OVERVIEW: Former KZN Hawks head Booysen cross-examined by Jiba's legal team at #MokgoroInquiry

2019-02-04 16:00

The Mokgoro Inquiry into the fitness of advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office continued with testimony from former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen, who was subsequently grilled by Jiba's legal team during cross-examination.

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04 Feb 16:12

Mokgoro thanks Booysen for his time and for being willing to testify, and excuses him from the inquiry.

Mokgoro adjourns proceedings until tomorrow.



04 Feb 16:07

Rajab-Budlender again clarifies some issues with Booysen following Arendse's cross-examination. 

Rajab-Budlender concludes her questioning. Mokgoro and her panel now address Jiba's lawyer, Arendse, on his line of questioning that he put to Booysen, which could have painted Booysen in a negative light related to matters that he has not been charged with (the killing of Mkhize). 

Arendse is told that he has to get all his ducks in a row, and once he has done so and he establishes the facts, he has to clear it up in the same forum in which he raised it - at the inquiry. This is to prevent any of the facts getting twisted during reporting of inquiry proceedings, according to the panel.

Arendse takes exception to the directive from the panel. 


04 Feb 15:52

Arendse causing something of a stir during the proceedings, attempting to circulate a photograph of Bongani Mkhize, shot and killed by the so-called "Cato Manor unit".

Mokgoro prevents the photo from being passed around because Booysen has not been charged with Mkhize's murder. 

Mokgoro again asking Arendse for clarity: "I want to know if Mr Booysen has been charged with the killing of Mr Mkhize. Simple." 

Mokgoro suggests Arendse should go and study the indictment so that he is able to answer that question "directly and specifically".



04 Feb 15:44

Booysen's lawyer (Advocate Anton Katz) now intervenes: "I hate to interrupt Mr Arendse at the best of times..." 

"However, when there is what appears to be a suggestion that my client was involved in a particular criminal event unrelated to the charges upon which he was indicted so many years ago, then I do begin to wonder whether it's appropriate that my client should be subject to this type of cross-examination at all." 

"It doesn't seem to me, that the kinds of questions which are coming, would fit into the terms of reference of this inquiry, quite frankly. The terms of reference relate to the fitness, or under Section 12 (6) of the NPA Act, of two particular individuals, and this evidence relates to one particular, it seems to me, one particular event, many years ago, unrelated to my client in anyway, who is not the subject of this inquiry in any event."



04 Feb 15:34

Arendse continues grilling Booysen during his cross-examination, quoting extensively from court documents, and citing the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

Arendse again insists that Booysen should not be at the inquiry today, because his matter is still before the court.


04 Feb 15:19

Arendse: "I'm sure that this was an important platform for you, today, to go some way towards clearing your name, and to deal with six/seven years of what you regard as negative publicity about you and all kinds of allegations being made against you..." 

Mokgoro steps in: "Is that a fair question, Mr Arendse, considering his response that he's here at the behest of the evidence leaders? You think that's a fair question to ask him?" 

Arendse: "Madam chair, it wasn't even a question, I put it to Mr Booysen..."

Mokgoro: "Do you think it's fair to put that to him?" 

Arendse: "Well, I think... well, maybe I should ask him, I think that if he was requested to testify here, which I'm surprised that there was such a request, because I can assure the panel, and my team is here, we were quite prepared to accept Mr Booysen's affidavit." 

Arendse: "Why? Because we've been engaged, engulfed in several court applications where Mr Booysen's version is before the courts, our client's version is before the courts, and we didn't think it was necessary for him to come and testify before the panel in terms of the rules of engagement that we had agreed." 

Arendse eventually concedes to Mokgoro that he accepts Booysen was asked to be at the inquiry by evidence leaders.


04 Feb 15:08

Arendse asks Booysen: "What was the point of your evidence? You mentioned you were suspended, not by Ms Jiba, but by SAPS. There was a disciplinary hearing chaired by a colleague of ours, Advocate Kassiem. That disciplinary was instituted by Ms (Riah) Phiyega when she was the national commissioner, not Ms Jiba." 

Arendse: "What was the point of all that other than to provide some good theatre here for the media and for others?" 

Booysen: "I'm not here for the media, I'm not here for theatre. I've been exposed to the media for the last seven years, so I'm not here for theatre or for the media. I'm here at the behest of the evidence leaders who has requested me to assist this panel, and I'm here purely to assist this panel to come to a conclusion. That's the only reason why I'm here today."


04 Feb 15:03

Arendse: "It is hopelessly premature for you to testify before us, before the panel, that you shouldn't have been charged and that even if you were to be charged, you would prove, well, obviously the state would have to prove your guilt, but the charges would be ill-founded because there shouldn't be any charges against you."

Arendse: "That is where we are at the moment - these matters are hanging in a court of law, and there are various possibilities, do you accept that?"

