Top cop reveals Zuma link in explosive book

2016-09-06 13:26


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Durban – Suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen told Edward Zuma, son of President Jacob Zuma, to take the money he’d invested with controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and run.

This was revealed when Booysen broke his silence in tell-all book Blood on their Hands, set to hit the shelves this week.

The book unravels the intricate web behind his struggle to keep his job and defend criminal charges laid against him for pursuing Panday.

Booysen reveals Panday’s alleged connections to the levers of power, most specifically a business relationship with the president’s son.

"He’d phoned several times, she [Booysen's PA] said. Johan was sure it wasn’t the president’s brother but told Elaine to tell whomever it was to make an appointment to come to his office if he wanted to see him.

"Life and work intervened, but a few months later, President Zuma’s son, Edward, arrived. He and Johan sat in his office making small talk – until Edward came out with it," the book reads.

"He said he had invested R900 000 in one of Panday’s businesses and wasn’t getting his dividends because Panday said I had frozen his payments. He asked whether I could release Panday’s R15 million. I told him that I couldn’t do that or I’d be guilty of corruption myself."

"Then Johan gave him some advice."

"I told him to demand his R900 000 back from Thoshan Panday. Once he had it he should take it and run and not look back. Months later, a friend phoned me and said someone was with him and wanted to talk to me. It was Edward. I jokingly asked if he had taken my advice. He said he had. I didn’t believe him."

Cato Manor 'hit squad'

Booysen had become embroiled in an existing internal police investigation into overexpenditure on accommodation and other contracts.

Panday’s laundry list of companies had raked in millions from the police, which had drawn the attention of finance heads.

When indications emerged that Panday had blessed Supply Chain Management Unit cops with hundreds of thousands of rands in gifts, Booysen ensured a R15m debt to him was frozen until the investigation was complete.

Zuma had then arrived at his office, attempting to get the funds released.

This was one of the early developments in the Booysen and Cato Manor saga, which eventually led to their suspension, an alleged media smear campaign and their protracted court battle for exoneration.

The Cato Manor squad, members of the now disbanded Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, and Booysen were arrested and charged with racketeering, murder and other crimes in 2012.

NPA prosecuting Panday

The justification for their arrest, made by the National Prosecuting Authority's then-acting head Nomgcobo Jiba, was that, under Booysen, the unit had run a hit squad.

Edward Zuma has in the past flip-flopped on his account of what happened that day. He originally told a Sunday newspaper that the meeting had taken place, and then later denied it when pressed years later.

Both Zuma and Panday were approached for comment, but neither had responded at the time of publishing.

On Friday, the National Prosecuting Authority announced it would be prosecuting Panday.

The corruption charges relate to allegations that Panday and Colonel Navin Madhoe had tried to bribe Booysen.

The pair allegedly offered Booysen R2m to backdate a report on an investigation into accommodation tenders worth R60m.

Read more on:    hawks  |  johan booysen  |  thoshan panday  |  crime

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