Jackie Selebi: sensational claim revealed

jackie selebi jan 23Reuters Jackie Selebi died after a long illness. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg - Former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s relationship with convicted drug...

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Derby-Lewis does not want out of prison

iol news pic Derby-lewisINDEPENDENT MEDIA Clive Derby-Lewis

Jovial Rantao writes that Chris Hani’s killer, Clive Derby-Lewis, hangs on desperately to his antiquated political views and shows nothing...

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Speaker chooses charm – or harm

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iol news pic si baleka mbeteINDEPENDENT MEDIA Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, opens up during an interview in her office with Karima Brown, chief content officer of Independent Newspapers. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town – Baleka Mbete, Parliament’s boss, has a problem. The boisterous new party, the Economic Freedom Fighters, has vowed to disrupt the institution’s most important occasion – unless she and President Jacob Zuma bend to their will.

The EFF wants Zuma to submit to oral questions in the house before the official opening, to finish a parliamentary question session that was abandoned last August. If this is refused, as Mbete already has done, they will disrupt Zuma’s State of the Nation address (Sona).

In a wide-ranging interview with Independent Media, Mbete seemed caught between two reactions to the EFF’s challenge to her authority.

The first is a charm offensive, reaching out to other political parties in Parliament and even other constituencies outside Parliament to isolate the EFF as the “problem child” and win buy-in from everyone else for the proposed solution.

The second is a purely securocratic response, involving a clampdown on dissent on February 12, even if it means calling armed police into the National Assembly during Sona. It’s an option that will isolate no one but the ruling party and the Speaker herself in the public’s mind, and will cast the EFF as the victims of anti-democratic intolerance.

This week it was the charm offensive that took centre stage. Religious leaders were called to Parliament to intervene, and met with MPs in an effort to defuse the tension ahead of Sona.

She says Parliament has also conceded to the EFF on the need for Zuma to return to the house and finish the aborted August 21 session.

Even though the rules allowed unfinished business to “lapse” at the end of the parliamentary session, she had made “a commitment” to ensure Zuma answers the outstanding matters when he avails himself for questions next month.

“On March 11, the President avails himself for questions. What those questions will be we don’t know. But we have made a commitment that, in addition to them, he will also answer those left over from the last sitting.

“The nature of the engagement with the Presidency is for an extension from the usual time that is given by the Presidency so that on the first occasion that is given, which is March 11, he also answers the questions asked when the session was disrupted on August 21, 2014.”

That’s the carrot. As for the stick, Mbete says: “I am saying to you this is an occasion, not just for Parliament. This is an occasion for the judiciary, for all organs of state, to display what we are about as South Africans.

“I don’t think South Africans are saying we are about undressing and demonstrating. I don’t know what we will be demonstrating on that particular occasion. I don’t know. A person like that, I don’t think will go through the gate, I doubt.”

She said she hoped the security personnel would apprehend and throw out anyone disrupting the day’s proceedings.

Mbete also warned that hecklers in the National Assembly would not be tolerated and anyone involved in such action “would be removed”.

While people have the right to protest and demonstrate, even during Sona, she said, Parliament has the necessary platforms where such unhappinesses can be raised.

“It is during the debate on Sona where MPs can complain, challenge and offend.” The Sona itself was not the occasion for such challenges, she said.

If EFF MPs make good on their threats to up the ante, in the event they are not allowed to wear their signature red helmets and overalls, it could well set the scene for a tense stand-off that will mar and overshadow Zuma’s first address to Parliament for 2015.

Opposition MPs, and the EFF in particular, have been pressing hard to hold members of the executive to account, Zuma especially, saying that he must answer their questions relating to the costs of the exorbitant “security upgrades” to his private Nkandla home.

They also bemoaned his lack of availability to come before Parliament and answer their questions. Most important among these questions is when he intends to start paying back money wasted on non-security expenditure at Nkandla, as directed by the Public Protector following her investigation.

But the ANC has circled the wagons and held the line against what the party believes is an attempt by opposition MPs to “rubbish” Zuma and “discredit” his administration.

The hostilities came to a head last year during the final sitting of Parliament in August, which eventually had to be adjourned, leaving opposition MPs irate over what they considered to be unfinished business on Zuma’s part. Opposition MPs were manhandled by police in the chaotic aftermath of that abandoned session.

In the weeks that followed, opposing sides came to blows on several occasions in the corridors of Parliament, though for its part the ANC favours the Special Investigating Unit’s report on the Nkandla debacle.

That report does not call on Zuma to repay money and shifts a large part of the burden to contractors and officials who were directly responsible for “inflating costs” on the project.

This suggests that even if Zuma takes questions on the issue next month, there will still be no commitment to pay back the money.

If this is the case, Mbete is on to a loser, because there will be no easing of tensions in Parliament during the 2015 session. Please view:

Independent Media


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Dramat: MPs shoot themselves in foot

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iol news pic si dramatINDEPENDENT MEDIA Hawks head Anwa Dramat remains technically suspended as Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko is appealing against a court order reinstating him. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s attempt to have Hawks boss Anwa Dramat removed by Parliament has come temporarily unstuck – because of legislation designed to give him the power to take such action.