Booysen: "That's not for me to decide, I think that's indeed for the panel to decide. I'm not debating the merits of the demerits of the criminal charges pending. What I'm testifying about is the process that was followed to prosecute me." 



04 Feb 14:56

Arendse still referring to the Gorven ruling in detail, says the threshold to authorise cases involving racketeering is quite low. Arendse says the review decision doesn't mean fresh authorisations can't be issued. 

The exercise is quite cursory, says Arendse, and sometimes a prosecution memo is more than enough.


04 Feb 14:45

04 Feb 14:40

04 Feb 14:36

04 Feb 14:32

Advocate Norman Arendse (for Jiba) establishes with Booysen that it is for a court of law to establish his guilt, and they are not at this inquiry to discuss the merits of that case.


04 Feb 14:27

Proceedings resume after the lunch break. 

Booysen responds to a question, saying he retired with his rank, and prefers to be called "General Booysen".

Booysen now faces cross-examination from Jiba's legal team.



04 Feb 12:56

A somewhat longer lunch adjournment is called, for the legal teams to prepare their cross-examination of Booysen. 

Proceedings will resume at 14:15.


04 Feb 12:55

Rajab-Budlender asks Booysen if he is suggesting that that series of events explains why "Advocate Jiba took a decision to authorise your prosecution?" 

Booysen: "I would say inter-alia, madam chair, because there were other investigations that I was also involved in, and I think I did speak to that in my affidavit, but I think that's one of the reasons." 

Rajab-Budlender has no further questions for Booysen. 


04 Feb 12:51

Booysen says among the intercepted calls was one to someone named "Deebo Mzobe"... 

Booysen: "Deebo Mzobe is the nephew of the erstwhile state president, Mr Jacob Zuma." 

Booysen: "During this discussion, and I will not repeat the exact words, because they were not very nice words about me, and it was indicated that for me having the temerity to arrest them for trying to corrupt me, I was being called a 'mafia leader' and they decided there and then, and the words that Deebo Mzobe used is 'Booysen's wings will be clipped'..." 

Booysen: "And I think that's very significant that those two particular issues - Edward Zuma then coming to my office, wanting me to release the money, which I refused, and also Deebo Mzobe who's a direct family member of the then-state president, saying to a suspect that we are investigating that my wings will be clipped."


04 Feb 12:42

Back to the investigation/sting operation that involved Panday and Madhoe, Booysen says: "The evidence will show that the money was handed to Colonel Madhoe by Thoshan Panday, who then came to my office and he was going to give me the money, and in exchange for that I was going to give them a document and that would compromise the investigation." 

Booysen: "I did not want the document to leave, that's why we terminated the operation there and then." 

Booysen then says on the lawfully intercepted phone calls, "it's clear that subsequent to Colonel Madhoe's arrest, Panday became frantic because Madhoe was not returning with the document. And he started making calls to a number of police officers, one of them was to the provincial commissioner at the time, but he couldn't get through, I think she was detained with a meeting in Pretoria." 


04 Feb 12:34

Rajab-Budlender now turns to a section where "Advocates Ferreira and Van Eerden" discuss the evidence of Colonel Aiyer: "From her affidavit, it's clear that Ms Jiba relied substantially on the statement by this witness (Colonel Aiyer)... and the complaint was largely dedicated to a complaint session about how Colonel Aiyer was victimised, his cellphone was bugged, and how he was transferred in November 2011." 

"He alleges he was a victim of Booysen and every time he raised the issue he was targeted..."

Rajab-Budlender asks Booysen if he wants to respond to that.

Booysen: "No, madam chair." 


04 Feb 12:26

Rajab-Budlender: "Two seasoned prosecutors considered that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute you. Now, perhaps it's best that I... your position as I understand it in the litigation was that there wasn't sufficient evidence before her (Jiba) to charge you, is that right?"

Booysen: "That's right..." 

Rajab-Budlender: "And having looked at this prosecution memo, do you change that opinion? Your opinion?" 

Booysen: "No, I don't." 


04 Feb 12:17

Rajab-Budlender resumes by taking Booysen back to the (High Court Judge Trevor) Gorven judgment. 

The paragraph (31) reads: "The submissions of Mr Booysen in his replying affidavit, can be summarised as follows: Two of the annexures are sworn statements made under the name of one, Colonel Aiyer..." 

"Mr Booysen describes these as statements which concern "office politics" and submits that they in no way implicate him in any of the offences with which he's being charged." 

The unsigned statement by Danikas is once again mentioned.


04 Feb 12:11

Everyone has now returned to their seats following a short break. Proceedings continue.


04 Feb 11:57

There is a short break in proceedings, for five minutes, "for recording purposes".


