Top investigator says he was 'intimidated' to stop him from appearing before Zondo
Johannesburg - Police official Kobus Roelofse on Tuesday told the state capture commission of inquiry that attempts were made by top officials in the SA Police Service to stop him from giving testimony on alleged corruption in South Africa's law enforcement.
"I have, in the last couple of months, received increasing intimidating messages, which I consider as attempts to stop me from testifying at this commission. I do not want to mention names at this time, because I need to protect them. I was not expecting that at all...its a little bit sad that it happened. But it's not affecting my testimony. I am just placing it on record that it has happened, chairperson," said Roelofse.
Roelofse's evidence concerns illegal activities by senior officials in crime intelligence dating back to 2009, which he said were never fully investigated.
Commission chairman Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo condemned the intimidation and thanked Roelofse for agreeing to testify after inquiry investigators asked him to.
Notices were sent to at least 53 people implicated in Roelofse's evidence, said evidence leader Advocate Vershucka September.
Those implicated included the disgraced former head of crime intelligence Richard Mdluli and four of his family members, some of the previous national police commissioners and a former top officer he named as General Chris Ngcobo. Roelofse said Ngcobo was a divisional head at crime intelligence. All notices were received except that of Ngcobo, whom investigators have been searching for for over three weeks, said September.
"Investigators liaised with senior crime intelligence officers to try to locate Ngcobo but to no avail. His wife is employed at the SA Revenue Services but efforts to reach her too were unsuccessful so far. Over 70 phone numbers were furnished to investigators but none went through to Ngcobo."
Roelofse said his career in the SAPS started in the 1980s. He was a senior investigator at the Directory for Priority Crime Intelligence (Hawks) and has since been seconded to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). Roelofse testified at the Mokgoro inquiry and also investigated Mdluli and those close to him when he headed crime intelligence.
The Mokgoro inquiry probed the fitness of state Advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi.
Roelofse's testimony will reveal alleged corruption and obstruction of justice in South Africa's law enforcement. He will also shed light on the crime intelligence secret bank account, also known as a slush fund, that was allegedly looted by top officials. Millions of rands were allegedly used to purchase luxury items such as expensive vehicles, with Mdluli and several of his relatives benefiting from the plunder.
African News Agency/ANA