Hawks official Colonel Kobus Roelofse took the stand for a second day. Screengrab
Hawks official Colonel Kobus Roelofse took the stand for a second day. Screengrab

Zondo commission hears jobs for families, friends loomed large at crime intelligence

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 18, 2019

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Johannesburg - The Zondo commission heard more revelations about how crime intelligence’s secret service account was looted by officials to purchase cars, employ unqualified family members and fund overseas trips. 

Hawks official Colonel Kobus Roelofse took the stand for a second day on Wednesday and detailed his investigation into the swindling of millions from the account. The account is meant to fund special operations for the unit and is not meant for personal lifestyles. 

The bulk of Roelofse’s evidence relies on information provided by former crime intelligence official Colonel Dhanajaya Naidoo. Naidoo blew the whistle and has been under witness protection for years. 

Roelofse told the inquiry how former crime intelligence chief financial officer General Solly Lazarus approved the use of the secret service account for the purchase of vehicles for crime intelligence officials, which was illegal according to Roelofse. 

He spoke of cars which ranged from two Mercs, a BMW and a Lexus. All the cars were used by former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. The cars cost the unit R3 million. 

Another official, who was not directly employed by crime intelligence, had also benefited with an Audi Q5 being purchased for her using the secret fund account.

Roelofse said the official had her benefits which provided her with a car and a driver and she was not entitled to the car purchased by CI as she was not even an agent. 

Another revelation related to the security upgrades that were funded using the secret service account. Mdluli pocketed R190 000 in security upgrades to his home in Boksburg. 

Another official benefited from R40 000 being spent for security upgrades to her home. 

“Colonel Naidoo informed me that General Mdluli received security upgrades to his house. The value of that upgrade was valued at R190 000. I have the documentation showing this transaction which is classified. These were upgrades to his private home which is situated in Boksburg.”

“The other general who received a security upgrade to her home which amounted to R40 000. I was not provided with the documents from crime intelligence. I was able to verify through bank statements and invoices of the service provider,” Roelofse said. 

The Hawks official also revealed that crime intelligence also funded security upgrades for former minister of police Nathi Mthethwa in KwaZulu-Natal. 

“According to Colonel Naidoo, he informed me about the upgrades that were undertaken at the private residence of former minister of police Nathi Mthethwa in KZN. There was a risk assessment done in May 2010 on the instruction of General Mdluli. Colonel Naidoo submitted the claim for R195 000. It was three payments to that value,” he said. 

Crime intelligence was also abused by officials to hire family members and friends who had no experience with crime intelligence. Mdluli, Lazarus and a former SAPS employee Panganathan Marimuthu hired friends and family. 

Roelofse said in some cases civilians who had no experience were hired into high ranks of colonel or captain. He said these people brought no benefit to crime intelligence as they were employed illegally and had no experience. 

“Colonel Naidoo gave me a list of names, friends and family and friends of Mr Marimuthu who were appointed within crime intelligence,” he said. 

“The civilians that were appointed is more controversial than the others. These are individuals who had no experience with crime intelligence or intelligence gathering.”

The inquiry continues.


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