'Captain KGB' claims he didn't knowingly evade prison – 'I thought appeal had succeeded'

2018-01-25 20:55
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 – Crime intelligence officer Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala claims he did not evade a 15-year jail sentence for armed robbery in 1996 as his instructing law firm at the time told him that his appeal was successful. 

Tshabalala appeared in the Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane on Thursday where he admitted a supplementary affidavit in his application for bail. 

He has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption after he allegedly defrauded the crime intelligence's secret service account of more than R500 000.

READ: 'Captain KGB' Tshabalala under investigation for ANC Mangaung conference R50m budget

A bone of contention was why he did not start serving his prison sentence after his appeal against the conviction and sentence had failed. 

According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Tshabalala never reported for his prison sentence and went on the run. He then joined the police, working for crime intelligence while a fugitive until he was rearrested in 2013. 

During Tshabalala's bail application on Thursday, state prosecutor Chris Smith told the court that Tshabalala was only caught out after he was arrested in Sasolburg in 2013 for a theft case after processing his finger prints revealed that he was supposed to be serving time in prison. 

'I was advised that my appeal had succeeded'

Despite conceding to the court in his founding affidavit that he had a previous conviction for armed robbery, in a supplementary affidavit presented to the Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday, Tshabalala claimed he did not knowingly evade serving his prison sentence. 

Tshabalala, through an affidavit read out by his attorney Mpesi Makhanya, said after lodging his appeal he continued making enquiries about the appeal's progress from the secretary of Wessels Attorneys. 

"I was informed of the progress on a continuous basis until I was advised by the same secretary that my appeal had succeeded and that I had to settle an outstanding amount to the law firm of Wessels Attorneys, which I did and regarded the matter as finalised." 

"I thus continued with my normal (sic) in and around Gauteng without hiding or attempting to evade serving the sentence." 

After the supplementary affidavit was read into record, Smith requested a postponement to search the archives for Tshabalala's appeal record. 

The appeal record was found, and it showed that his appeal against the conviction and sentence indeed failed and that an attempted bid for leave to appeal in 2014, while serving his sentence, was also dismissed. 

Failed attempts to find attorneys

Makhanya said that Tshabalala was ill-informed about his appeal and that a warrant of arrest was only served on him in 2013. 

Smith argued that the statement made by Tshabalala in respect to his claim that he was ill-informed about his appeal was a bare one and that no effort had been made to provide the name of the secretary, the instructing attorney, or the affidavits from the two testifying to his claim. 

Makhanya said he was unable to find the secretary or instructing attorney to obtain affidavits from them and the lack of success was based on the fact that more than 20 years had since passed. 

"I tried my level best to find those attorneys," said Makhanya.

According to the State, after Tshabalala was rearrested in 2013, he was then 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.

R560 000 alleged fraud

After being released, he was re-enlisted into the police service before resigning to become an agent, according to IPID. 

Tshabalala has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption which relates to fraudulent invoices to the tune of R563 005, sourced for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria. The invoices were submitted by "Captain KGB" and authorised by a major general and the sum was paid out in cash.

IPID alleges that Tshabalala sourced a quote from Umwezo Wethu Promotions CC for R270 000, but requested R478 900 to be paid to him from the crime intelligence secret service account.

He allegedly pocked R208 900 and then received an additional R50 000 as a kickback from Umwezo Wethu Promotions CC.

In another transaction, he allegedly requested R85 105 from crime intelligence, but only paid the same company R39 500, pocketing R45 605. 

Tshabalala is expected to find out whether or not he will be granted bail on Friday. 

Read more on:    morris tshabalala  |  captain kgb  |  pretoria  |  courts

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