Sedition investigation into DA premier candidate, high-ranking members reopened more than a decade later

2019-02-22 18:28
The DA's candidate for the Western Cape premier Alan Winde addressing the Cape Town Press Club. (Jan Gerber/News24)

The DA's candidate for the Western Cape premier Alan Winde addressing the Cape Town Press Club. (Jan Gerber/News24)

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Allegations of sedition made against DA premier candidate Alan Winde and other high-ranking DA members over 10 years ago will be reinvestigated, say Western Cape police.

Spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa told News24 on Friday that police had received complaints regarding the manner in which the initial investigation was handled.

According to the ANC, the sedition investigation was launched in 2007 after allegations were made against Winde, current Western Cape Transport MEC Donald Grant and former Bitou mayor Memory Booysen. They were accused of destabilising the municipality as part of a plot to cause the ANC to lose power in the town.

This resulted in violent protests in the area.

"However, crucial evidence disappeared from the docket, which has also disappeared. Amazingly, the police officer who did the investigation has allegedly resigned from SAPS (South African Police Service)," ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said.

He alleged that the police officer has since started his own private investigation business and "got most of his work from DA municipalities".

List of concerns

Potelwa said complaints regarding the investigation included the exclusion of evidence meant to be in the docket before it was presented to the National Prosecuting Authority for a decision.

"Other concerns cited involve the integrity of the investigation process in gathering evidence. These factors referred to necessitated that the docket be relooked including a concern that a case of sedition falls within the ambit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and in this case was investigated at a station level."

Sedition, according to police definitions, is "unlawfully and intentionally taking part in a concourse of people violently or by threats of violence challenging, defying or resisting the authority of the state, or causing such a concourse".

News24 approached Winde and Grant for comment.

In response, DA media officer for Winde's premiership campaign Dirk Linde said: "Allegations relate to events as far back as 2007 which have been investigated and have no substance."

Calls to the office of Booysen, now the Garden Route District Municipality mayor, went unanswered. News24 will update the story with his comment once received.

'Hands off Vearey'

Jacobs said it was "now clear" why Winde was "leading a relentless media attack against Major General Jeremy Vearey", the deputy commissioner of crime detection in the Western Cape who the ANC said had asked for the allegations to be "followed up".

Winde wrote to Minster of Police Bheki Cele and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate requesting an investigation after Vearey "[appeared] to have been caught in a blatant lie regarding a telephonic conversation with a journalist".

Vearey lodged a complaint with the press ombudsman's office against a TimesLIVE reporter in January, accusing the journalist of trying to entrap a police officer to obtain a copy of an affidavit using his name, the publication reported at the time.

It was, however, withdrawn after TimesLIVE published a recording of the phone call which the online news platform said showed the allegation was without merit.

Winde, the Western Cape MEC of community safety, at the time said the province "cannot have individuals with questionable character in strategic leadership positions in the SAPS".

"I think that Winde is afraid that his ambitions to become premier will be destroyed if the allegations against him end up in court. It seems he wants to save himself by going after Vearey," Jacobs said.

"To us, Vearey epitomises what it means to be good a police officer. Our advice to Winde is 'hands off Vearey and get ready to answer allegations made against you'."

Read more on:    da  |  jeremy vearey  |  alan winde  |  cape town
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