Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the commission of inquiry into state capture. File photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the commission of inquiry into state capture. File photo: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

State capture inquiry: Key witness admits to involvement in looting of slush fund

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 27, 2019

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Johannesburg - A key witness to the looting of the crime intelligence slush fund has told the Zondo commission that he had falsified claims from the fund which amounted to R100 000. 

Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo testified in camera at the inquiry on Friday. His identity is being protected as he has been living under witness protection for several years. 

This was after he blew the whistle of the millions that were splurged by crime intelligence officials from funds meant to boost the unit’s intelligence work. 

Naidoo detailed the events that led to his decision to speak to Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse and admit his involvement and that of others in alleged corruption. Roelofse testified at the commission last week. 

Naidoo said on October 2011 he met with Roelofse and spoke about the secret service fund and how he administered false claims on instruction from General Solly Lazarus who was the account’s financial officer. 

The funds financed the purchase of expensive vehicles for former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. The money was also used to splurge on overseas holidays for officials including Mdluli. 

He said after he confessed to Roelofse, he later shared the details of his meetings with the Hawks with a colleague and admitted to his involvement. 

“I made numerous admissions about the secret service account. I disclosed this on the 19 of October 2011 of the looting of the secret account by other officials including myself,” Naidoo said. 

Lazarus also questioned Naidoo on why the Hawks were interviewing him. Naidoo said Lazarus was suspicious and upset when that he informed the Hawks that crime intelligence was renting properties from Mdluli and another officer. 

Naidoo took time to recall events of October 20th 2011 when Lazarus and two other officials made an unannounced visit to his home and instructed him to drive around with them. 

He said Lazarus confronted him about what he had told the Hawks. Naidoo said he tried on numerous attempts to deny any wrongdoing and revealing any information that would incriminate officials from crime intelligence. 

“We drove around the block and General Lazarus asked me if there is anything I would like to tell him and I said no. General Lazarus said he heard that I had made some admissions to the Hawks and I denied it,” Naidoo said. 

Earlier, Naidoo told the commission that the house of his relative had been broken into this week and he was not sure whether it was an act of criminality or an attempt to silence him ahead of his testimony. 

He pleaded with Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to ask the Hawks to investigate the matter. 

Naidoo will continue with his testimony on Monday. 

Political Bureau

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