Whistleblower testifies that fence erected at Mthethwa's home was allegedly paid for from Crime Intelligence slush fund

2019-10-02 14:50
Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)

Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo Images)

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A boundary wall erected at former police minister Nathi Mthethwa's private residence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was allegedly paid for from a Crime Intelligence (CI) slush fund, the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture has heard.

Whistleblower Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo revealed this at the commission on Wednesday. He is testifying about alleged looting of the secret service account (SSA) within CI. 

"I was informed by Lazarus that we needed to do upgrades at the minister's house. I am not sure where the instruction came from. This was to put up a boundary wall at the minister's home, I was given the instruction by Lazarus, and he received an instruction from General Mdluli," he explained.

Naidoo was referring to the former chief financial officer (CFO) of Intelligence, General Solly Lazarus and former Intelligence head, Richard Mdluli.

The whistleblower recalled flying to the property on at least two occasions to get the project going.

"I travelled with [agent] FM09 to the minister's property to meet with another agent FM46 who would oversee this project at the minister's house. This was purely to familiarise FM46 with the property and what needed to be done," he said.

Naidoo further recalled that after a period of time he had a conversation with Mdluli where he was informed that the former police minister allegedly inquired about the delay in completing the fence.

"I informed with Lazarus, we made arrangements to fly to KZN and meet with FM46.

"Minister Mthethwa's concerns about the delay was indeed correct because there was hardly any work done. I think only a few trenches had been dug up," he explained.

The CI official believes that the costs for this operation were roughly just under R200 000 and this amount covered labour, building materials and other related costs.

Mthethwa has since indicated through his lawyers that he intends to pursue a defamation case after he was implicated by Naidoo this week and former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen earlier this year in allegations over a car and the erection of the fence on his property. 

On Thursday, Naidoo told the commission that a Mercedes-Benz was purchased for Mthethwa to the tune of R300 000 from the CI slush fund. He further testified that the vehicle was returned after Mthethwa believed he was being followed by journalists, News24 reported.

ALSO READ: Zondo Commission: Here are the vehicles allegedly bought using state funds and used by former intelligence boss Mdluli and his relatives

In April, Booysen told the commission that irregular payments were made through the fund to construct the wall at Mthethwa's house, according to IOL.

Mthethwa, in a statement through his lawyer, Eric Mabuza, states that the Auditor-General had not found any evidence that the minister knew the fence was being erected using secret funds, or that he had contravened any policy or procedures. There was also no evidence that the minister had signed off on the quality of the construction, News24 earlier reported.

"Throughout my service to the nation I have always been guided by the ethos that commitment to integrity and the national interest is an obligation and not an option. The resources entrusted in the care of leaders are strictly and exclusively for the service of the nation.  This is the creed that will continue to inform the execution of my duties in any capacity.

"While I accept that leaders, whether in the public or private sectors, and indeed across civil society, must always be subject to scrutiny, it is regrettable and deplorable that there are those in society who have no regard for the truth or facts and will continue to peddle falsehoods for the purpose of besmirching and tarnishing the reputations of others, for reasons best known to themselves.  I continue to trust in the efficacy of our institutions, certain in the assurance that justice always triumphs," Mthethwa concluded in the statement.

Naidoo, who testified in-camera at a secret location, completed his evidence on Wednesday.

Read more on:    nathi mthethwa  |  zondo commission of inquiry
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