Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria. Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/ANA

Johannesburg - The attorney of former crime intelligence officer, Mpesi Makhanya took the stand at the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court and testified that he believes the case against Morris Tshabalala was politically motivated.

Makhanya testified on Tuesday that he received a call from the suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigator who was the investigating officer in the case against Tshabalala.

Makhanya said Cedric Nkabinde called him on 20 June and told him Tshabalala shouldn't be in jail and must be released on bail.

"My brother I wish you can assist that man because he's supposed to be on bail and not in detention...The case of that man involves a lot of politics. If I could, I wish I could come to court and testify," Makhanya told the court.

Makhanya said he tried to get hold of Nkabinde later that day to come and testify but Nkabinde said he was in KwaZulu-Natal.

Tshabalala was applying for bail for a third time. He was initially denied bail in January.

Makhanya said he read articles in which Nkabinde told the media that Ipid boss Robert McBride instructed him and other investigators to target and push out former acting police commissioners Khomotso Phahlane, Lesetja Mothiba and the present commissioner, General Khehla Sithole.

After reading the articles, Makhanya said that he made his own personal inference that Tshabalala was also targeted.

State prosecutor, Chris Smith asked Makhanya why he came to such a conclusion when Tshabalala was never mentioned in the articles.

Smith said Makhanya's testimony did not assist the matter in any way.

"I've been an attorney for more than 10 years and there is no way on earth I can come on this stand, lie and jeopardise my career," said Makhanya.

Makhanya said his phone records will prove that he did receive a call from Nkabinde.

Earlier, Smith read an affidavit from Nkabinde in which he admitted to calling Makhanya but denied discussing the bail application with him.

Tshabalala's advocate, Annelene van den Heever said it would be in the interest of justice to subpoena Nkabinde to come and testify.

Tshabalala, alias Captain KGB, faces charges of fraud, theft and corruption.

He was arrested in December while checking in with his parole officer in Pretoria central.

Despite having at least two criminal convictions, for armed robbery, masterminding a cash-in-transit heist and attempted murder, Tshabalala had the highest police clearance, and was employed by the crime intelligence unit.

The former crime intelligence officer faces a range of charges including theft and defrauding the slush fund of the South African Police Service (SAPS) crime intelligence unit of more than R500 000.

According to the charge sheet, Tshabalala, in one instance, defrauded the SAPS by falsifying a claim that R470 000 was “needed to pay for blinds and curtains for a safe house” and then pocketed more than R200 000 from it.

The matter was postponed to August 2 to allow Nkabinde to testify.

African News Agency (ANA)