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Cope lays charges against Mahlobo

Former state security minister David Mahlobo. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African New Agency (ANA) Archives

Former state security minister David Mahlobo. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African New Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jul 5, 2022

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Cope MP and deputy president Willie Madisha opened criminal charges of corruption and money laundering against Deputy Minister David Mahlobo at Pretoria’s Lyttleton police station yesterday.

Madisha also announced Cope’s demands to the National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula with regards to all MPs implicated in the Zondo commission report.

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Cope’s demands to Nqakula will affect President Cyril Ramaphosa, ministers, deputy ministers, presiding officers, portfolio committee chairpersons and ordinary MPs.

Cope national spokesperson Dennis Bloem said the party laid criminal charges of money laundering and corruption against the former state security minister for the following reasons:

“In a report released on June 22 by the chairperson of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the commission stated the following on the State Security Agency (SSA):

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1) “Minister Mahlobo on evidence, not only involved himself in the operations but also directed them, he was actively involved in, for example, Project Wave and Project Justice. One of his responses during the commission, was that the law did not prohibit him from getting involved. What is more worrying is his involvement in withdrawals, handling and distributing large sums of money, an aspect that is dealt with separately herein”.

2) “The commission finds therefore that Mr Mahlobo did indeed involve himself in operational matters at State Security Agency, and further that large amounts of cash were delivered to him on several occasions“.

3) Justice Zondo said “Preliminary evidence given about the State Security Agency indicated gross non-compliance with operational and financial directives, especially in establishment of Covert Projects and creation of special purpose vehicles to siphon funds”.

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4) Evidence before the commission is that Minister Mahlobo allegedly delivered money in cash to former president Jacob Zuma as part of “Project Commitment”. Zuma received R2.5 million a month in 2015/16 and the amount was increased to R4.5 million a month in 2016/17.

“The commission recommends that law enforcement agencies should conduct further investigations with a view to the National Prosecuting Authority possibly bringing criminal charges against such people including Arthur Fraser in relation to Principal Agents Network programme and other matters released by evidence before the commission and Mahlobo and Thulani Dlomo regarding State Security Agency’s cash received.”

These are extremely serious allegations and need immediate action, taxpayers’ money was abused and clearly money laundering took place,” said Bloem.

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Bloem said Cope requested the SAPS to use the State Capture and Corruption Inquiry Commission’s report as a basis for investigating all corrupt and money laundering activities that Mahlobo committed during his term as State Security Agency Minister, and to prosecute him for actions prejudicial to the country’s taxpayers.

“We believe that these offences were committed at his workplace, situated at the following address: State Security Head Office, Musanda Complex, Delmas Road, Pretoria,” Bloem said.

He said it is alleged that Mahlobo gave former president Jacob Zuma millions of rand.

“Allegations contained in the report of the Zondo Commission is of a very serious nature. The looting and abuse of taxpayers’ money under the guise of state security must never be tolerated in the country, it is dangerous, therefore needs immediate action from the criminal justice system,” Bloem said.

Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said anyone can open a case, the police would then have to ascertain whether a case really exists and the prosecution would determine whether the case is winnable after considering the evidence before it. Only then would a prosecution be entertained by the NPA.

“The nature of Zondo’s inquiry left much to be desired. There was little by way of serious interrogation of the witnesses especially those that tended to support the state capture narrative. So we should expect that many of the findings and recommendations are going to be challenged. (Gwede) Mantashe has promised to do so. I expect others to do the same. And Ramaphosa will not touch Mantashe. Mantashe has more political clout than Ramaphosa among ANC members and alliance partners. So things are going to be a bit complicated than it seems. Besides Ramaphosa has his own challenges. He is too weak to entertain the possibility of inviting more enemies,” Seepe said.

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