Nhleko finds his hands tied after the Constitutional Court in November deleted the subsection of the SAPS Act – which Parliament had twice tried and failed to bring into line with the constitution – that provided for the minister to suspend and ultimately remove the head of the Hawks.

The result is that only the provisions that allow for Dramat’s suspension and removal through a parliamentary process remain in place – leading Nhleko to appeal to the portfolio committee on police this week to step in and launch such a process.

This would immediately allow Nhleko to suspend Dramat legally.

Nhleko has performed a convoluted legal tap dance in defending his suspension of Dramat in December – after the Concourt had removed this power.

He has claimed, on the one hand, that the Concourt judgment did not take away his power, although the act as it now stands clearly says the Hawks head may be suspended only after the commencement of a parliamentary process for his removal.

On the other, Nhleko has said that he can rely only on provisions of the Public Service Act and handbook for senior management to launch disciplinary proceedings against Dramat.

This argument has been dismissed by the North Gauteng High Court, but Nhleko is appealing against this judgment, leaving Dramat’s suspension technically in force.

The court is to decide on Monday whether to grant an application by the Helen Suzman Foundation for an order requiring the minister to allow Dramat to return to work.

Nhleko has sought to cover his bases by roping in Parliament. Because the SAPS Act does not spell out the procedure for dealing with such a case, Parliament finds itself in uncharted waters without a compass.

The act says the minister may suspend the Hawks head only after the start of proceedings by “a committee of Parliament”. It does not specify which committee.

This uncertainty alone was enough to cause police committee chairman Francois Beukman to balk at launching the process requested by Nhleko in a letter to him on Thursday.

“The only authority in terms of the parliamentary framework that can make a decision, in the absence of clear guidelines, is the Speaker of the National Assembly,” Beukman said when the committee began discussing the matter on Friday morning.

He would write to Speaker Baleka Mbete asking for “guidance”.

Nhleko and Beukman also suggested there was a lacuna in the legislation: while the minister could not suspend the head of the Hawks without Parliament’s assistance, there was nothing in the act spelling out what should “trigger” the start of such a parliamentary process.

An obvious potential “trigger” would be conviction of a criminal offence by a court – which would meet the requirement for the Hawks boss to be found by Parliament to have been guilty of misconduct or no longer fit for his position.

Even the laying of charges would suffice for the process to be launched, pending the outcome of the case, but the National Prosecuting Authority has not done this. It received a report from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) almost a year ago on its probe into Dramat’s possible role in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans.

The Ipid report is not in the public domain, but Nhleko appeared to confirm it cleared Dramat when he argued in his letter to Beukman that its conclusion might have been doctored in the face of evidence to the contrary.

This left the police committee with only Nhleko’s request, but no evidence before it, as a “trigger” for it to launch a process to remove the country’s most senior corruption buster.

The Constitutional Court, in the majority judgment penned by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, was scathing of the drafting of the SAPS Act, which it had sent back to Parliament to be “cured” of its unconstitutional elements.

Referring to the provisions that allowed for the minister to remove the Hawks boss, Justice Mogoeng said these did not “provide even a modicum of clarity”.

It was also unclear what Parliament was expected to do after being informed, as the act said it should be within 14 days, of the minister’s decision.

“Not only is the section silent on what Parliament is supposed to do, it is also silent on how it is to do whatever is supposed to be done, if any, and on the time frames within which any action is to be taken,” Judge Mogoeng said.

It is clear from the wording that the drafters of the act – the previous incarnation of the police committee – wanted the minister to have unfettered power to remove the Hawks boss, and simply tacked on the requirement that Parliament informed of the decision, in an attempt to provide a parliamentary fig leaf for the power it was handing the executive.

Yet it was on the basis of this ability of the executive to pull the rug from under the head of the anti-corruption unit – which, among other things, would be expected to investigate the executive itself should it come across wrongdoing – that the Concourt last year found the act to be unconstitutional.

“It was really terribly drafted legislation, and they never thought about this so they didn’t put in the details,” said University of Cape Town constitutional law professor Pierre de Vos.

“It’s a bit unclear, which means that the legislation wasn’t drafted well, because they tried to fit a square peg in a round hole there.”

In trying to preserve precisely the executive power to interfere in the workings of the Hawks that the Concourt had found to be “inimical” to the unit’s independence, Parliament inadvertently made it much harder for Dramat to be removed, creating a legislative muddle from which it must now attempt to untangle itself.

[email protected]

Political Bureau


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Derby-Lewis decision based on law

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iol news pic PN Parole MasuthaIndependent Media Ltd Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha announces his decision on the parole applications of Eugene De Kock and Ferdinand Barnard as well as the medical parole for Clive Derby-Lewis. Picture: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg – The decision to deny Clive Derby-Lewis medical parole was not based on any pressure from the SA Communist Party or its former secretary-general Chris Hani’s family, but was based solely on the law.

This is according to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha, who this week had the unenviable task of having to decide whether to release apartheid-era killers Derby-Lewis, Eugene de Kock and Ferdi Barnard.

