Ex-KZN Hawks head major-general Johan Booysen, former President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward, and wealthy Durban businessman Thoshan Panday are all in the spotlight at the State Capture Commission. Legalbrief reports that Zuma’s son allegedly attempted to get Booysen to unfreeze R15m seized from Panday. And Booysen said he would repeatedly be ordered to stop a probe into Panday’s dodgy deals at SAPS. Booysen told the commission that his secretary received a request from someone claiming to be Zuma’s brother in June 2010. ‘The gentleman arrived at the office. The gentleman introduced himself as Edward Zuma, who is actually not the brother, but the son of the then President,’ Booysen told the inquiry yesterday. He said the visitor described himself as a ‘silent partner’ of Panday ‘and he started talking about the R15m I had frozen … he wanted it to be unfrozen’. A report on the News24 site notes that the former Hawks heavyweight said he then advised Edward to go to Panday and obtain the R900 000 he claimed to have invested. Booysen subsequently requested a meeting with Edward’s father to alert him to what his son was up to. Two meetings took place at Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla. A TimesLIVE report notes that Booysen also claimed that Mmamonnye Ngobeni, who previously served as the province’s police commissioner, ordered him to drop an investigation into Panday. He told the inquiry that it was an ‘unlawful’ instruction. The Daily Maverick reports that Booysen, boasting an unblemished career spanning over 40 years in the service, is the first senior career policeman to testify at the commission.
Earlier, former Ipid head Robert McBride testified that when Jacob Zuma’s State Capture project reached peak feeding frenzy in 2016, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko deliberately employed a convict with a fake SA citizenship as the chief of staff in his office. Nhleko also circumvented the usual security clearance processes for this sensitive position. As chief of staff, Zimbabwean citizen Leon Moyo was given access to highly classified information being sent to the Minister of Police’s office. The question then – which McBride asked the commission – notes a Daily Maverick report, is ‘why would a government Minister want an illegal immigrant as his chief of staff?’ Nhleko, who was appointed by Zuma in May 2014, must have known Lionel Mbangwa was not who he said he was. Instead of obtaining security clearance through the usual vetting process by the State Security Agency, Nhleko turned instead to Ipid to slip Moyo/Mbangwa into the system – and he did it while former Gauteng Hawks head Anwa Dramat, McBride, Ipid chief investigator Matthews Sesoko and Limpopo investigator, Innocent Khuba, were all suspended by Nhleko on the now infamous and spurious ‘Zimbabwe rendition’ investigation.
McBride also told the commission the SAPS runs on patronage. ‘That is how it has been running. Promotions in this area will be related to protecting seniors involved in corruption and maladministration. It is a system that has not been challenged,’ McBride is quoted as saying in a News24 report. He was testifying about alleged attempts to capture the SAPS, the Hawks and the NPA. McBride delved into alleged corruption at the SAPS, and described how police were used against Ipid when he launched an investigation into the relationship Police Commissioner General Kgomotso Phahlane had with service providers. He said a counter-investigation within the police service aimed at protecting corrupt senior officials was launched.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has denied former SARS boss Tom Moyane leave to cross-examine Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhanat the commission, says a Business Day report. Zondo, who chairs the inquiry, said the test for cross-examination is whether it is necessary and relevant to the commission’s work. In delivering his judgment, Zondo spent some time highlighting the commission’s rules. ‘The first requirement (for cross-examination) … is that the statement or evidence of the witness whom he or she wishes to cross-examine implicates him or her. If he or she fails to show this, his or her application is defective,’ Zondo said, noting Moyane had not shown ‘he is implicated in Gordhan’s statement or evidence’. It was also found that Moyane’s affidavit did not adequately respond to the relevant parts of Gordhan’s testimony. Zondo said Moyane did not clearly identify which parts of Gordhan’s statement he disputed or denied. ‘Neither in his founding affidavit or in his supplementary affidavit did (Moyane) deal with the issue on why granting him leave to appeal is necessary and in the best interests of the work of the commission,’ Zondo added. In March, notes the report, Moyane’s lawyer, Dali Mpofu, in arguing for leave to cross-examine Gordhan, alleged that the Minister was racist towards Moyane and referred to a phone call in which Gordhan allegedly told Moyane to ‘grow up’. Mpofu argued that this amounts to racism, because it implies that Moyane is a ‘boy’. He claimed Gordhan’s affidavit was ‘more significant for what it omits than what it says’.