South African Police Services (SAPS) crime intelligence officer Morris Tshabalala, popularly known as Captain KGB, on Thursday told the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria that he would not evade justice if released on bail.
Through his lawyer Mpesi Makhanya, Tshabalala pleaded with the court to release him on bail, stating that his wife and three children risk losing their home because of his continued incarceration.
“He is telling this honourable court that he will attend trial at all times if you release him on bail. We do understand that this is a schedule five case where onus lies with [the bail] applicant to prove that the interest of justice will permit his release,” Makhaya addressed Magistrate Nicca Setshogoe.
“Your Worship, we are dealing with a married man here. His fixed physical address has been confirmed. He is employed by the South African Police Service’s crime intelligence unit, where he is a captain. He received a monthly salary. These factors are not in dispute.”
Makhaya said a person arrested under the South African Constitution, has the right to seek and get bail — even with stringent conditions.
He said Tshabalala has a previous conviction of armed robbery — which the State argued proves a propensity to commit violent crime.
“The applicant is working for crime intelligence of the police, and anyone who works there there is vetted because his work is highly sensitive,” said Makhaya.
He said Tshabalala has been on parole since 2015, and he has been checking in with his parole officer daily in Pretoria.
“He is simply appealing to this court to say may I humbly get bail, I have a family, I am a traceable person. He is still signing at correctional service everyday as per his parole conditions,” said Makhaya.
Opposing bail, Prosecutor Chris Smith argued that the fact that Tshabalala continued to work for SAPS despite having a criminal conviction meant he either was “protected” by senior police brass and politicians, or he had not disclosed that critical factor to the SAPS.
Tshabalala faces charges including theft and defrauding the secret slush fund of the SAPS crime intelligence unit of more than R500,000.
According to the charge sheet, in one instance Tshabalala defrauded the SAPS by falsifying a claim of R470,000 “needed to pay for blinds and curtains for a safe house” and he pocketed more than R200,000 from it.
He also faces a charge of corruption relating to R50,000 he received.
The policeman was arrested by police watchdog Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) officers earlier this month, outside the Correctional Services headquarters in Pretoria. He was there to meet his parole officer.
– African News Agency (ANA)