'There was a very good case' - former prosecutor on alleged attempts to bribe Hawks general

2020-01-23 08:09
Former head of the KZN Hawks General Major Johan Booysen. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Former head of the KZN Hawks General Major Johan Booysen. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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Former senior prosecutor advocate Bheki Manyathi was of the view the State had a strong case regarding the alleged attempt to bribe former Hawks boss General Johan Booysen by former cop Colonel Navin Madhoe and controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday.

"What informed my decision to say there is a case, I was mindful that if I arrested him unlawfully, I would be sued. His fingerprint was found on a report that is strictly for the eyes of the police.

"Two, the person who gave Booysen the money says it was from Panday. I considered the probability that a colonel would have so much money, it was unlikely," Manyathi told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday.

He was testifying with regards to his role in the corruption case against the policeman and controversial KwaZulu-Natal businessman as the commission places a lens on the alleged capture of law enforcement agencies.

READ: 'I was shaking' - Booysen on the arrest of KZN cop Navin Madhoe

Madhoe was arrested on September 8, 2011, following a sting operation by Booysen when Madhoe facilitated an alleged R2m bribe from Panday who was, at the time, under investigation for procurement contracts with the police during the 2010 World Cup, News24 reported.

"There was a pre-dated report that Booysen gave to Madhoe, the exchange occurred on the day that Madhoe was arrested. The pre-dated report was found in Madhoe's car and the money [to the tune of R1.3m] was found in Booysen's car during the sting operation that led to his arrest.

"Madhoe admitted that the money he gave to Booysen had been given to him by Panday. This was in the docket," Manyathi explained.

Due to Madhoe's alleged admission, Manyathi decided that Panday needed to be arrested.

"I got the warrant - it was executed, and he was arrested. I ultimately indicted both in the High Court, so there was a case, a very good case in my view," he said.

The Zondo commission previously heard how former National Prosecuting Authority special director of public prosecutions advocate Lawrence Mrwebi questioned the legal validity of the corruption case against the duo.

Mrwebi went as far as allegedly asking Manyathi "besides a scrap piece of paper, what other evidence is there against Madhoe?"

ALSO READ: State capture inquiry: Mrwebi queried validity of cases former KZN Hawks boss probed

This was followed by Mrwebi requesting a legal opinion on the strength of the case.

The eight-page opinion, dated January 22, 2012, concluded: "In my view, the case against Madhoe is overwhelming and I recommend that he must be indicted in the High Court."

The inquiry continues.

Read more on:    crime
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