Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. PHOTO: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

Zondo wants answers on lack of urgency in declassifying crime intelligence documents

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Sep 23, 2019

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Johannesburg - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo wants answers from Minister of Police Bheki Cele and National Commissioner Khehla Sitole on the lack of urgency in declassifying documents related to alleged criminal activity at crime intelligence.

Legal representatives from Cele's office told Zondo at the state capture inquiry on Monday that they plan to apply to give his version of events in matters mentioned by Hawks official Kobus Roelofse who testified at the commission last week.

Roelofse alleged that Cele had been paid money to push through the restructuring of the crime intelligence cluster when he was the national commissioner of police.

Adv Griffiths Madonsela, for Cele, said the minister was having troubling compiling his response as he had issues with getting documents declassified.

Zondo said he was surprised that Cele was having issues as he had hoped the minister would be able to explain to the commission why documents were not being declassified with no proper reasons given.

Roelofse had testified that he had tried numerous times approaching former police commissioners to declassify documents related to corruption at crime intelligence. He was investigating the looting of the crime intelligence secret service fund.

Those who were alleged to be involved in the looting included former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli.

Zondo said the commission needed clear answers as to the status of declassifying documents.

"Arising from Roelofse's evidence, I am very determined that the commission must get a response from the national commissioner on whether he is willing to declassify the information. And if he won't the reasons why he will not. At the face of it appears the documents that are important to solving crimes were classified or not being declassified without proper reasons given to Roelofse," Zondo said.

"I was amazed at the evidence he (Roelofse) gave, and one of the questions I asked him is if he had approached the minister of police to say that different national commissioners have no cooperated and for him to intervene. I thought that since if the national minister of police needs documents declassified it would not be a problem for him."

"It would be very strange to me, especially with documents that deal with possible wrongdoing, that even the minister can be bypassed in terms of some situations."

Political Bureau

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