Saturday, March 26, 2011
Beeka exposed as SA spy
Beeka exposed as SA spy
Mar 26, 2011 11:42 PM | By WERNER SWART, SASHNI PATHER, STEPHAN HOFSTATTER, MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and SHANAAZ EGGINGTON
Startling evidence has emerged that murdered underworld kingpin Cyril Beeka was an intelligence operative working for the South African government.
ENTRAPMENT: Cyril Beeka was said to be involved in a drug sting
•Krejcir: four years of murder, sleaze and mayhem
•The many faces of Cyril Beeka
•Beeka wasn't 'uneasy'
•Hawks probe top cops
•Game over for Krejcir
This has blown the lid on a spy-versus-spy drama within the country's intelligence agencies that pits national police boss General Bheki Cele against those loyal to his predecessor, Jackie Selebi.
This week, the turf war between the police's crime intelligence unit and the Hawks blew into the open following Beeka's assassination and the dramatic manhunt and arrest of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.
The Sunday Times has established that Beeka was part of what is known as a 25(2A) operation, a section of the Criminal Procedure Act relating to undercover operations.
It stipulates that "any law enforcement officer, an official of the state or ... authorised" person engaged in criminal activities is protected from arrest and prosecution.
This may explain why Beeka never spent a day behind bars despite being arrested for alleged racketeering and extortion on several occasions.
Beeka has now emerged as a central figure in the drama. And the Sunday Times can reveal that the primary suspect, Krejcir, listened to explosive phone recordings of Hawks investigators discussing the case against him.
Just two weeks ago, he was visited by senior crime intelligence officers, who gave him the recordings. They included conversations between forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan and Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Shadrack Sibiya .
A source in crime intelligence said this week: "Every time the Hawks discussed their strategy against Krejcir and information crucial to his case, guys from crime intel were listening in. These recordings made their way to Krejcir, so he could stay one step ahead."
O' Sullivan confirmed on Friday that he was aware of this.
Hawks spokesman Colonel McIntosh Polela, however, confirmed claims that Krejcir's money had bought him favours within the SAPS and the Hawks.
"I said that he has a bottomless pit of cash that he's extended to people he wants favours from, and that includes some of our members," said Polela.
He said he was "not at liberty to divulge" Beeka's intelligence-gathering work.
Krejcir has previously evaded arrest despite being directly linked - in a number of Sunday Times exposés - to several high-profile murders, including strip club boss Lolly Jackson and German tycoon Uwe Gemballa.
Just last week, Krejcir's doctor, Marian Tupy, was given a suspended sentence for fraud after he falsified medical records saying that Krejcir had cancer. Krejcir was paid out over R4-million on a life policy with Liberty Life as a result.
The Sunday Times can today also reveal that:
•Krejcir is being held at the Johannesburg central police's high-risk detention centre after his arrest on Thursday and is due to appear in court tomorrow;
•Beeka's connections to the murky world of drugs saw him interacting with foreign intelligence agencies, including the FBI and Scotland Yard; and
•He was once a low-level informer for the ANC's armed wing, but some party bosses were uncomfortable as he was a "drug pedlar".
Cele's spokesman, Major-General Nonkululeko Mbatha, refused to be drawn into the allegations, saying: "There is a process and investigation under way and every possible avenue is being probed."
Two of crime intelligence's top-ranking officers, Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli and Major-General Joey Mabasa, have been specifically fingered for their alleged involvement in the tapping of phones.
Mabaso declined to comment and Mdluli could not be reached. But several sources in the intelligence community say attacks on Mabaso and Mdluli could have been orchestrated to purge the police of senior officers seen to be close to former police commissioner Selebi.
Two senior crime intelligence operatives recently told the Sunday Times there were attempts to link Mdluli and Mabaso to crimes based on fabricated evidence.
"There's a war going on in crime and counter-intelligence, but I think they're trying to implicate the wrong people," said one. "The real culprits are not being acted against."
Two former operatives still close to intelligence structures also found the accusations implausible.
With regard to the hit list allegedly found at Krejcir's home, one of them said: "I can tell you now that the hit list is rubbish. How on earth can someone have a hit list with only four people that he knows very well?"
Another senior crime intelligence source said the "same people who investigated Jackie (Selebi)" are investigating Mabaso.
"General Sibiya, Paul's (O'Sullivan's) friend, is the same man who investigated Selebi with O'Sullivan. They are saying, 'Selebi is corrupt, Joey must also be corrupt, let's cook stories and plant them in the media.' This is not an investigation, but a fishing expedition."
Beeka, who died in a hail of bullets on Monday night, has always been described as an underworld kingpin. But sources now say he was, in fact, an undercover operative in the world of drugs and contraband.
"Remember that, in this dirty business, you don't get your information in the church," a source said. "If Cyril was himself involved (in criminal activity), it would have been small fry compared to the big fish he would infiltrate."
O'Sullivan has been basking in the glory of Krejcir's arrest - even addressing the media from Krejcir's favourite restaurant on Friday night. He blasted police intelligence, calling it a "third force".