Masutha told The Sunday Independent that even though Hani’s family were vehemently opposed to parole for Derby-Lewis, it was not necessary for them to apply any pressure, because the law was clear about the grounds upon which prisoners may be paroled.

“We never received any formal request for engagement from the SACP or from (Chris Hani’s wife). I have to say, though, that their reasons for opposing the release did resonate with ours.

“They were basically similar reasons. But, as I said, the president did advise that in order for me to do my job properly I have to rely on the constitution, which made the task straightforward,” said Masutha.

Masutha announced that Derby-Lewis’ parole application had been turned down as his lung cancer was still at stage 3, and not stage 4, as prescribed by law.

There was therefore no evidence to suggest that he was incapacitated. Furthermore, Masutha raised concerns about the real identity of the person whose medical samples had been used, as Derby-Lewis had used the name of a patient with a similar illness on his pathologist report.

“We were aware of the political and emotional issues at play in this matter, but those did not necessarily play a role, because the law is clear on how to determine whether one should get parole or not.

“There was a lot of political and public interest in the matter, but the decision was based on what the law requires,” said Masutha.

Derby-Lewis’ wife, Gaye, said on Friday that they were taking the matter on an urgent legal review, which might see him challenging the minister’s decision in court.

According to Gaye, Derby-Lewis had used a different name at the insistence of prison officials, for security reasons, after he was stabbed in prison in March last year.

She claimed that senior leaders of the ANC, including former president Nelson Mandela, had made it clear that Derby-Lewis would never be released from prison. The SACP has welcomed Masutha’s decision, saying Derby-Lewis had failed in his media campaign to be released out of jail “through the back door”.

The party has also called for action to be taken against Derby-Lewis for alleged manipulation of medical records, insisting that he should stay in prison, “as he remains a danger to the reconciliation projects that our country so desperately yearns for.

“His release from prison therefore poses a huge potential (to spark) racial violence and hatred among the people of South Africa.

“Once more, true reconciliation and forgiveness depends… on full disclosure of the truth as well as remorse, something which is not accepted by Mr Clive Derby-Lewis and his supporters,” it said.

The Sunday Independent


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‘I would be frightened to meet Barnard’

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iol newsp ic Ferdi Barnard TRCIndependent Media Ferdi Barnard at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission amnesty hearings.

Johannesburg – David Webster had been a feature of Ferdi Barnard’s house for a long time before he finally gunned the anthropologist down in Troyeville on Workers’ Day, 1989.

The killer’s ex-wife, Maryna Language, told the Pretoria High Court during his trial how the Civil Co-operation Bureau had supplied Barnard with a hit list which included the names of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. It was apparently in open sight in their home.

In fact, had Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus not assassinated Chris Hani in April 1993, and had Barnard not been convicted of Webster’s murder, the undercover CCB agent might have got to Hani first. The SACP leader’s name was also on the list.

But if the targets were in any kind of order, with Webster at the top, Barnard was to tick his name off first.

This year, it will be 26 years since the sudden shotgun blast that took the revered activist’s life in front of his partner, Maggie Friedman. But it doesn’t seem Barnard intends to lose his grip on her consciousness any time soon as the killer now seeks her assistance in earning his parole.

On Friday, as Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha released former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock and denied Derby-Lewis medical parole, he said the National Council of Correctional Services had said it needed more time to consider Barnard’s application. Thus, it had not yet submitted its recommendations.

This buys the minister time on a man who has a peculiarly fearsome atmosphere around him, even in the gallery of bloodthirsty apartheid rogues.

But the extension would have been disappointing for Barnard, convicted 17 years ago after it took the State almost a decade to find him, complete its investigations and prosecute. He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of former Justice Minister Dullah Omar, as well as other charges, getting two life sentences and 63 years in jail.

If Barnard believes he is in limbo, he might consider how the darkness of the past, the scratching and clamouring of an evil time, still gnaws at the edges of Friedman’s life.

Webster was involved in the lives of many deprived South Africans, including children behind bars, migrant workers, the unemployed, the poor, those devastated by landlessness and lonely through illness.

He and Friedman researched repression.

He helped found the progressive Johannesburg Democratic Action Committee and was a key figure in the Detainees’ Parents Support Committee. He worked with the Black Sash, Concerned Social Workers and others who railed at the government, threatening their own liberty.

He was deeply involved in the UDF’s Call to Whites campaign, which led to the emergence of the Five Freedoms Forum – a direct response to the cry from black South Africans for solidarity against the state of emergency.

Friedman, who had been unloading plants from their bakkie with Webster on the morning he was murdered, says she heard a noise like a car backfiring and then accelerating. She then saw Webster stumbling and holding his chest.

Apart from the torture of grief, she had to go through an inquest, at least seven investigations, several media probes, a military inquiry, the TRC and Barnard’s trial. Now Friedman has been approached by victim-offender mediators to meet Barnard, and she says she has no intention of doing it.

“I don’t want to, and I can’t see any reason why I should. I can’t speak for other victims, and I know some people, especially if they’re religious, have unresolved issues and want to meet the perpetrator. I don’t.

