Durban - Two alleged Durban drug bosses with ties to the taxi and tow truck industries in Phoenix were able to infiltrate the Hawks narcotics unit, use corrupt officers to bring down their rivals and pit officers in the unit against one another.
In addition, they were able to gather sensitive information from the officers such as planned drug operations and intelligence gathered from wiretaps.
These allegations are contained in an explosive affidavit that was signed under oath by a former commander at the South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau of the Hawks in Durban.
He alleges that several fellow police officers, including those from the Organised Crime Unit, National Intervention Unit and the Dog Unit were on the books of a prominent Phoenix drug lord.
All the names of those implicated are known to the Daily News.
The officer, a lieutenant-colonel, is himself under investigation for allegedly having links to a rival drug lord and alleged head of a notorious street gang in Phoenix.
He was moved from the narcotics unit of the Hawks to the organised crime unit.
In a 21-page sworn affidavit, signed at the KZN police headquarters on May 9, the policeman acknowledges that the National Anti-Corruption Task Team had come to Durban to investigate him for alleged ties to a Phoenix gangster who is in Westville prison facing charges of drug dealing.
The policeman, while admitting to socialising and exercising with the gangster, denies any nefarious activities with him.
He also denies accusations by fellow officers that the gangster bought his Golf 7, that he owns four taxis paid for by the man, and that he has an interest in a security company run by the gangster.
He, however, points the finger at an allegedly corrupt clique of officers from various units in Durban who he claims are working with an alleged Phoenix drug dealer - a rival to the man he is accused of being in cahoots with.
The officer makes several allegations against his fellow officers, chief among them:
- That police officers have stolen drugs and money from crime scenes and in some instances sold the drugs back to drug dealers.
- That the officers named in the statement are working with and sometimes at the behest of drug dealers.
- That officers use services such as tow trucks from drug dealers.
- That the officers have tipped off drug dealers about investigations into them.
- That some officers were seen spending large amounts of money at casinos, presumably the proceeds of working with drug dealers.
IOL sent national Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi a detailed media enquiry last week. This week he said he was still waiting for responses to questions posed by the from his colleagues in Durban. At the time of publishing, none had been received.