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Cape Town - Pagad member Zakariyah Albertyn has claimed he was approached by an intelligence operative while in custody and offered money in exchange for incriminating evidence about Pagad leader Abdus Salaam Ebrahim.
“The national intelligence came to me and said they are not after me, they are after Abdus Salaam.
“They said to me I can put any amount, figure, money on the table,” Albertyn said.
Hawks spokesman Paul Ramaloko rejected Albertyn’s assertion: “That is not how we do our business.”
Albertyn was speaking outside the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday shortly after Ebrahim’s release from custody.
Ebrahim had been arrested just over a week ago in connection with the murder of three Tanzanians, and the attempted murder of a South African woman, at a shop in Veld Road, Athlone.
Earlier this week Albertyn was taken in for questioning in connection with the same case, but released without being charged.
After his release on Thursday a defiant Ebrahim said Pagad members would not back down in their fight against gangsterism and drugs, and were prepared to be jailed and even die for their cause.
In an emotionally charged address Ebrahim said: “We are not going to stop fighting. We can tell everybody, the gangsters, the drug dealers and those people, especially the Muslim businessmen who launder money for drugs dealers, you can all go to hell. We are not stopping.”
In court earlier Piet Steyn of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said the State was withdrawing the charges against Ebrahim for further investigation.
Pagad members packed the public gallery, and chanted softly as Ebrahim entered the dock. After magistrate Keith le Keur provisionally withdrew the case, relatives and supporters hugged and greeted Ebrahim as he was ushered to the holding cells before his release.
Outside court Tashriq Ahmed, for Ebrahim, said the State’s evidence against his client was “contaminated”. He added that he would consider taking action against the prosecution if the matter was finally withdrawn.
Ebrahim, flanked by a group of Pagad members who chanted Allahu Akbar (God is great) outside court, thanked God that he was freed.
To cheers from his supporters, he said: “We thank our family and friends who stood with us. The reminder for this country is that this is a long struggle. They (the police) will most probably pick us up again and again.
“For our people are dying in this country, our children are being raped and robbed and sodomised and we say ‘no surrender, no retreat’ of the fight against gangsterism and drugs and crime and all evil in this country.”
Ebrahim said police had arrested him in connection with the triple murder last week without asking him whether he had an alibi.
“There is a big conspiracy in this country. It’s clear in the system, somewhere, a lot of people are involved in gangs and drugs and because of this people like ourselves will always be targeted. It’s going to be a long and a hard struggle. We will most probably stand here next week, or next month or next year.
“But one thing we need to tell the people is we cannot be subjugated by this, drugs dens, drug dealers, crime, rape and killing of our people. We say no to it.
“And even if we die in this country or go to prison for life we are not going to accept it. By no means are we going to accept it,” Ebrahim said.
Pagad spokesman Cassiem Parker said the organisation was grateful that Ebrahim had been freed.
“We are relieved that his is back with his family. Pagad feels that a co-operative effort from all parties who are opposed to drugs and gangsterism can further the cause of your children to save them.”