“I believe this bid for us to meet is tied up to his parole, but for me that’s a separate process which doesn’t have anything to do with me. It’s a clear agenda, even if it’s a bit cloudy around the issue of victims being consulted as a necessary part of that process.”

When Barnard went on trial in 1998, there were tales of how he had apparently murdered others, including claims he had beaten a friend to death with a baseball bat in Berea.

Friedman’s memory of the day Webster died begin when a car glided into view in the quiet street where the couple lived, and where they had often shielded activists on the run from the security police.

Within seconds, as if time had slammed into a blinding glare, a shotgun had been shoved through the window and Webster would soon be dead.

Barnard, who had attempted to disguise himself by wearing a short blond wig, was cold-hearted in his description of how Friedman responded when she saw the man she loved dying on the tarmac. He said she had cried “like a stuck pig”.

Recently married, and the mother of a son and daughter now in their twenties, Friedman says she has moved forward with her life, partly because it was so vital for her that “someone be held accountable and paid”. That happened.

“I really did have a sense of closure after Barnard was convicted, and now I have absolutely no interest in dealing with him any more. Remember, he was adamant in denying he had done it. But it was situated in a particular time, and he was also in his own capsule of alcohol and drugs.”

Friedman has worked hard at not living with unresolved conflict around the murder.

“It does feel like it was yesterday, but I’ve also lived a whole lifetime since then. It would be very sad if I was full of grudges, but it takes a real effort not to be.”

She’s also concerned about the need for prisoners applying for parole to have the buy-in of their victims and their victims’ families, believing this “places an extraordinary pressure on us”.

“I don’t believe parole is up to us, or the decision should involve us. It’s not right to give us some say in whether or not someone is released. Imagine a rape survivor being placed in that position. They can’t be objective. We can’t be objective, so how can we be a part of that?”

But there is also a certain trepidation. Friedman is concerned that Barnard has her contact details, although she doesn’t believe he would necessarily harm her.

“I would be frightened to meet him in the street. I would have an adverse physical reaction. I would prefer the authorities let me know ahead of time if they intend giving him parole, because I wouldn’t like to encounter him unprepared.”

She pauses for a moment, and then asks herself: “Am I sorry Barnard has suffered for what he did? I still believe it was a terrible, terrible thing he did. I can’t say it contributed something, or made a difference.

“I think more about how we’ve missed out on all the contributions David would have made.”

Sunday Independent


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De Kock in safe house after death threats

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Copy of si de kockAP Eugene de Kock, the notorious Prime Evil, has had threats on his life, leading to special arrangements for his release. AP Photo / Themba Hadebe

Johannesburg – Eugene de Kock, the notorious “Prime Evil”, has had threats on his life, leading to special arrangements for his release.

The Sunday Independent has established that De Kock, who was freed on parole after serving 20 years in prison, has been moved to a safe house.

Several sources have told The Sunday Independent that these special arrangements were put in place after a security assessment was done on De Kock.

In the main, the threats emanate from right-wing groups and former security branch members who fear reprisal. The basis of their fears are the disclosures that De Kock, who led the notorious death squads of the apartheid government, is believed to have made to the government.

“De Kock has spilled the beans and that places him under a serious security threat. He took the fall and those that issued the instructions and were party to murders fear prosecution,” a source said.

“They fear being in the accused box, facing De Kock in the witness stand. Other than those he has mentioned in his many contacts with security officials, he also faces threats from the right wing, who consider him a sell-out for confessing and disclosing names.

“There would also be possible threats from some of the victims who may not have forgiven him for his acts. Some of these include members of former liberation movements,” the source said.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha said De Kock had requested secrecy around his release.

“In the interests of nation-building and reconciliation, I have decided to place De Kock on parole. He has requested that the actual date and conditions of his release should not be made public. I have acceded to his request and plead with members of the media to respect that,” Masutha said.

The minister said De Kock had done well while in custody.

“I have noted the progress he is reported to have made to improve his skills while in custody, as well as the assistance De Kock is said to have provided, and continues to provide, to the Missing Persons Task Team.

“I am also satisfied that comprehensive consultation with affected families has been done. My decision is therefore informed by all these important factors.”

The Sunday Independent


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Glamour and glitz at the Met

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iol news pic J&B Met GERT-JOHAN COETZEEINDEPENDENT MEDIA Fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee stood out in one of his own colourful creations at the J&B Met in Kenilworth. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Cape Town – Celebs and socialites all came out to play at Saturday’s J&B Met, one of the biggest events on the country’s social calendar.

But there was a cloud over the race as news of Top Billing presenter Simba Mhere’s death spread. He died in a car crash on Saturday morning as he was headed to OR Tambo Airport.

The show’s other presenters cancelled their plans to attend the Met after hearing of his tragic death.

Festivities were centred on the newly introduced Racing. It’s a Rush general access village, a playground of food, massages, drinks and music. This included DJs in the Schweppes and Good Hope FM Gig Rig, and songs from local band Mi Casa.