04 Feb 11:44

There is an interjection by one of the legal teams (off-screen): "Sorry to interject, but is this witness (Booysen) now an expert on how the NPA implements their policy and how they must understand it? Surely this is there for us to read and argue at the end of the matter." 

Mokgoro: "What's the intention of the evidence?" 

Rajab-Budlender: "The intention wasn't to ask for an opinion on the policy, merely to give you the context of the policy, but I'm comfortable that we leave that for argument, that's fine..." 

The questioning proceeds.


04 Feb 11:38

04 Feb 11:27

04 Feb 11:26

04 Feb 11:22

Booysen says he obtained an interdict against his suspension, saying the police could not suspend him until they provided sufficient information to make representations. In spite of this, Booysen was suspended by the police two weeks later. Booysen went to court, and the police then withdrew the suspension. 

In a disciplinary hearing, it was found that there was no evidence to support claims that Booysen was in charge of the "Cato Manor unit".


04 Feb 11:19

Booysen follows on with the events around his suspension. Booysen says Panday "predicted" that he would be suspended and knew exactly when it would happen. Also, the date of (Durban police officer Colonel Navin) Madhoe's return to work. 

Booysen says the week after Panday and Madhoe were arrested, the Sunday Times ran the story saying Booysen was the head of a "death squad" and photos used by the newspaper were those earlier shown to Booysen by Madhoe. 

Booysen says intercepted phone calls revealed that there were plans to have him eliminated.


04 Feb 11:04

Thoshan Panday was accused of fraud related to the 2010 World Cup. The then-provincial commissioner (Ngobeni) instructed Booysen to withdraw the case against Panday. Booysen however agreed with former Hawks head Anwa Dramat to continue with the matter. 

Booysen says Madhoe also attempted to put pressure on him to drop the Panday case. Madhoe was arrested in a sting operation, on the scene, and Panday was arrested a week later, after the operation in the basement at police headquarters.


04 Feb 11:04

04 Feb 11:04

The unsigned statement in question, from Danikas, is in Greek and is dated 2012. Booysen says that seven years later that statement has still not been signed or translated. Booysen's attorney had checked as recently as November last year.


04 Feb 11:02

Booysen says Danikas had a computer shop and sold broken computers with a sign in the shop that said "sold as is". Danikas used to come to the shop with a bulletproof vest. 

Danikas eventually wanted to sell the business for much more than it was worth, and he had an employee invest in the business. Booysen eventually heard that Danikas had told workers to stay away from work for a week, during the refurbishment of the premises, and when they returned, the shop was empty and Danikas sent Booysen a text saying he had run away to Greece. 

Danikas apparently complained to Booysen about the crime in Durban and also said that his father was sick and that's why he left.


04 Feb 10:55

Booysen: "At times he would get beaten up. At times he would make arrests, nevertheless, he was eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant, and then he started pestering me, he wanted to become a captain." 

Booysen says he explained to him it wasn't like in the movies, where you do something good and you get a sheriff's badge and become a captain.



04 Feb 10:55

Booysen is asked further questions about Danikas. According to the documents, Danikas is a "close family friend", which Booysen confirms.

Rajab-Budlender: "Mr Danikas is in Greece at the moment?" 

Booysen: "That's right." 

Rajab-Budlender: "What is he doing in Greece?" 

Booysen: "I don't know what he's doing in Greece, but I do know why he left South Africa..." 

Booysen is asked to elaborate. 

Booysen: "Danikas was a reservist at the time, reporting to me. At the time of him reporting to me, I would regard him as, almost like he wanted to be a Miami Vice policeman. He would do his own little thing at night after hours, phone me at odd hours, getting involved with investigating narcotics." 


04 Feb 10:46

Booysen is outlining the timeline and sequence of how he became aware of the statements in question. 

Along the course of events, a statement from a "Mr Danikas from Greece" emerged, and it was the first time Booysen had seen this statement. It was not signed or dated, according to Booysen.


04 Feb 10:37

The evidence leader, Nasreen Rajab-Budlender, is taking Booysen through statements from the dockets in the case against him.


04 Feb 10:33

Booysen is questioned about a shooting incident he attended to, using a police helicopter to get to the scene. 

Booysen said in the course of his job, he was expected to attend crime scenes from time to time, and this was one of those occasions.

There was nothing remarkable about this particular incident, or the reasons for him being present, says Booysen. 

Booysen says if the incident was close enough, he would arrive by car, but this was further away and required the use of the helicopter.


04 Feb 10:25

"What is the penalty for racketeering?" Booysen is asked. 

Booysen: "The penalty for racketeering is, upon being found guilty, life imprisonment or a billion rand fine..." 

Booysen is quizzed about the charges against him, which he says were found to be unconstitutional and set were aside, "and subsequently all charges were withdrawn against me in the High Court of KwaZulu-Natal".


