Picture: Karen Sandison/ANA
Picture: Karen Sandison/ANA

Crime intelligence spent R5m on unqualified agents/relatives of officials

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Oct 1, 2019

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Johannesburg - Crime intelligence officer Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo has told the Zondo commission that an estimated R5 million was spent on agents who had no skills and were relatives of crime intelligence officials. 

Naidoo took the stand for a third day on Tuesday at the inquiry and continued his testimony which focused on the looting of the crime intelligence secret fund. 

Naidoo told the commission that former chief financial officer for the secret fund General Solly Lazarus had created vacant posts within crime intelligence. A total of 250 posts were available for various positions. He said former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli had seven members of his family who were employed as agents. 

Naidoo said all of those appointed had no relevant experience with intelligence work. The agents were appointed to different levels ranging from colonels, warrants officers, sergeants and even captains. They were paid comfortable salaries which ranged between R50 000 and R100 000. 

Lazarus also appointed a family member who was a former police officer in KwaZulu-Natal but was fired and convicted of corruption. 

Naidoo was the handler for the agents and would sort out their administrative issues such as salaries and claims. He said did all the administrative matters but he knew very little about these agents duties. 

The R5 million spent by crime intelligence on these agents was an estimated amount for the period of between March 2010 and October 2011 when Naidoo was taken into witness protection for blowing the whistle on the looting of the slush fund. 

He said some of the agents would not report for duty and would instead be out shopping at the mall. 

"On numerous occasions, they would not be in the office they would be at home or be at the mall shopping. I know this because when I called them they would tell me they are at the mall," he said. 

Naidoo said some of the agents were appointed to crime intelligence cyber centre, but they lacked the skills for such roles and had to be taken to an R20 000 training. 

"I was responsible for setting up the internet cafe which cost R75 000. Chair, I do not think they had any particular level of computer skill. They went for a very basic training course. This particular unit where they based was a cybercrime unit and I believe they needed the experience to work in this environment," Naidoo said. 


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