Suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigator Cedrick Nkabinde has denied claims that he had offered to help Crime Intelligence officer Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala get bail because his case was politically motivated.
This is what the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria heard on Wednesday, by way of affidavit, during Tshabalala's second attempt at securing his release on bail. He was initially denied bail in January.
Tshabalala's attorney Mpesi Makhanya, who was called to testify, told the court that Nkabinde, who was the investigating officer in the Tshabalala matter before being suspended in May, called him on the morning of his client's previous court appearance in June.
Makhanya testified that Nkabinde told him: "My brother, I wish I could assist that brother (Tshabalala). He must be out on bail and not in detention."
Makhanya then allegedly asked Nkabinde why he said that and he was told that Tshabalala's case involved a lot of politics. Which is why Nkabinde wanted to be called to court to testify in favour of the former Crime Intelligence operative.
However, in a sworn affidavit presented to court by prosecutor Chris Smith, Nkabinde denied that he wanted to testify in a bid to have Tshabalala released on bail.
He said he had received a call from prison personnel who asked if IPID would help to escort Tshabalala from Kgosi Mampuru II prison to court.
He then allegedly called Makhanya to find out if Tshabalala was due in court so that he could give the prison personnel the relevant contact details of IPID members who could help them.
"At no stage did I say Morris Tshabalala should be released on bail," Nkabinde said in his affidavit.
"At no stage did I say I will come to testify on behalf of the accused person."
"I only said that I will come to testify only if the court requires me to do so and that was on the basis that I am the investigating officer in the case…"
Nkabinde said he relayed this information to Makhanya during a second phone call, where Makhanya asked if Nkabinde would testify as there were discrepancies in his initial affidavit.
Makhanya claimed that Nkabinde's version was a "blatant lie" and that he would never testify to anything that was not true as it would jeopardise his future as an attorney.
Nkabinde, who also investigated the fraud and corruption case against former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, has also been accused of changing his stance against Phahlane.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini previously said two of their investigators and a vetting officer were offered positions in the South African Police Service (SAPS) in return for being part of a conspiracy to undermine IPID investigations against Phahlane and for making false statements against IPID boss Robert McBride.
"IPID has since obtained more evidence which confirms the attempts to corrupt IPID investigators by offering them inducements in return for them implicating McBride in unethical conduct," said Dlamini said in a statement.
'Out of spite and malice'
Dlamini further said that Nkabinde had written to Minister of Police Bheki Cele and made false allegations of unethical conduct against McBride.
"It seems that the allegations are made out of spite and malice. They are contradicted by the evidence at the IPID's disposal, some of it gathered by Nkabinde himself."
McBride also responded, saying Nkabinde's allegations were made to "boost his chances of being accepted by the SAPS, some of whom are under investigation by the IPID".
"We have received information that our investigators were allegedly paid money to make false allegations against IPID investigators who are investigating Phahlane. IPID will not be deterred from pursuing its investigations.
"This latest move by Nkabinde and his SAPS pals is clearly calculated to torpedo the case against Phahlane," McBride said.
Due to conflicting versions of the phone calls between Makhanya and Nkabinde, Magistrate Nicola Setshoege asked that Nkabinde be called to court to testify.
The matter has been postponed to August 2.
Tshabalala, who has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption relating to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices to the tune of R563 005 for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria, claimed that he paid the money to the distributor.
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