Durban – Controversial Durban police officer Colonel Navin Madhoe has taken NDPP Shaun Abrahams to court to challenge his decision to reinstate corruption charges against him and businessman Thoshan Panday.
Madhoe and the politically-linked Panday allegedly tried to bribe KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major General Johan Booysen.
The application, filed in the Durban High Court, could see Abrahams pitted against KwaZulu-Natal’s head of prosecutions Moipone Noko. She decided to withdraw charges against Madhoe and Panday in 2014, claiming there was no winnable case.
The pair allegedly offered Booysen R2m in return for what was said to be a crucial document in a R60m FIFA World Cup police accommodation tender fraud case.
Madhoe is a career police officer, who is still the head of procurement in KwaZulu-Natal. He was arrested in a filmed "sting operation". Panday was linked to the case through cash allegedly handed over in a suitcase.
Noko withdrew the charges after the two made representations. Last year, Abrahams informed them that the corruption charges would be reinstated.
Madhoe wants Abrahams' decision declared "unlawful" because it goes against Noko’s decision. Abrahams gave no good reason "other than, there is evidence in the police docket", Madhoe says in his affidavit, in which he cites both advocates as respondents.
'He is talking rubbish'
He blames Booysen for Abrahams' decision and claims the policeman and the prosecutor are trying to "settle scores", and that he is just a pawn in the matter.
"Abrahams authorised racketeering and murder charges against Booysen (in the Cato Manor death squad case) in February last year. Booysen alleges a political conspiracy involving Panday and Abrahams.
"In order to counter and neutralise this theory, Abrahams publicly announced to the entire national and international media that we were to be charged. Even Booysen said it was a cynical move," Madhoe says.
He repeatedly claims in his affidavit that he is an important witness in Cato Manor trial, which is pending before the Durban High Court.
But, in an interview with News24, Booysen said the witness list had long been finalised – as confirmed by the prosecutor in open court – and Madhoe had never been on it. There was also no statement from him.
"He is talking rubbish," Booysen said.
Noko’s reasons for dropping the charges form part of the court documents. She alleges Booysen wanted to "silence Madhoe" because of his "damning evidence against him".
'Conjecture, innuendo, and untruths'
She claimed to have evidence of a conspiracy to oust KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni so that Booysen could take her place.
Booysen, in an official document, describes Noko’s reasons as "verbose, permeated with conjecture, innuendo, and untruths".
Panday has not launched a similar challenge. His attorney was in court monitoring proceedings when the matter came before Judge Jacqui Henriques on Monday.
Both Abrahams and Noko had filed notices of opposition. The matter was adjourned for them to file papers.
Ngobeni had been suspended from duty ahead of an internal investigation into allegations that she had a corrupt relationship with Panday. She allegedly interfered with the investigation into his role in the World Cup fraud matter. She had launched her own court challenge to this.
Booysen was also suspended. He and the remaining 26 accused in the Cato Manor case appeared briefly in court this week. They were all challenging the decision to prosecute them. Their matter was adjourned until September this year.