EXCLUSIVE: More apparent attempts to target Crime Intelligence head and top detective revealed

2018-07-25 17:37
Major-General Jeremy Vearey (left) and Major-General Peter Jacobs outside the Cape Town Labour Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24, file)

Major-General Jeremy Vearey (left) and Major-General Peter Jacobs outside the Cape Town Labour Court. (Caryn Dolley, News24, file)

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A criminal complaint of intimidation lodged against national Crime Intelligence head Lieutenant General Peter Jacobs and head of detectives in the Western Cape Major General Jeremy Vearey has highlighted more apparent attempts within the police service to target the duo.

The complaint, lodged in March, was deemed unfounded and the case did not proceed.

On Wednesday a source told News24 the case was being reconsidered, however, this was not officially confirmed.

Jacobs and Vearey together headed the biggest illicit gun investigation in South Africa. The investigation had focused on the smuggling of firearms meant to have been safeguarded by police officers to gangsters in the Western Cape.

It previously surfaced in court papers that at least 1 066 murders, 1 403 attempted murders and 315 other crimes were committed with guns stolen from the police. 

While Jacobs and Vearey were working on the massive investigation in mid-2016, they were suddenly transferred from their positions in the province.

READ: Top cops claim critical investigations derailed by politics

According to court papers, they said they believed among the reasons for this were political perceptions about them and the fact that police officers were among those they were probing.

Vearey felt that former MP Vytjie Mentor's statement to police about state capture made it seem as if they were part of a political faction. 

Mentor's statement detailed, among other things, claims about the controversial Gupta family's close ties to former president Jacob Zuma.

Following a battle in the Cape Town Labour Court to have their transfers reversed, Jacobs was on March 29 appointed the national head of national Crime Intelligence, exceeding what he had fought for in court as he had wanted to head up the unit provincially as he had before he was transferred.

The next month, on April 12, Vearey was appointed as the Western Cape's deputy commissioner of crime detection – this is the position he was initially transferred from and which he had fought for in the Labour Court.

Intimidation complaint

News24 can reveal that before this happened, a criminal complaint of intimidation was lodged against them.

It is understood another police officer was the complainant in the matter and that this officer is linked to a colleague in the Western Cape who does not see eye to eye with Vearey and Jacobs.

'Unfounded' case

However, police said the case was dealt with in nine days.

"Please be advised that the case number [you] provided was an intimidation case that was registered on 2018-03-14 and closed unfounded on 2018-03-23," Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana told News24 on Wednesday.

"There were no arrests made."

In April the Beeld reported that the complaint had to do with Jacobs having allegedly destroyed documents he had obtained at Goodwood prison. 

However, this article quoted the Western Cape's head of correctional services as saying it was fake news considering that the information emanated from Western Cape Crime Intelligence.

Jacobs and Vearey on Wednesday declined to comment to News24 on the matter.

This is not the first time that tensions between Vearey, Jacobs and Crime Intelligence have surfaced.

Sudden transfers

In June 2016, Vearey, who at the time was deputy provincial commissioner for detective services, was suddenly shifted to a position he had previously filled – commander of the Cape Town cluster of police stations. Major General Patrick Mbotho then temporarily replaced Vearey.

Jacobs, who at the time headed the province's Crime Intelligence unit, was appointed Wynberg cluster commander. Major General Mzwandile Tiyo replaced Jacobs.

Mbotho and Tiyo were subsequently named in a bail application that centred around suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack.

Vearey, who was the head of the Cape Town cluster of police in December 2017, was instrumental in Modack's arrest relating to extortion and security at nightclubs and restaurants.

Cop names surface in underworld case

Charl Kinnear, a police colonel who is investigating fights in Cape Town clubs, testified during Modack's bail application that there was a recording of Modack in a meeting with Vearey and Russell Christopher, a former State Security Agency official who trained with Vearey in the ANC's intelligence structures prior to 1994.

The meeting happened on May 5, 2017.

"Nafiz Modack states he was dealing with high-ranking police officials and, should there ever be a problem, Tiyo and Mbotho can sort it out," Kinnear had testified.

He had been testifying about the "influence" Modack appeared to have.

A statement by Lieutenant Colonel Peter Janse Viljoen of the Western Cape Hawks, dated January 31, 2018, and which was read out during Modack's bail application in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court, highlighted questions surrounding Modack.

Unknown if Modack is an informant

"It's unknown if Modack is a registered informant. Informants usually have one police handler," it said.

Another section of it said detailed phone billing showed that after Modack was arrested in Worcester at the end of November 2017, he had immediately Tiyo.

"At this stage, it's unknown what role [the] major general played, if any, but it's strange that Modack phoned the general as soon as he is arrested," Janse Viljoen's statement said.

Modack and four co-accused are expected in the Cape Town Regional Court on Friday where their trial might commence.

Smear campaign claims

In March 2017 Vearey told News24 that some police and Crime Intelligence officers were conspiring with politicians and gangsters to try and derail critical investigations.

READ: 'Amateur' Crime Intelligence officers intentionally derailing high-level probes, claims top Cape cop

Vearey has previously said that he was a target of constant smear campaigns, which were being run by senior police officers and politicians, who are using gangsters to advance their plans.

He said he was aware of a particular Crime Intelligence officer who had previously visited attorney Noorudien Hassan, who had represented suspects in several underworld cases, about claims to be concocted against him.

Hassan, who at one stage represented a suspect in the massive cop gun smuggling investigation which Vearey and Jacobs were heading at the time of their transfers, was murdered outside his home in Lansdowne in November 2016.

During Modack's extortion bail application it emerged that Modack allegedly claimed that Vearey had worked with a 27s gang boss to have Hassan murdered.

Read more on:    jeremy vearey  |  peter jacobs  |  cape town  |  crime

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