The vicious battle in Police Intelligence is intensifying.
- A top-level task team, which is in contact with the National Prosecuting Authority and the SAPS’s Hawks, is probing to dig up dirt on the accusers and perceived enemies of controversial Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
- Despite Police minister Nathi Mthethwa’s repeated denials, a well-placed source has confirmed that there has been interference in the criminal investigations against Mdluli.
- Major General Mark Hankel, the officer responsible for a damning report on Mdluli, has dismissed a series of bizarre allegations relating to him that are being probed by the task team as part of a “deliberate disinformation campaign”.
- An old allegation relating to confiscated perlemoen that went missing has been resuscitated for investigation in relation to Hawks head Anwa Dramat.
The intrigue comes in the wake of Mthethwa announcing days ago that Mdluli is to be transferred, pending investigations into his (Mdluli’s) allegations that he was the victim of a politically driven conspiracy.
The top spook task group probing Mdluli’s enemies is understood to be feeding intelligence to an investigating team which, it was announced last week, would investigate the Mdluli saga and be headed by state legal adviser Enver Daniels.
This team includes Lieutenant-General Abel Mxolisi Shilubane from the SANDF, Stan Noosi from State Security, and the head of police legal services, Lieutenant General Julius Molefe.
At the top of the spooks’ target list is Hankel, Mdluli’s former number two, who submitted a report to Inspector General Faith Radebe on alleged corruption, maladministration and abuse of secret slush funds by Mdluli and his cohorts in Police Intelligence.
On the basis of the report - based on investigations by senior Hawks and former Scorpions investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse - Radebe recommended that criminal charges be investigated. Though the contents of the report have not seriously been challenged, the NPA controversially declined to proceed.
Meanwhile, a decade-old murder allegation against Mdluli arising from the death of a love rival in Vosloorus has been deflected to a still-outstanding inquest, rather than further criminal investigation.
Weekend Argus has learned that the case against Hankel that is being probed is based largely on testimony gleaned from a long-serving and shadowy agent in Hankel’s undercover network. This agent has turned state witness and is currently in protective custody beyond the borders of SA.
Several startling claims levelled against Hankel are under investigation by the intelligence grouping:
l The source claims that Hankel protected Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and a network of East European fugitives, and that seven intelligence files on East European fugitives were deliberately destroyed. Most notorious of the fugitives is Montenegran crime kingpin Darko Saric, who the source claims was hiding out in a Bedfordview hotel before being moved to Pretoria. Another East European crime boss named as hiding out in SA is Vesselin Lagolin, an associate of Cuban drug smuggler Nelson Yester-Garido, who was arrested last year in connection with a 166kg cocaine bust in Port Elizabeth.
l Brett Kebble killers Mikey Schultz and Nigel McGurk, along with veterans of the shadowy Palto grouping – first contracted as a virtual private army by disgraced former police commissioner Jackie Selebi – continue to be on the books of police intelligence, and continue to enjoy high-level protection regardless of their criminal activities. It is alleged that Hankel intervened to squash investigations into violent incidents involving Schultz, McGurk and their henchmen.
The source has provided information about the notorious gangland killing by Schultz and McGurk of an alleged international Hells Angel hitman known as Red, in November 2002.
In 2007, eminent detective Piet Beyleveldt looked into the matter again and expressed his dissatisfaction with the police investigations. Particularly troublesome was the fact that since deceased police Captain Wayne Kukard, known to have been a liaison with the Palto/Elite operation in Police Intelligence, was on the scene within minutes to take charge. Then, after arresting the killers, he proceeded to get drunk with them – before dropping charges.
Contacted for comment, police spokesperson Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said: “Major General Hankel is of the view that the inquiry does not dignify a response, other than to state that this information is based on lies and forms part of a deliberate disinformation campaign by dubious and desperate persons.”
Mashigo went on to say the allegations “will not withstand a challenge in a court of law”.
Others under investigation include Dramat (for the perlemoen episode) and operational policing head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.
Dramat said he was not prepared to comment on “issues around the whole Mdluli matter”.
Meanwhile, the Weekend Argus has learned the NPA is in consultation with a private forensics company investigating allegedly suspicious prosecutorial decisions taken by suspended prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach.
All of those being probed, along with Major General Mzwandile Petros, were reportedly named as being part of the conspiracy against him by Mdluli in a letter apparently addressed to President Jacob Zuma and Mthethwa. Both Zuma and Mthethwa have denied receiving it.
In addition, sources have claimed Mthethwa did in fact instruct acting police commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, to stop investigations against Mdluli.
According to minutes of a March 27 meeting, Mkhwanazi was in a meeting with his deputies when Mthethwa summoned him to his office.
Sources close to the police said that when Mkhwanazi got to Mthethwa’s office, he found him in the company of Inspector-General of Intelligence Faith Radebe, and that Mkhwanazi was instructed to stop the disciplinary action against Mdluli.
Radebe’s spokesperson Jay Govender declined to comment, and Mthethwa, through spokesman Zweli Mnisi, denied the meeting took place. - Sunday Argus
Additional reporting by Gcwalisile Khanyile