Johannesburg - The alleged plot to help Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir escape from Zonderwater prison was apparently hatched by two women who were part of a group that included prison officials and inmates.
A highly placed source, who said he has seen Krejcir’s notes containing his escape plan, said: “Krejcir wanted to be escorted by a certain female officer to see a doctor on Saturday.”
He would “then overpower the lady and escape” and, once he had made his daring move, he would be transported in a Mercedes-Benz and cross the border to Swaziland.
The vehicle would be driven by one of the women who were part of the escape plot.
The identities of the two women are known to The Star but are being withheld because revealing them could jeopardise police investigations.
The source said Krejcir had drafted a letter giving “the lady” permission to drive the car across the border.
Once in Swaziland, Krejcir would stay at the Royal Swazi Sun in Ezulwini. It was unclear how long he planned to remain there.
He would then cross into Mozambique, from where he would have been whisked away in a chartered plane to Argentina.
“Once he’s in Argentina, he’s a free man,” the source said.
It is understood that the second woman involved frequently visited Krejcir in prison and smuggled in several cellphones, SIM cards as well as USB cables containing information to help him plan his escape.
Airtime voucher numbers that were used to make phone calls while he was planning his escape were found in his notes. The notes also contained a sketch of the prison building, including the wings where his cell was situated.
The Star understands that the officials have started investigating the cellphone numbers used to load the airtime.
A certain person was instructed to withdraw cash for Krejcir.
According to the notes, said the source, the instruction was to “withdraw cash to the limit”.
“They didn’t want to use credit cards because it would make it easy to track him down,” the source added.
Last Saturday, Correctional Services said it had foiled Krejcir’s plot to escape from prison.
A firearm and several rounds of ammunition were among the items that were confiscated from his cell during a raid.
Also found in the cell were a stun gun, a pepper-spray gun, a screwdriver, a knife, 10 cellphones, SIM cards and memory sticks.
Krejcir was recently found guilty of kidnapping, drug dealing and attempted murder.
He and his seven co-accused were involved in the kidnapping of Bhekithemba Lukhele, whose brother, Bhekisizwe Doctor Nkosi, had stolen and fled with a large supply of drugs worth millions of rand belonging to Krejcir.
O Monday, Krejcir appeared in court in connection with allegedly conspiring to murder forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan and top cop Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba in January last year.
Attempts to get comment from Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela were unsuccessful. He asked to be sent an SMS but hadn’t responded at the time of publication.
Krejcir’s lawyer, Annelene van den Heever, said her client had never tried to escape and she declined to comment further.
Krejcir has blamed the police and a Correctional Services conspiracy for the raids on his cell that revealed his alleged brazen escape bid from prison.
On Monday, Krejcir and his seven co-accused appeared in the high court in Joburg for the start of his murder and conspiracy trial, which ultimately had to be postponed. The eight suspects are accused of conspiring to kill Colonel Nkosana “Killer” Ximba and forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan, the investigators probing the Czech businessman’s alleged illegal activities.
The court learnt on Monday that six of the eight accused are now being represented by advocate Johan Spangenberg, who needs more time to consult with his new clients in preparation for the trial.
Prosecutor Lawrence Gcaba also told the court that new developments in the case meant other documentation would have to handed over to the defence, and did not object to the postponement. The trial will continue on November 9.
After Monday’s proceedings, Krejcir said the raid on his cell was part of a plot against him.
“It is a plan of the conspiracy, I told you. I will comment further later,” he told The Star.
When asked about his general state, he said: “I’m still surviving.”
On Monday, The Star reported of an arrest warrant being issued for Krejcir’s lawyer, Annelene van den Heever. She apparently faced arrest for failing to appear in court as part of an application to provide the police with information on the death of her former client and another man allegedly assassinated by Krejcir, Phumlani Ncube.
Van den Heever claimed she was unable to appear in court because of urgent knee surgery.
On Monday, Van den Heever said her medical certificate had already been given to the magistrate who initially ordered the warrant of arrest, meaning the warrant would not be valid and no arrest could be made.
“There is no warrant out for me,” she said, adding that she had written to the Director of Public Prosecutions about the conduct surrounding the issuing of the warrant.
She added she had every right to refuse to give a statement to the police regarding Ncube.
Van den Heever had not recovered enough from her surgery, and JP Venter appeared on her behalf for Krejcir.