A confidant of former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli used information obtained through torture to claim to his bosses that Julius Malema incited Marikana mine workers before the August 16 massacre, sources say.
The claims by Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba, who is implicated with Mdluli in a murder and kidnapping case, were based on information extracted from jailed miners, according to two official sources independent of each other and close to the events.
The sources allege that miners were taken from their cells and tortured by a covert team from the police’s crime intelligence unit, which reports to Ximba.
The allegations sparked an urgent request to the State Security Agency for further investigation.
But City Press understands the agency has been unable to verify the claims linking former ANC Youth League leader Malema to the incitement of the miners prior to the August 16 massacre.
The torture claims echo complaints made by some 150 miners that they were beaten and tortured in custody.
Some detainees claimed officers took them from police cells to interrogation rooms where they were tortured.
The two sources claim Ximba and his team were instructed to identify the ringleaders of the Marikana massacre and Malema’s alleged role in it.
The covert collection team, the sources allege, took detainees out of cells at several police stations in North West where they were held.
They were not booked out according to police procedure.
When confronted this week, Ximba scoffed at the allegation and said:
“Did you see me there? Go and do an investigation before talking such rubbish!”
He then ended the conversation.
City Press was also told that Ximba reported back to his superiors that Malema was seen at the mine two weeks before the massacre.
Ximba also claimed to his bosses that Malema brought in supporters from Limpopo to incite the workers.
No independent evidence has emerged to support these claims.
The police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), is investigating allegations of assault against police officers at five police stations.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the directorate was not aware of the alleged role of a crime intelligence unit in torture and invited victims to report cases.
Ximba gained notoriety last year when he was arrested with Mdluli and two other police officers for allegedly killing Vosloorus resident Oupa Ramogibe in 1999.
At the time of the murder, Mdluli was detective commander at Vosloorus Police Station and Ximba served under him.
The men were also charged with attempted murder, intimidation, kidnapping, assault and conspiracy to commit murder.
Mdluli and Ximba were suspended from the police.
In February this year, the charges against the men were provisionally withdrawn pending an inquest.
After the charges were withdrawn, both Mdluli and Ximba were reinstated.
Mdluli was suspended again in June for allegedly looting the crime intelligence secret fund of millions of rands.
Ximba, however, stayed on as group commander in covert collection. He is said to have high-level ANC connections which date back to his days as a self-defence unit commander on the East Rand during apartheid.
After Mdluli was appointed as crime intelligence boss in 2009, he promoted Ximba the next year from constable to colonel – a jump of seven ranks in one day.
When the then-Independent Complaints Directorate wanted to arrest Ximba in August 2009 for allegedly torturing two men, he instead ordered his crime intelligence colleagues to arrest the complainant.
He was arrested a month later but the case was eventually withdrawn in January last year.
Malema didn’t answer his phone yesterday, but a spokesperson for the Friends of the Youth League said it was “nonsense” that he bused in supporters to incite violence.
The police and the State Security Agency did not respond to requests for comment.