Man accused of R17m SSA theft summoned back to court

2020-02-10 17:41
Ayanda Dlodlo. (Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Ayanda Dlodlo. (Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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As the State Security Agency (SSA) and police investigate another theft at one of the agency's offices, it has emerged one of the three men, who were originally arrested for the theft of R17m in 2015 before charges were withdrawn, has been summoned to appear in court again.

On Monday, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the investigation into the theft two weeks ago was ongoing. 

In the latest incident, IOL reported the thief or thieves not only took money, but CCTV cameras as well.

In the 2015 incident, CCTV footage had reportedly identified the suspects, and three people were arrested in the week between Christmas and New Year.

The charges against Khayalethu Mgatyelwa, Albert Ramabele and William Mmotong were eventually withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) due to a lack of evidence.

On Monday, NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane told News24 Mmotong was summoned to return to court.

He was not arrested, and the case has been placed on the Pretoria Regional Court's roll for trial on 5 May.

"He is on a warning. The charge is one of theft," Mjonondwane said.

It is understood if charges are withdrawn against a person they cannot be arrested again for the same case. They are then summoned to appear in court.

Meanwhile, SSA spokesperson Mava Scott said of the latest theft: "We are upset about it."

He added investigations were ongoing and State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo had not been summoned to explain the case yet.

After the theft in 2015, the then-state security minister, David Mahlobo, was scathing over the incident.

READ: Thieves strike again at State Security Agency

"You can't even say it was a break-in, it was a walk-in," Mahlobo said during the National Council of Provinces question and answer session on state security in February 2016.

Last year, the findings of a High-Level Panel Review into the intelligence departments' activities were released.

It noted there had been no "consequence management" regarding the theft of R17m in 2015 despite there being video footage of the alleged perpetrators.

The panel also found the head of the Hawks had not seen the investigation to its "logical conclusion".

The subsequent report by the panel expressed concerns over financial controls at the agency.

It was found due to the nature of the agency's work and the need to obscure the source of money for payments, a lot of cash was at hand, with poor accounting methods.

The report noted one of the practices the panel found particularly alarming was a system where agents could take cash from a safe for operational expenses or to pay for furniture for covert operations, for example.

The agents are supposed to account for how they spend the cash and bring back change before they can take cash again. 

However, this agreement was not always adhered to and some agents took cash without accounting for the money they had previously taken. 

In her budget vote speech last year, Dlodlo announced there would be an internal investigation and disciplinary consequences as part of a shake-up at the SSA. 

Read more on:    hawks  |  crime
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