Tickets to the VIP marquee allowed guests to rub shoulders with Miss SA contestants and enjoy bubbly and canapés.

The J&B VVIP marquee was an intimate affair in which guests were treated to oysters, sushi, ice cream and endless whiskies.

iol news pic si j&b met TANYA PITMANTanya Pitman from Durban made an elegant entrance to the Met in a black dress and matching hat from Chanel. Picture: Ian Landsberg INDEPENDENT MEDIA

The general public could enjoy meals from food trucks, ribs from a grill station and other roasts. As a DJ played from a central stage, people took selfies and tweeted them with the hashtag #madeforthemix, this year’s theme.

These were later printed and made available for collection.

As the crowds milled about, those fashionistas who needed a break from their killer heels could rest in hanging bubble chairs.

Celebrities arrived in the late afternoon, some dressed over-the-top and others opted for a more understated look.

US actor Zach McGowan, who stars in the TV series Black Sails and Shameless, was spotted in the crowd wearing a white muscle-hugging T-shirt.

He sat with fellow actor Hakeem Kae-Kazim.

iol news pic si j&b met ZACH MCGOWANActor Zach McGowan, who stars in TV series Black Sails and Shameless, was spotted in a white muscle-hugging T-shirt. Picture: Ian Landsberg INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Elsewhere in the marquee, controversial actor and socialite Khanyi Mbau swanned around in a butterfly-winged dress. Her boyfriend, Tebogo Lerole, was at her side in printed white pants.

Khanyi’s dress was made by journalist-turned designer Craig Jacobs.

Cape Town’s Liezel van der Westhuizen, Leigh-Anne Williams, Tanya Nefdt and Siv Ngesi mixed and mingled among the guests.

Comedian Marc Lottering’s snappy outfit was inspired by Scotch and Soda.

“This theme allows people to let their hair down and go crazy,” he said.

South Africa’s got Talent judge Lalla Hirayama showed off her legs and turned heads in a stunning pair of gold shorts.

Independent Media


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Jackie Selebi: sensational claim revealed

jackie selebi jan 23Reuters Jackie Selebi died after a long illness. File photo: Siphiwe Sibeko

Johannesburg – Former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi’s relationship with convicted drug lord Glenn Agliotti, which ended with a criminal conviction and a 15-year jail sentence, was an intelligence operation authorised by the country’s intelligence bosses at the time.

This startling claim is expected to be part of new evidence and affidavits that will form the basis of an application to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to review Selebi’s case.

Former crime intelligence boss Mulangi Mphego told The Sunday Independent this week there was a grave injustice in the way Selebi was tried. Evidence had been “suppressed” and ignored to secure Selebi’s conviction.

Mphego’s claims were independently corroborated by two former intelligence bosses, who declined to be named as they remained in service.

According to Mphego, Selebi had been tasked by the National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee to pursue a relationship with Agliotti as he had been identified as a suspect in extortion, money-laundering and drug-related crimes.

The committee is responsible for co-ordinating intelligence gathered by the country’s intelligence agencies and interpreting it for the cabinet and the president.

The committee comprised the heads of intelligence agencies, and Mphego sat on it as the head of police crime intelligence.

“We had a crime intelligence project under way that targeted Glenn Agliotti as a suspect for money laundering, drugs and extortion.

“We then agreed, at that level, that we are going to task the national commissioner to have a relationship with this fellow, Agliotti.

“They had established a relationship while Jackie was responsible for the repatriation programme of the ANC.

“(Agliotti) came to donate shoes, and that’s when they developed a relationship with Jackie. There is nothing that Jackie did with Agliotti that was not recorded.

“There is not a single day that he had an interaction with Agliotti that was not authorised at that level,” said Mphego.

Asked why he was only coming forward with this information now, Mphego said he had been “neutralised” by the NPA, and his evidence suppressed.

He said he was listed at number 99 on the state witness list, dropped from the list and then charged in order to prevent him from testifying for the defence.

“When they realised that I was going to tell the truth, they decided that they could not let me speak because they did not want the truth. They charged me on a non-existent charge,” said Mphego.

The sensational claims from the former security bosses came in the week when a succession of ANC heavyweights questioned the way Selebi’s investigation was conducted, pledging the truth would come out one day.

One of them, ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told mourners “the truth would set the memory of Selebi free”.

“The truth will set not only commissioner Jackie free, but the entire country free. The notion that he was a corrupt cop cannot hold.”

Former president Thabo Mbeki also weighed in on the matter on Saturday through a message that was read out on his behalf at Selebi’s funeral.

He referred to a newspaper article that quoted Agliotti saying that the Scorpions had used him to get to Selebi.

Mbeki said: “The newspaper quoted Agliotti as having said: ‘In fact, when the Scorpions took me in the foyer of my own house, the officer said ‘I’m arresting (you) for the murder of Brett Kebble’ and then said ‘but if you give up (then top cop Jackie) Selebi, we’ll give you a section 204 (immunity).’ I asked ‘if I do, who are you going to arrest for killing Kebble then?’.”

