Major General (Ret) Johan Booysen’s investigations into a R60 million contract to supply temporary accommodation for police members in KwaZulu-Natal during the 2010 World Cup had begun under a cloud of threats he would be “eliminated”.
After consulting with his legal representative advocate Anton Katz about whether he could share certain evidence, Booysen told Justice Yvonne Mokgoro he had been informed of this by Crime Intelligence’s Colonel Brian Padayachee.
This was according to Booysen’s evidence before the Mokgoro inquiry into suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions advocate Nomgcobo Jiba and advocate Lawrence Mrwebi’s fitness to hold office.
At the time, Booysen was head of the KwaZulu-Natal Hawks and investigating a “multimillion-rand corruption investigation against wealthy businessman Thoshan Panday, who had business links to direct family members of the previous president, Jacob Zuma”.
Also under investigation by Booysen was police Colonel Navin Madhoe, who allegedly tried to bribe Booysen with R1.5 million to stop the investigation.
Padayachee’s statement at the time noted that “intercepts further revealed exactly how Mr Panday was assisted by several police officials in obtaining and accumulating crime scene photographs to conspire against Maj-Gen Booysen. These very photographs were subsequently leaked to the media and published in the Sunday Times, which eventually led to the criminal charges and suspension of Maj-Gen Booysen.”
Central to Booysen’s arrest on racketeering charges was Jiba, acting as the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss at the time.
Booysen’s affidavit to the inquiry noted Jiba had put pressure on then KZN director of public prosecutions advocate Simpiwe Mlotshwa to indict Booysen and his Cato Manor detectives for racketeering.
“He declined because the indictment lacked certain important documents,” said Booysen, and added Mlotshwa later cited to Jiba that there was a lack of evidence – confirming Mlotshwa’s testimony to the inquiry.
“I recall at the same time advocate Mlotshwa was under pressure to withdraw racketeering charges against Mike Mbuyakulu and Peggy Nkoyeni from the legislative assembly in KZN. Mlotshwa refused.”
A few months later, Jiba replaced Mlotshwa with advocate Moipone Noko. They “immediately” withdrew the charges against Mbuyakulu and Nkoyeni.
A few months later, Noko withdrew charges against Panday and Madhoe, and later recommended Booysen’s prosecution.
Booysen’s statement contained a plethora of claims against Jiba and concluded by stating Jiba had not acted in a manner consistent with constitutional prescripts.
“She instead abrogated her responsibilities and abused her position to authorise my prosecutions for nefarious reasons,” said Booysen.
“She lied as to what was before her when she took the decision and what witnesses really said in their statements. In the process, she has brought the name of the NPA into disrepute.”
Deputy national director of public prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr is expected to wrap up his testimony today while Colonel Kobus Roelofse’s cross-examination is expected to proceed today as well.
“Even accepting the least stringent test for rationality imaginable, the decision of the NDPP does not pass muster. I can conceive of no test for rationality, however relaxed, which could be satisfied by her explanation. The impugned decisions were arbitrary, offend the principle of legality and, therefore, the rule of law and were unconstitutional.”
Justice Trevor Gorven on advocate Nomgcobo Jiba’s decision to prosecute Major General (Ret) Johan Booysen for racketeering.