Evidence of 'meddling' revealed at #MokgoroInquiry
Johannesburg - More revelations on how senior prosecuting officials meddled and sought to influence some of the country’s top criminal cases emerged on Friday.
The Justice Mokgoro Inquiry, which has been running for almost two weeks, further learnt that advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and her counterpart advocate Lawrence Mwrebi in the past called the shots and made dubious requests that went as far as breaching prosecutorial and intelligence legislation.
Giving his testimony at the Inquiry led by retired Constitutional Court Judge Yvonne Mokgoro, Colonel Kobus Roelofse of the SAPS anti-corruption task-team said about eight years ago he formed part of a team that was mandated to investigate former National Crime Intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.
This was in relation to several charges levelled against him which included murder, intimidation, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.
Roelofse told the inquiry that after Mdluli’s arrest in March 2011 some members from the intelligence division had approached him regarding anomalies at the department.
He said they were scared to come out publicly as they feared Mdluli and other senior officials.
These members, Roelofse said, revealed Mdluli alongside another official former procurement head Colonel Hein Barnard had unlawfully used a Secret Service account intended for undercover operations at the department to purchase vehicles and carry out trips for family members.
The two have, however, denied this.
Roelfese said during his investigations he had come across a number of attempts to cover up some of the discoveries he had made.
The inquiry is still set to hear more evidence next week, as it probes the fitness of Jiba and Mrwebi to hold the office of National Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.
Earlier in the day, former acting deputy director of public prosecutions in KZN advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa also detailed how pressure was put on him to carry out prosecutions in controversial cases particularly the infamous Cato Manor killings.
Mlotshwa said there had been relentless instructions from Jiba for him to prosecute.
He recounted that at at one time while he drove back to Port Shepstone he received a call from Jiba informing him there was a matter that had to be enrolled into the courts as a matter of urgency saying to him there was immense “pressure” for them as the NPA to do so.
“I informed her I would read the dockets and make a decision accordingly. She stated the matter was urgent. I responded I did not have prosecutors to urgently look at the documents.
"She informed me that because she was at the OR Tambo Airport, she was going to call me later. She did not call me later,” he said.
Mlotshwa said a few days later he then received a call from advocate Andrew Chauke informing that he has been instructed to appoint a team for prosecutors to handle prosecutions in the Cato Manor matter further adding that there were “very sensitive security issues surrounding the matter.”
Mlotshwa said Jiba charged that he needed to appoint a team of prosecutors to handle the case.
During this time it was then that an indictment had been drawn up Mlotshwa said and that Jiba had informed him it would have to be signed by him.
Mlotshwa said he had serious reservations about the indictment as it had minimal information.
Also taken to task over his relationship status with Jiba, Mlotshwa said he continues to regard her as a big sister and that their relationship has been smooth and there hasn’t been an axe to grind with her.
When asked earlier if he saw his removal coming and how he felt about it, Mlotshwa said signs had been there.
He said when he made up his mind to leave in 2015 it was motivated by the bad treatment he received from his predecessor.