“That’s how obvious the whole plot was. It was never about me. It was never about Kebble. It was about a feud between one law enforcement agency wanting to bring down the most powerful policeman in Africa,” Agliotti said.

Mbeki urged the NPA to investigate how the Selebi investigation was conducted.

“It is my fervent hope that the NPA does indeed carry out an honest and thorough investigation into this matter and not bury it simply because Jackie would have been buried,” said Mbeki.

Former head of the NPA’s Integrity Management Unit, Prince Mokotedi, has also accused the NPA of failing to release a report which he says contains adverse information about the conduct of the investigators and prosecutors handling the Selebi matter.

Mokotedi first made the claim on social media shortly after Selebi’s death, calling on the NPA to make the alleged report public.

This week, he told The Sunday Independent he was convinced there was evidence that was “suppressed” which, if it had been presented to a judge, would have led to Selebi not being convicted.

“I was not part of the committee that looked into the matter at the NPA because I was conflicted because I had testified for Selebi during the trial. However, I can confirm that there was even an affidavit of a former investigator in the case who says there was critical evidence withheld, which could have led to a different ruling by a judge,” said Mokotedi.

A group of Selebi’s closest aides known as the Friends of Jackie Selebi said they would this week make an application to the NPA to launch a review of Selebi’s case.

This is the same group that launched the successful bid to have Selebi granted medical parole and released from prison in 2012. Spokesman Isaack Lesole said they had sufficient information to make the application and were in “intense consultations” to finalise it.

“There are a number of things that happened, especially during the gathering of evidence. Those leading the prosecution were engineering a particular outcome.

“We believe there is enough basis for a review.

“It is unfortunate that it is happening posthumously but we have been working on it for some time. It has to be done,” said Lesole.

[email protected]

Sunday Independent


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Derby-Lewis does not want out of prison

iol news pic Derby-lewisINDEPENDENT MEDIA Clive Derby-Lewis

Jovial Rantao writes that Chris Hani’s killer, Clive Derby-Lewis, hangs on desperately to his antiquated political views and shows nothing but contempt to government and the people of South Africa.

Johannesburg – There were high fives, hugs and handshakes in Chris Hani’s former Dawn Park home in Ekurhuleni. There were also smiles and a round of applause after Justice and Correctional Services Minister Mike Masutha announced that killer Clive Derby-Lewis had been denied medical parole.

The relief was palpable.

The response would have been shared by many elsewhere who are openly opposed to the release of Derby-Lewis from prison.

And the message was simple: Derby- Lewis must stay in jail.

The mastermind of Hani’s assassination was denied parole because he lied and has not shown remorse for his hand in the killing of the people’s hero.

There was a sigh of relief among ANC and SA Communist Party (SACP) members as well as ordinary South Africans because, to be frank, political families, mostly within ANC and SACP ranks, do not want to see Derby-Lewis released from prison.

In short, they want him never to leave prison.

They want him to die in jail because he has not told “the whole truth”.

The “whole truth” conspiracy is pursued by those who believe a theory that was bandied about in ANC circles some time ago that some of Hani’s comrades in the ANC may have had a hand in his death.

No evidence has ever been brought forward to prove that Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus, the man who pulled the trigger, were acting on the instructions of, or in concert with, some within the ANC.

The lack of proof, notwithstanding, the general sentiment is that Derby-Lewis must rot in jail for taking the life of someone whom many think would have been president of this country

The government, I suspect, also has difficulty in dealing with this matter.

However, truth be told, Derby-Lewis has also played into the hands of those who want him to rot in jail. He has fed himself to his detractor on a silver platter.

Derby-Lewis’ biggest obstacle is himself. After spending over 20 years in jail and witnessing the full impact of the crime for which he was convicted, he has not changed one iota.

He has refused to show remorse at the loss of human life and the impact the act of murder that he masterminded has had on Hani’s widow Limpho, their children and the broader South African society.

Derby-Lewis knows very well that remorse and rehabilitation form a huge part in the consideration for parole. If he didn’t his lawyers, who would have read the law and its prescripts, would know.

Derby-Lewis does not want to leave prison. If his freedom mattered and if he respected the law of the country he lives in then he would have at least made an attempt to fulfils the conditions that would enhance his chances to be freed on parole.

He would have qualified for parole on many fronts. There has been no adverse reports on his behaviour. So he is probably a model prisoner. He is over 70 years of age, has served over 20 years and has cancer. These are solid grounds that would have, at some time led to his release from prison.

However, Derby Lewis hangs on desperately to his antiquated political views and shows nothing but contempt to government and the people of South Africa. His actions and attitude has been amplified by a handful of his supporters, who, on Friday, stood in the streets of Pretoria and hoisted posters full of insults to the government and its leaders.

The strategy is quite clear. Derby -Lewis failed dismally in his attempt to plunge South Africa into chaos and prevent the dawn of a new democratic nation. Now he is determined to stay in jail, probably die there, and become some kind of martyr. How else could the alleged fraud that was outlined by Minister Mike Masutha be explained?

Derbv-Lewis and those that worked with him tried to dupe the Department of Correctional Services into releasing him on a fraudulent basis.