04 Feb 10:19

Booysen left the Hawks in 2016, but he clarifies that three years prior, he was offered a "golden handshake" to leave, but he refused. And then the events that followed after that eventually led to him retiring.


04 Feb 10:15

04 Feb 10:15

Booysen is first asked to state his qualifications and background, then his statement is shown to him. He is now summarising his trajectory through the police. 


04 Feb 10:06

Proceedings are now under way. Today's first witness, former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen, has been sworn in. 

The legal team is now discussing some procedural issues, regarding Booysen's cross-examination once he has completed his testimony. 


04 Feb 09:57

ICYMI: 

Mokgoro inquiry: Jiba denies flying to Durban with Mdluli to meet with 'someone from ANC' 

The Mokgoro inquiry has heard that the then-Acting Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba and the then-Crime Intelligence Boss Richard Mdluli may have flown together to Durban in 2010, with the tickets paid for by the crime intelligence slush fund, the Secret Service account.

This information is contained in an affidavit by Colonel Kobus Roelofse that has been submitted to the inquiry. 

On Friday, Roelofse testified before the inquiry, which has been tasked with establishing whether suspended deputy prosecutions boss Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit for office.

Roelofse was appointed to investigate Mdluli in 2011.

He told the inquiry that, during his investigations, he was informed that Mdluli's family members had flights paid for by the account. 


04 Feb 09:57

ICYMI: 

Mokgoro Inquiry: Jiba wanted prosecutor to sign Cato Manor indictment without evidence attached 

Former acting National Director of Public Prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba, wanted prosecutor Simphiwe Mlotshwa to sign an indictment in the Cato Manor case, despite not having any of the evidence on hand, the Mokgoro inquiry has heard.

Mlotshwa was testifying at the inquiry on Friday. It has been tasked with establishing whether Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit for office.

According to the witness, while he was the acting Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in KwaZulu-Natal in 2012, he received a call from Jiba who told him that there was a matter that had to be enrolled urgently because of pressure.

"I informed her that I would first read the dockets and make a decision accordingly," Mlotshwa said in his affidavit, which was presented to the inquiry.


04 Feb 09:57

OPINION: 

Zondo, Nugent, Mokgoro, PIC… and why the ANC believes it to be immune 

(By Pieter du Toit) 

At one stage on Wednesday television news channel eNCA had a four-way split screen.

The channel’s executive producer had a choice of three inquiries and a court case to choose from: the state capture commission, the inquiry into Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, the commission into the Public Investment Corporation and the high court application by ‘premier league’ heavy Supra Mahumapelo to nullify the ANC’s Nasrec conference.

And a couple of weeks ago the Nugent commission into the affairs of the South African Revenue Service concluded, which found that what was once the jewel in the crown of state had been gutted by Tom Moyane, a former prisons boss and friend of Zuma. 


04 Feb 09:57

ICYMI: 

Mokgoro inquiry: Mrwebi and Jiba allegedly assisted in arrest of Gerrie Nel to delay Selebi prosecution 

Two of South Africa's most senior prosecutors, who have been suspended while their fitness to hold office is investigated, allegedly assisted in the arrest of advocate Gerrie Nel in 2008.

This was allegedly to delay the prosecution of former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi, the Mokgoro inquiry heard on Thursday.

"Their conduct in assisting the police to arrest Nel also put them in direct conflict with the obligations of a prosecutor to act impartially, which requires that they do not become personally involved in the matter," Deputy NDPP Willie Hofmeyr said in an affidavit.

Hofmeyer testified on day nine of the inquiry, which is looking into the fitness of suspended deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Nomgcobo Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi.


04 Feb 09:57

ICYMI: 

Jiba first seen as breath of fresh air, until the Booysen matter – Hofmeyr 

When now-suspended advocate Nomgcobo Jiba was appointed acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in December 2011 it was a "breath of fresh air", according to Willie Hofmeyr. 

The deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions was testifying at the Mokgoro inquiry on Thursday, which is looking into the fitness of Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi to hold office. 

Hofmeyr stated that many within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were unhappy with the Menzi Simelane era and that Jiba was a "capable manager" who made the team feel as if they were adding value to the institution.


04 Feb 09:57

ICYMI: 

Mokgoro inquiry: No one willing to sign Breytenbach's suspension letter 

Initially, no one wanted to sign the letter in terms of which former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach was suspended, the Mokgoro inquiry heard on Wednesday.

This was according to former National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) CEO Karen van Rensburg, who testified at the inquiry which has been tasked with establishing whether suspended deputy prosecutions boss Nomgcobo Jiba and suspended special director of public prosecutions Lawrence Mrwebi are fit for office.

The NPA received a complaint about Breytenbach relating to mining company Imperial Crown Trading and rival miner Kumba Iron Ore – which were involved in a case she was working on in 2011. 

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