Ex-NPA boss lied: Hawks chief’s lawyer

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THE MERCURY

Suspended provincial Hawks head Johan Booysen with co-accused Paul Mossie Mostert in the Durban High Court. Photo: Gcina Ndwalane

Durban - Former acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba lied about considering four statements before deciding to prosecute suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Maj-Gen Johan Booysen, the Durban High Court heard on Friday.

“She is mendacious… and took into account facts that did not exist,” Anton Katz, SC, for Booysen said.

At the time Jiba decided to charge Booysen, she did not have the four statements in question from Colonel Rajendran Ayer and Ari Danika, a Greek national and former reservist and police informer.

Booysen, in his court papers, said Ayer's statements did not provide any basis to authorise a prosecution and Danikas's statement was not signed or dated and could not be ascribed to him. Even if it could, the contents did not relate to events covered in the indictment.

A hearsay statement from the informant did not implicate Booysen in any offences, Katz said.

Booysen, who was head of the now-disbanded Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit, wanted the court to have racketeering charges against him quashed.

Members of the unit were expected to stand trial on a range of charges, including 28 murder counts. They allegedly carried out paid hits in the KwaZulu-Natal minibus taxi wars. Jiba said in her court papers that the unit acted like an organised crime organisation.

Booysen was charged with managing and participating in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. He was accused of two murders, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

He contended there was no evidence in police dockets that implicated him, other than statements which referred to him as being at or arriving at the scenes of shootings after they took place.

Katz said the NPP's decision to prosecute Booysen was invalid and unconstitutional.

Prosecutor Laurence Hodes said Jiba had made it plain in letters to Booysen's lawyers that there was more information which implicated him, than what was in the four statements in question. There were no requirements for her to detail it all.

There was more than sufficient evidence to prosecute Booysen, he said.

Hodes argued in court papers that the matter ought not to be decided by the court in a piecemeal fashion on Friday, but, if at all, by the eventual trial court.

Judge Trevor Gorven reserved judgment.

Several members of the former Cato Manor unit were in court to listen to the legal arguments. Also there was Penny Katz, the administrator of the unit's supporters' club, which has 13 371 Facebook followers.

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