This act of desperation can only be committed by those with no brains at all. He committed murder and those around him then tried to frame it as black on black violence – a battle between the ANC and the Pan Africanist Congress. He was caught, his plan exposed and was handed a death sentence, later commuted to life.

Two decades later, he has allegedly tried to commit fraud and thought that the government that was able to arrest and secure a conviction for murder as well as the heaviest sentence, would be fooled.

Well done to the officials from the departments of justice and correctional service for catching out this old wily fox and his collaborators. Now the law must take its cause. Not because the majority is unable to forgive Derby-Lewis for killing the people’s hero but because the former Conservative Party is unable to acknowledge his crime and forgive himself. Unable to free himself.

* Jovial Rantao is the editor of The Sunday Independent.

The Sunday Independent


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Was De Klerk pushed – or did he jump?

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iol news pic De Klerk Mandela Nobel PrizeINDEPENDENT MEDIA The first president of a democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, with the last leader of the white minority regime, FW de Klerk, hold up their medals and certificates after being jointly awarded the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.

The reality is FW didn’t have much choice as the wind of change in SA turned into a gale, writes Imraan Buccus.

Johannesburg – On Monday, 25 years ago, the course of South African history was altered. FW de Klerk certainly did not take a suicidal leap of faith on February 2, 1990 because he wanted to change the course of history.

There was just too much happening around him. The country was in flames. The late 1980s saw the apartheid state plunged into its deepest crisis ever. Revolution was knocking.

Hundreds of thousands of all races were taking to the streets in a mass democratic movement.

Apartheid laws were routinely flouted forcing the authorities to either relent or turn a blind eye.

The country wobbled on the precipice of ungovernability.

The former National Party was in complete disarray.

PW Botha, the “Groot Krokodil”, under whose watch the tentative overtures were being made to the then incarcerated Nelson Mandela and exiled ANC, was ousted.

The new leadership under De Klerk was hardly enlightened.

In fact many pondered why De Klerk had not earlier gone with Andries Treurnicht’s “verkrampte” bloc into the Conservative Party.

One can surmise that the puppet masters on Diagonal Street, Wall Street, in Whitehall and Washington DC had some ideas.

Big business and apartheid’s traditional supporters in the councils of the world were willing to hedge their bets on De Klerk, despite the fact that sanctions and disinvestment were biting. Capital was in flight.

Outspan oranges were rotting in the warehouses. Fine Cape wines were being turned back from ports like Dublin, Rotterdam and Le Havre.

Krugerrands were stockpiling in the South African Mint.

Thousands of South African whites were cutting and running to places like Perth and Toronto.

White mothers, Afrikaner and English, were receiving their sons in body bags from the border.

They were seeing through Pretoria’s tales about the noble, Christian war being waged against the so-called black communist terrorists.

The “verligte” among their ranks were heading to talks with the ANC in Dakar and other capitals on the continent.

The apartheid state was a diplomatic polecat with its ambassadors forced to turn tail and head home unwanted and unloved.

The ANC and to a lesser extent the Pan Africanist Congress were gaining respectability in the capitals of the world, with their chief representatives elevated to the status of ambassadors.

One would have hoped that Robin Renwick, former British ambassador in Pretoria and nowadays styled as Thatcherite Baron Renwick of Clifton, would have had a more revealing word or two to say.

His recently released book, Mission to South Africa, is a damp squib for those seeking the inside track from an outsider on the events of February 2 1990.

Renwick was former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s troubleshooter in South Africa and Namibia. He would have us believe he was close to the action as the transition unfolded.

Hardly any revelations unfold in the book. Instead he paints a halo above De Klerk, shamelessly airbrushing an important period in history. The cynic among those in the know will gladly reveal that Renwick overstates his teas with Thabo Mbeki and secret meetings with Oliver Tambo.

What he does reveal is the enormous faith that Thatcher placed in De Klerk as a man she could trust.

His latter-day prophecy (apparently to Thatcher) that no solution to the crisis of apartheid was possible without the ANC is, to use the language of another admirer of Thatcher, poppycock.

Both sides of the Atlantic were deeply antagonistic to black majority rule in South Africa.

One need not scratch too deeply in the official statements to discern that. As the 1980s drew to a close, De Klerk was up against the ropes clutching at the wobbly lifeline thrown from London and Washington.

Internal insurrection was at its peak. The armed insurgency was scoring huge propaganda victories even if its actual military capacity was limited.

De Klerk was not looking for a Nobel Peace Prize. He was looking to defend the interests of big business and, to put it crudely, whatever vestiges of white privilege that could be.

The ANC also faced a conundrum. Thirty years underground, in exile and in jail were taking their toll.

The collapse of the Berlin Wall and the unbundling of the Soviet Union all but put paid to a bulwark of financial, military and diplomatic support.

Former Soviet general secretary Mikhail Gorbachev was slashing a political swathe with perestroika and glasnost. The old world was changing and very fast.

If the ANC ignored De Klerk’s overtures, it risked losing control of a runaway transition from authoritarian rule to an as yet unknown alternative.

