Cops who co-operated with businessman Thoshan Panday received 'benefits', Zondo commission hears

Durban businessman Thoshan Panday. (Witness Media, Media24, file)
Durban businessman Thoshan Panday. (Witness Media, Media24, file)

Members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who co-operated with Durban businessman Thoshan Panday in his business dealings "received benefits", the state capture inquiry heard on Wednesday.

Panday was awarded procurement contracts with the SAPS during the 2010 World Cup, which eventually led to a full criminal investigation by the KwaZulu-Natal Hawks, although the charges were later withdrawn.

READ | Former KZN police boss instructed Booysen to shut down 'Panday investigation' - state capture inquiry hears

Retired Scorpions Colonel Johannes van Loggerenberg testified that certain SAPS members had been rewarded by Panday for their various roles.

Provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni

"We discovered that the provincial commissioner arranged a surprise birthday party for her husband at a restaurant in Umhlanga Rocks. We discovered that the R10 000 deposit was paid for by Panday and the balance we discovered was paid on Panday's credit card," Van Loggerenberg said.

The bash for Ngobeni's husband, Brigadier Lucas Ngobeni, which reportedly cost R20 000, came at a time when he was a suspect in a fraud investigation.

ALSO READ | State capture: Booysen claims Madhoe, Panday prosecution decision was "an attack on me'

Panday allegedly returned to the restaurant following the party, seeking an invoice.

"Panday went to the restaurant [and] asked the manager to give him an invoice in the name of the provincial commissioner. It [the invoice] could show that Panday [may have] used it for tax benefits, or the provincial commissioner appointed him for the birthday," Van Loggerenberg said.

Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen previously told the commission that Ngobeni had instructed him to shut down the sensitive investigation into the businessman.

Colonel Navin Madhoe

The Zondo commission further heard how Colonel Navin Madhoe, who was responsible for supply chain management within SAPS, had helped Panday register his companies on the police database.

"Madhoe supplied him with the applications for the database. He then gave it to a member who drove up to Pretoria by vehicle and they arranged for him to be put on the database asap. It never went through the proper channels, which is to send it by post," Van Loggerenberg said.

Madhoe was rewarded with a holiday to Cape Town and a vehicle, according to the retired colonel.

"Colonel Madhoe went on holiday in Cape Town with his family and we discovered it was paid for by Panday. He also bought him a vehicle," he added.

Panday and Colonel Madhoe were later charged with corruption for allegedly attempting to bribe Booysen in 2011 with R2m to backdate a report on an investigation into accommodation tenders worth R60m, News24 earlier reported.

Charges were previously withdrawn against the pair "in the interests of justice", but were later reinstated in 2016 by former NPA boss advocate Shaun Abrahams.

To this day, neither party has appeared in court on charges of corruption.

The inquiry continues.

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