third Force has been busy for the last 20 years, if I remember correctly, but they haven't achieved anything yet. They might be tireless, but they are not a very efficient force, are they?

  • karl.vanrooyen - 2012-05-13 20:47

    I've heard the SHAD

      karl.vanrooyen - 2012-05-13 20:55

      I've heard the shad

  • patrick.saunders123 - 2012-05-13 20:49

    it's a place where the ruling regime can eat cake out of sight of the lumpen proletariat.

      brenton.tyrrell - 2012-05-13 22:18

      Just don't lose your head!

  • TheVern69 - 2012-05-13 20:50

    Seriously appaling! This ANC has no respect! Please make a comeback Mr Mandela please!!!

  • Larry - 2012-05-13 20:54

    No surprise here. There's still other things not yet uncovered.

  • karl.vanrooyen - 2012-05-13 20:59

    the shad fishing is good there an all ...

  • clive.brink - 2012-05-13 20:59

    The fishing is good there. Wonder if the rented Syncro Combi that they tried to see how long it can float is still laying in the bay. Sick!

  • cliff.slabbert - 2012-05-13 21:14

    Just part of a deluge of things that are in the process of being uncovered, this is one small matter that will make up only the tip of this colossal proverbial 'iceberg' of corruption and maladministration!

  • Lloyd - 2012-05-13 21:18

    We need the state secrecy bill. All this corruption is too much to handle....

      cliff.slabbert - 2012-05-13 21:24


      Dee - 2012-05-14 00:26

      lol..... yip!!!! And every local publication needs a Health Warning. MANDATORY - Like on cigarette packets. "Reading This Could Harm Your Health" "WARNING : This article may cause a coronary".......

  • Bobo - 2012-05-13 21:27

    The Truth : By 1990 the ANC was nothing more than a few selected freedom fighters and a fax machine in Tanzania and Angola..The dream was kept alive by brainwashed people who thought they were fighting the evil apartheid system..True, but In fact negotiations were by then well underway by the NP and ANC as well as other countries including England to secure a joint nobel prize between Frikkie and Mandela. The public were fooled in thinking that freedom for all was secured by the release of Mandela, it was never about us the people of South Africa..The sooner people realise this the better. The youth seriously needs to be educated and see what a disgrace the ANC has become.Please.. for your childeren sake next time vote right while you still can.

      johncarlos.biza - 2012-05-14 00:06

      Such is politics all over the world these days, unfortunately. We may just be a doomed generation

  • tshianeoisaac - 2012-05-13 21:30

    No stone wil left unturn, more story to be revealed ,hell is waitng for u cANCer guyz ,. Amadla

      tobydt - 2012-05-13 21:39


  • tshianeoisaac - 2012-05-13 21:31

    No stone wil left unturn, more story to be revealed ,hell is waitng for u cANCer guyz ,. Amadla

  • tshianeoisaac - 2012-05-13 21:31

    No stone wil left unturn, more story to be revealed ,hell is waitng for u cANCer guyz ,. Amadla

      Keith - 2012-05-14 06:15

      Have you got hiccups?

  • Tintsoalo KayoWachris Baloyi - 2012-05-13 21:32

    can't say im surprised!!!

  • Jandl Reevo Reeves - 2012-05-13 21:40

    The people of south Africa should lay a charge of theft and fraud against the government considering they not playing ball.stop paying tax Who ever is until such a time as all are brought to book

  • Tappies - 2012-05-13 22:27

    The ANC is the same as the apartheid regime....they just steal by day!!!..what a bunch of vultures and maaifoedies!!!

  • jacques.jdp - 2012-05-14 06:54

    What a circus. Wonder what the head clown will have to say

  • Bibi - 2012-05-14 09:37

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. The NP government stole with spades, the new government is stealing with front loaders.

  • fritz.vandenberg - 2012-05-14 14:40

    The old apartheid regime vs the new apartheid regime. Same news articles than 20/30 years ago, only the dates differ.

  • Nathi Olifant - 2013-05-15 09:47

    the first, second and last rule in espionage: Deny, deny and deny. Lest we forget.

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