Johannesburg - With just over a month before underworld boss Radovan Krejcir makes his next appearance in court, on the periphery a battle is playing out which could result in a collapse of the State’s case against the Czech fugitive.
Allegations have surfaced that Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba, one of the top crime intelligence police officers in the team investigating Krejcir, was probed for perjury.
But police sources allege the leak of that information is one of many attempts by people on Krejcir’s alleged payroll to discredit officers involved in the investigation.
The Sunday Independent was reliably informed that Ximba, a known ally of suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli, allegedly told the police management that he did not have a criminal record for reckless and negligent driving.
Ximba had allegedly committed the offence in 1999 while he worked at the Vosloorus police station.
When he applied for the post at crime intelligence in 2010, he stated in the application form that he had never been convicted of any crime.
But a case of perjury was registered at Kempton Park police station last year, and then transferred to Pretoria.
Detectives linked to the head office have been probing the allegations of perjury since January last year, but are yet to arrest him.
However, spokesman Solomon Makgale, when given the case number earlier this week, said the case was closed in March last year and was considered “false”.
He would not say who was being investigated, as suspects can only be named once they appear in court and plead.
Makgale said it was clear that attempts were being made to distract investigators from their work.
“We are not going to entertain stories from faceless sources that are clearly aimed at casting aspersions on the good work the police have done in ensuring that Krejcir and others are arrested,” he said.
Ximba would not comment when contacted this week.
Krejcir is facing charges of kidnapping, assault and attempted murder, along with Desai Luphondo and Hawks members Samuel Modise “Saddam” Maruping and Machache George Jeff Nthoroane.
They were arrested last month in relation to an incident in June, in which they allegedly kidnapped and assaulted a man whose brother disappeared with a 25kg shipment of tik he had been recruited to help smuggle through OR Tambo International Airport in June. They deny all charges against them.
At Krejcir’s most recent appearance in the Germiston Magistrate’s Court last week, his bail application was dismissed. Luphondo was released on R10 000 bail, while Maruping and Nthoroane had theirs fixed at R5 000 each. Krejcir’s lawyer, Eddie Classen, said he had no personal knowledge of allegations about investigations into Ximba, but he had heard about them.
They did not use the allegations in Krejcir’s bail application last week, so he “did not know” about it hampering the investigation. There was also no truth in allegations that people on Krejcir’s payroll were interfering with the investigation.
In the week of the court appearance, Ximba’s past came to the fore when City Press reported that he had a history of torturing suspects, had a criminal record, and was unfit to be a policeman.
The report emerged after Luphondo accused Ximba of strangling him with a plastic bag to elicit a confession from him.
Krejcir’s legal team had asked for a copy of the affidavit, but the State argued that handing over the confession – allegedly made by Luphondo – could jeopardise their case.
Luphondo’s lawyer, Andre Steenkamp, told the court that Ximba had beat the confession out of Luphondo, and that a “shadow was now falling over the State’s case”.
The request was dismissed, and the court ruled that the State was allowed to keep the confession.
The Sunday Independent has been told that the defence teams were likely to use Ximba’s past as a second “shadow” on the State’s case.
Ximba was arrested with Mdluli in 2011 for the murder of Oupa Ramogibe, the husband of Mdluli’s lover, Tshidi Buthelezi, but the charges against them were dropped.
Should Ximba’s criminal record come up in court, it would not be the first time that a police officer’s past impacted on a court case.