The rest of the story has been told in countless volumes.

Looking back 25 years, there is no amount of revisionist claptrap that can take away the fact that De Klerk was marched into the transition kicking and screaming.

He is an accidental icon under a chipped halo.

* Buccus is a research fellow in the School of Social Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and academic director of an overseas study programme on political transformation.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

The Sunday Independent

Last chance for Zuma to win our confidence

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IOL news aug23 zuma parlyDoC The writer says President Zuma must use his State of the Nation address to answer some of the most pressing questions facing government. File photo: Elmond Jiyane, Department of Communications

President Zuma must use his State of the Nation speech to address some of the most pressing issues facing government, writes Wally Mbhele.

South Africa is a nation under severe stress at the moment. Our national psyche is in urgent need of a political soothsayer who can lift us out of the current social and political morass and offer some hope for our immediate future.

We hardly have any good news to regale and make us celebrate our being South Africans nowadays.

Our national agenda is in the grip of a band of comrades who no longer have anything positive to offer our nation during these time of political uncertainties.

Political hoodlums who are benefiting from this state of affairs are frustrating any attempts to redirect South Africa’s discourse during times of national stress.

South Africa’s criminal justice system was yesterday thrown into further uncertainty as President Jacob Zuma announced his intention of proceeding with a probe into National Director of Public prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana’s fitness to hold office.

There was still no end in sight to Eskom’s load shedding as rolling blackouts continued to push us to the verge of panic buttons this week.

One senior Eskom official explained to Reuters this week how lucky we still are: The alternative to load shedding, a grid collapse, would be catastrophic to the nation, he said.

It is a story worth repeating if we have to understand why load shedding has become a necessary evil to live with. The measure is meant to avoid a total collapse.

In fact, the current load shedding would just appear to have been something of a Sunday school picnic if we had to reach the feared level of such a catastrophic grid collapse.

One still ponders why relevant stakeholders in the government have not begun to share this significant information with us.

A total collapse, according to Eskom’s national control manager Al’louise van Deventer, would mean South Africa could go without electricity for weeks.

The power utility is nevertheless said to have emergency plans to resume power delivery if such circumstances were to occur.

Although not confirmed, the total collapse of the power grid, according to Reuters, would mean President Jacob Zuma and his cabinet would have to be moved to a secret location and soldiers deployed at key sites such as the SA Reserve Bank and other national key points.

The military would also be deployed to the SABC to ensure that broadcasting and communication were secured.

This grim scenario makes me afraid, very afraid.

If this is the case, then we have a national catastrophe waiting to happen if it is not urgently addressed and properly managed.

Zuma and his cabinet are going to meet soon for a lekgotla that is going to outline the government’s programme of action for the year.

The lekgotla must come up with a detailed plan of action on how the government hopes to prevent such a disaster from happening.

There is no longer time for political bickering and the nights of long political knives which have come to shape our discourse.

Zuma and his cabinet must allow debates on why the country’s power supply has got to this critical point, teetering on the edge of collapse, and how this can be avoided in future.

Without details of how Zuma is going to effect measures to restore confidence in the systems of governance, his State of the Nation address is going to ring hollow.

Let him tell the nation about the exact genesis of Eskom’s failures and the people behind its collapse.

We need to know if this was a result of a combination of a political elite and a civil service “more concerned with status and prestige than helping the public”.

Nkwame Nkrumah said he was “averse to civil servants being lodged in state apparatus, like a nail without a head: once you drive it in, you cannot pull it out…” when he lamented how his nation’s best laid-out plans “went awry because they were not handled with heart as well as head”.

When Zuma takes to the podium on February 15, the nation will expect him to lay down the law on both his political office-bearers and civil servants.

He will have to spell out how they will be expected to serve their country and dedicate themselves to serving the people of South Africa.

Let the president explain in his State of the Nation address why South Africa’s criminal justice system appears to be rapidly sliding towards total failure. The centre can hardly be said to be holding.

Respectively, criminal and political elements have found time to unleash terror in shopping malls and loot state resources as political turf wars continue to simmer.

No explanation has been given for the sudden departure of Advocate Vas Soni as head of the Special Investigations Unit. No explanation is forthcoming on the bid to axe Hawks boss Anwa Dramat.

Even Parliament’s portfolio committee seems to be confused.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s request to Parliament to start official proceedings to remove Dramat from office was sent back to the minister this week.

The committee wants clarity from the minister because he has failed to offer any.

One of the greatest failures of former president Thabo Mbeki was his annoying habit of taking far-reaching decisions without taking the nation into his confidence.

That gave the impression that South Africa had a president who acted on political impulse. It was as if Mbeki was acting on the basis of information which was not to be made available to the rest of us.

Zuma is also doing just that. But February 15 gives him an opportunity to take the nation into his confidence on a myriad problems facing the nation.

Political stress levels have become untenable.

On February 15, we all expect Zuma the soothsayer to deliver a political master stroke. He’ll never have such an opportunity again.

* Mbhele is editor-at-large of the Independent Media’s Sunday publications.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

The Sunday Independent


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