#MokgoroInquiry: Former Hawks boss Booysen blames Edward Zuma for his troubles
Politics / 5 February 2019, 08:00am / BALDWIN NDABA
Johannesburg - Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen has blamed Edward Zuma’s business interests for his legal troubles with suspended national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) advocate Nomgcobo Jiba.
Edward is the son of former president Jacob Zuma.
Booysen is testifying at the Mokgoro Enquiry led by retired Constitutional Court justice Yvonne Mokgoro.
He said his legal troubles with Jiba began in August 2012 after he turned down a request by Zuma that he allow the police treasury to release an outstanding R15 million payment which was due to controversial businessman Thoshan Panday.
Booysen said Panday was irregularly awarded a contract of R60m by the police to provide accommodation for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. He said he lodged an investigation after obtaining information that the tender procedures were not followed. He said at the time of investigations, R45m had already been paid to Panday.
He said he approached the police management and asked them to freeze the outstanding payment while he was conducting his investigations.
During that period, Booysen said, a man claiming to be Zuma’s brother called him several times, seeking to meet with him.
“I finally agreed to the meeting. During our first meeting, it turned out that it was not Zuma’s brother but his son Edward. At the meeting, Edward asked me to release the funds so as to allow him to receive dividends from the R15m. He told me he was a silent partner in Panday’s company. He also told me that he had invested R900 000 in the company. I then told him, ‘Let me give you advice from a police officer: go and demand your money from Panday. I hope you are going to heed my advice’,” Booysen said.
According to Booysen, his refusal to release the outstanding R15m to Panday and Zuma allegedly led to Jiba authorising that he should be charged.
According to him, Jiba made failed attempts to force the former acting deputy prosecutions boss in KwaZulu-Natal, advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa, to charge him with racketeering. Mlotshwa declined, allegedly on the grounds of lack of sufficient evidence or details of a prosecutorial memorandum.
Mlotshwa had earlier confirmed Booysen’s version when he testified before the same enquiry. He said that due to his refusal to charge Booysen, he was never appointed permanently as director of public prosecutions.
The enquiry heard that KwaZulu-Natal’s current head of public prosecutions, Moipone Noko, was appointed as acting director of public prosecutions in July 2012. A few months after her appointment, Booysen was charged with racketeering.
In September 2013, the Durban High Court set aside Jiba’s decision to prosecute, but the charges were reinstated by former NDPP head Shaun Abrahams in 2015. That prompted Booysen to again approach the high court to review Abrahams’ decision. The review application is still pending.