EFF calls for Mahlobo’s arrest after damning testimony
Durban - The EFF says it will open a criminal case against former State Security Minister David Mahlobo who is alleged to have directed monthly payments of up to R4.5 million to former President Jacob Zuma from State Security Agency coffers.
This comes after former minister Sydney Mufamadi’s explosive testimony before the Zondo Commission in which he alleged Mahlobo had channelled millions of SSA funds to Zuma and judges to influence outcomes of cases against Zuma. Mufamadi had been appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to chair the High-Level Review Panel into the State Security Agency, which found in 2018 that there had been politicisation and factionalisation of the intelligence by factions in the ANC.
In his evidence, Mufamadi placed Mahlobo and Zuma at the heart of an extensive scheme named “Project Commitment” of the Special Operations unit which funnelled millions of SSA money to Zuma to maintain Zuma’s financial upkeep through cash delivered to the former head of state by Mahlobo himself.
“We were told that the project involved providing the then president with R2.5m per month in the 2015/16 financial year and this amount was increased to R4.5m per month in the 2016/17 financial year.”
He said other projects overseen by the unit included “Project Wave” for which an alleged R24m of SSA money was used to infiltrate the media to counter bad publicity about Zuma and the country, locally and abroad.
Another one was “Project Justice”, which was allegedly aimed at influencing the outcomes of cases against Zuma through the recruitment and handling of judges through bribes.
EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo said the party wanted all the sources within the judiciary who were allegedly on the payroll of or handled by the “Project Justice” scheme to be revealed.
He said the EFF would open a criminal case against Mahlobo for his execution of these projects, particularly the alleged infiltration of the judiciary and the millions in monthly payments to Zuma.
“Surely, Justice Zondo understands the importance of an urgent revelation of these names so that they are all immediately suspended and taken through a due disciplinary and criminal process.
“Our judiciary must be independent. Moreover, our justice must never be for sale and available to the highest bidder.”
Pambo also called for the immediate prosecution of those who had allegedly presided over “Project Justice”, including Mahlobo, for overseeing a classic case of defeating the ends of justice.
“An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of a democratic society, as the rule of law depends on a credible and publicly legitimate court system. Moreover, South Africans ought to be assured that our judges cannot be bought, particularly by state institutions.
“The buying of judges by SSA is a violation of the Constitution and the principle of separation of powers. As such, all who were bought or handled by the SSA within the judiciary ought to be named and shamed.”
* This story will be updated when Mahlobo responds to a request for comment.