Did intel boss dip into slush fund?

2017-07-09 06:01

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Acting crime intelligence head Major General Pat Mokushane allegedly used his former secretaries to manipulate the unit’s slush fund for his personal gain.

Two of Mokushane’s former secretaries in Gauteng failed polygraph tests, with one admitting to committing fraud with her boss’ knowledge. Documents show that the other would draw a monthly cellphone allowance, using it to communicate with Mokushane’s business partners outside the police service.

These details are contained in high-level communication between SA Police Service and crime intelligence top brass about obtaining security clearance for Mokushane.

City Press reported on June 25 that Mokushane had been declined the security clearance he requires to do his job as acting crime intelligence head, after his appointment by acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba.

R10 000 monthly withdrawals 

A memo for Mothiba, written on June 29, indicates that Brigadier MA Ntuli from Gauteng crime intelligence refused to conduct an investigation into claims that Mokushane knew about his then secretary’s fraudulent activities.

In the memo, Ntuli writes to Mothiba that he was made aware of the alleged fraudulent activities by a former secretary who had failed “a polygraph examination and indicated that she committed fraud with the secret service account [SSA] funds which the general was aware of”.

“I refused to conduct the investigation ... the polygraph examination of his secretary has nothing to with the finalisation of security clearance of Mokushane, unless a statement can be provided to my office that implicates him,” he said. He added that such a statement was never provided and therefore the probe would be invalid.

However, another memo exchange between two components of national crime intelligence written on the same day, June 29, shows that Mokushane’s security clearance had been prioritised and that a security vetting panel would be convened on Tuesday, July 4. It is not clear if this panel sat and, if it did, what conclusion it reached.

However, the memo from Colonel JA Tshabangu, commander of the vetting investigation, shows that the results of a counter intelligence investigation were outstanding on issues raised during the polygraph test of one of Mokushane’s former secretaries who “admitted to receiving the sums of R500 for airtime which she would then use to communicate with the applicant’s [Mokushane] business partners outside the police”.

She also admitted “that she had monthly drawn R10 000 advance from the SSA on a monthly basis which, when supposed to close the claims, she had been told to write a motivation that the funds were expended for the handlers (sic)”, writes Tshabangu. Both secretaries’ names have been withheld as City Press could not reach them for comment.

Tshabangu adds that apart from the outstanding results from the counter intelligence probe, several documents, including matric and tertiary education certificates, financial disclosures and others indicating whether or not Mokushane had directorships in companies or had applied for extra remunerative work, were still outstanding.

Responding to questions on the matter, police spokesperson Major General Sally de Beer said: “It is surprising that those making serious allegations choose to do so via the media instead of approaching appropriate authorities, which would be the correct course of action. This matter will be dealt with internally and not in the media space.”

Previous allegations of looting

City Press reported three weeks ago that Mokushane also has a criminal record, allegedly ran his private companies from his office and had an affair with a subordinate officer’s wife.

Mokushane is the registered owner of three businesses – Y Resources Trading Company, Bomokushane Trading and Y Summer Season Trading 85 – which three sources alleged he ran from the old Gauteng crime intelligence headquarters on Diagonal Street in central Johannesburg.

It is unclear whether he obtained permission to do paid work outside of his job, as the police’s rules require. But that was one of the documents sought by the vetting investigators ahead of the meeting that had been scheduled for Tuesday.

Sources told City Press that in 2010, when he was unable to meet the repayments for the vehicles he had bought for his transport business, Mokushane allegedly hid them from the sheriff in the basement of the Diagonal Street crime intelligence headquarters. When the sheriff discovered this and tried to repossess them, there was a confrontation between security guards and the sheriff’s office.

This is not the first time the crime intelligence slush fund has been the subject of allegations of looting.

Crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli has been on suspension since May 2011 following a string of allegations, including that he allegedly used the secret service account to pay for his BMW.

He also allegedly registered his relatives, girlfriends and their families as covert intelligence operatives and paid them as such. Mdluli has denied the allegations.

Mdluli, former crime intelligence chief financial officer Solly Lazarus and former head of procurement Hein Barnard were charged for fraud and corruption for allegedly defrauding the unit’s secret account.

The charges were withdrawn after police management failed to declassify the documents proving the allegations.

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