The family of fugitive Czech mobster Radovan Krejcir fears that he could soon be murdered if he isn’t moved out of Leeuwkop maximum prison urgently.
“Now, more than ever, we feel like his life is in genuine danger,” Krejcir’s daughter-in-law Marlene told the Saturday Star.
On Monday, Krejcir lost an urgent bid to be moved from Leeuwkop prison. The 50-year-old wants to be moved from the prison in Bryanston as he is convinced the head of the prison, Anthony Gina, instructed a fellow inmate to poison him by lacing his sugar.
But prison officials have rubbished all of Krejcir’s claims, including the alleged “hit” on his life.
Krejcir claimed fellow inmate Vusi Mkhefa was promised early release if he “did the job”, but he got cold feet and instead handed Krejcir “the small bag” which contained an alleged lethal substance.
“I am fearing for my life,” Krejcir said in papers filed before the Gauteng High Court.
According to a confirmatory affidavit by Mkhefa, which was seen by the Saturday Star, Mkhefa was approached by Gina to assist him with a favour.
“He transferred me to the single cells to be close to the cell of Mr Krejcir. Gina informed me he would provide me with a substance to put in the food (sugar) of Mr Krejcir,” said Mkefa in his affidavit.
“I would be placed in a cell where I would be in a position to use the milk and sugar before I pass it to Mr Krejcir. Mr Gina was vague as to the nature of the substance.
“He requested me to keep the substance on my body. He suggested that I place it in my anus wrapped in plastic, when searches of the cell are conducted.”
Mkhefa claimed he was asked to do the “job” on the weekend of June 14. “Mr Gina made it clear that Mr Krejcir is a problem to him and his wife and that I should assist him with this favour. He promised I will be released early if I do.
“This whole arrangement made me deeply uncomfortable... I informed Mr Krejcir that I am under pressure from Mr Gina and I also fear for my life since this is very sensitive information.”
Krejcir’s daughter-in-law, Marlene, said the family were deeply disturbed by the alleged “hit” and wanted him urgently transferred or for Gina to be removed from his position.
“We are incredibly worried because we are sure that Gina will try to find another way to do something to Radovan,” she said.
“We are saddened by the fact we can now clearly see that Radovan cannot receive a fair trial in South Africa.”
Krejcir, who is serving a 35-year sentence following a string of convictions, which include drug trafficking, kidnapping and attempted murder, has complained on numerous occasions about the alleged ill-treatment he receives at Leeuwkop.
Marlene said her father-in-law was finding it “terribly difficult” in the prison.
“Prison is hard enough, but he has been kept in segregation for over 18 months with no proper doctor access."
“He has two 10-minute monthly phone calls in only English, so he can’t speak to his own mother and has not seen his family members for over five years."
“This has made it even harder."
“He can’t even picture what his youngest son looks like."
“They completely ignore his court orders for an orthopaedic mattress. His cell is too small."
"Now the head of the prison is actually trying to kill him since actual poison exists and it can’t be taken as merely a threat.”
Her father-in-law’s access to the prison shop, too, has been revoked “probably so he could not get other sources of food and that he would 100% guarantee” take the poisoned sugar.
But Department of Correctional Services (DCS) spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said the allegations were not new and investigations conducted by the department had cleared Gina of any wrongdoing.
“The department has dealt extensively with frivolous allegations, which are often brought by inmate Krejcir,” said Nxumalo.
“At first, it was inhumane conditions and unfair treatment and our investigations revealed there was no such."
“When this failed, Mr Krejcir started pointing fingers at Mr Gina. Investigations cleared Mr Gina and the department has absolute confidence in him."
“Somehow, this does not sit well with Mr Krejcir hence the stance of moving from one media house to the other trying to sell a narrative that must paint Mr Gina in a negative light.”
Nxumalo added the allegation of attempted poisoning was completely false, which had been corroborated by Mkhefa in a signed sworn statement on July 30, which the Saturday Star has seen.
“In his statement, offender Mkhefa states that offender Krejcir’s lawyer visited him on July 19 as a legal visitor and gave him a typed statement for him to sign,” said Nxumalo.
“He further states he did not read the contents of the statement or had no knowledge what the sworn statement entailed as he was under the impression that it was related to his request for assistance by Mr Krejcir’s lawyer for the appeal process.”
Nxumalo said some of the contents in Mfheka’s sworn statement alleged “some disturbing planning on the part of Mr Krejcir” to be used to tarnish the image of Gina and his wife.
“It is this sworn statement, which further mentions that Mkhefa was instructed to say he received poison from Mr Gina to put it in Krejcir’s food.”
Nxumalo dismissed claims that Krejcir’s rights to buy food from the prison shop had been revoked and said Krejcir’s medical issues were attended to.
Emerantia Cupido, spokesperson for the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) said Krejcir had raised a number of new complaints to the JICS, which were forwarded to the DCS.
“However the inmate has not lodged any concerns/complaints for his safety at Leeuwkop with JICS. The inmate has also not reported to the JICS that his life has been threatened or that someone has tried to poison him, and therefore this has not been investigated.”