Former police minister Mthethwa was part of Cato Manor arrests plot – Booysen

2019-02-15 15:11
Former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen speaks to News24 about the Sunday Times saga. (News24)

Former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen speaks to News24 about the Sunday Times saga. (News24) (News24)

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Former police minister Nathi Mthethwa, an ally of ex-president Jacob Zuma, allegedly "wielded pressure on prosecutors" to have Major General Johan Booysen and members of the Cato Manor organised crime unit arrested on racketeering charges.

Booysen, in an affidavit filed on Friday in support of an application to have the charges dropped, says he has proof that there was a meeting between Mthethwa and prosecutors in March 2012, prior to their arrests.

"It is irregular for the minister of police to interfere with prosecutors," he says.

He has also submitted a copy of a letter from one of the prosecutors which indicates that a witness in the case, Colonel Rajan Aiyer, had also involved a civilian official from the minister's office, Skhumbuzo Ndlovu, in the investigation.

What is "noteworthy", Booysen says, is that at that time he or Hawks officers were involved in investigations involving Thoshan Panday, a business associate of the former president's son, Edward Zuma, the so-called "Amigos" case against ANC provincial heavyweights Peggy Nkonyeni and Mike Mabuyakhulu and the looting of state funds by Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli, who had been "controversially" appointed to the post by Mthethwa.

Former prosecution bosses advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Shaun Abrahams have denied any wrongdoing in authorising the racketeering charges – which relate to allegations that Booysen headed up a "death squad" linked to 116 crimes including murder.

Booysen to testify before Zondo

While Booysen has since retired, the 17 other accused have all been cleared at disciplinary hearings and, apart from those who have resigned, are all back at work.

Booysen, who recently testified at the Mokgoro commission of inquiry probing the fitness of Jiba to hold public office, says next month he will testify before the Zondo commission into state capture.

He says he has submitted a statement in which he presents "an exposition of the roles of advocates Jiba, Sello Maema and (KwaZulu-Natal prosecutions boss) Moipone Noko".

"There is already so much evidence under oath that both Abrahams and Jiba have been captured and it was to protect Zuma or those he was friendly with.

"I and others were targeted because we went ahead to investigate politically connected individuals.

"It severely undermines their credibility."

Jiba should 'confirm or deny'

While in terms of normal court procedures, Booysen's affidavit should be the final one before the matter is set down for argument, he has put Jiba and Abrahams on terms to file further affidavits in response to his allegations against them.

"They must deny these under oath. My legal counsel will advance argument that if they fail to deal with these serious allegations it can only lead to the conclusion that they were indeed captured and their decisions are tainted by ulterior purpose."

He said Jiba should confirm or deny that she was paid any money, directly or indirectly, by Bosasa to protect its interests (as stated as evidence before the Zondo commission) and whether or not she told a senior prosecutor that she had laid charges against Booysen "because of pressure" and what that pressure was.

Abrahams, he said, should confirm or deny that he was appointed as the National Director of Public Prosecutions on the understanding that he would protect Jiba, that he had done this by withdrawing fraud and perjury charges against her and by continuing to defend her authorisation of the racketeering charges in the Cato Manor case.

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Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  johan booysen
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