'Captain KGB' asks for armed guards in court to be removed

2018-03-14 18:26
Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala as he leaves the Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala as he leaves the Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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Pretoria – Former crime intelligence officer Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala has objected to the heavily armed security personnel watching over him in court and has brought an application to have the armed guards removed.

Appearing in the Commercial Crime Courts in Pretoria on Wednesday for a bail application, surrounded by a number of armed personnel from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and Kgosi Mampuru II prison, Tshabalala for the first time entered court in ankle chains.

His advocate, Annelene Van den Heever, objected from the outset to the ankle chains and the security measures.

She told the court that she had not been afforded the opportunity to meet privately with her client and that he had been kept in the back of a van "like an animal".

"His right to be treated equally under law is being infringed," said Van den Heever.

"We counted no less than 19 armed people at the court."

Van den Heever added that she was sick and tired because the moment a so called high profile person enters the courts, "out swarms the police with flak jackets and firearms".

State prosecutor Chris Smith told the court that there was a security issue, which is why extra security was called to the court.

Magistrate Nicola Setshoege granted an application to have the security issues argued in court and ordered that Tshabalala's leg restraints be removed.

A source close to the Tshabalala investigation told News24 that information had been received that he may try and escape custody, which is why a decision was taken to intensify security measures.

'The man is a flight risk'

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said that "Captain KGB" was a flight risk and had previously evaded the law for many years.

"This is nothing new; it's not something that IPID is making up; it's something that has happened which is why we are here," Dlamini told News24.

"The man is a flight risk; it's not an empty allegation, it’s a fact."

Tshabalala's first bail application was dismissed in January. His appearance in court was for a fresh bail application based on new facts, just days after he allegedly poisoned himself while detained at Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.

READ: 'Captain KGB' allegedly poisons himself at PTA prison

Two sources told News24 that Tshabalala had poisoned himself after hearing that his parole had been revoked and that he was now a sentenced prisoner. According to one of the sources, it's believed that the poisoning was part of a plot to try and escape.

Dlamini confirmed that he had received reports that Tshabalala had poisoned himself and that the directorate had sent a team to the prison to investigate.

News24 has seen a document from the parole board - dated March 9, the same day Tshabalala allegedly poisoned himself - revoking his parole.

Tshabalala was convicted of armed robbery in 1994. While evading a prison sentence for more than 15 years, he joined the South African Police Service.

'He continued to receive a salary'

Tshabalala claimed that he did not knowingly or intentionally evade his 10-year prison sentence and explained that his legal representatives at the time had told him his appeal had been successful.

But, according to IPID, Tshabalala never reported to serve his prison sentence and was on the run. He then joined the police, working for crime intelligence until he was rearrested in 2013.

According to the State, after Tshabalala was rearrested, he was dismissed from the police and spent two and a half years in prison, while allegedly still receiving a salary from crime intelligence.

"Information received from sources is that he continued to receive a salary," Smith told the court during the first bail application.

READ: IPID explains how SAPS 'Captain KGB' was arrested, convicted, jailed... and then rehired

After he was released, he was re-enlisted in the police service, before resigning to become an undercover agent for crime intelligence, according to IPID.

However, police have dismissed these claims by IPID. Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo previously told News24 that Tshabalala has not been on their system, or payroll, since he was dismissed in 2013.

Tshabalala has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption; which relates to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices to the tune of R563 005, sourced for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria.

The application to argue against the security measures will be heard on March 23.

Read more on:    morris tshabalala  |  courts  |  captain kgb

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