Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hawks reveal Arms deal bombshell

Hawks reveal Arms deal bombshell
| 31 July, 2011 02:11

Gripen jet fighter over the Union Buildings. File picture.
Image by:

The Hawks have taken the first step towards re-opening the multibillion-rand arms deal probe - which could expose those who took bribes to prosecution.
The head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, Anwar Dramat, wrote to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday informing it of the Hawks' intention to speak to European investigators to establish whether or not criminal charges should be brought against any South Africans.

The Hawks controversially dropped the probe into the arms deal in September last year, arguing that prospects of successful prosecutions were slim.

In a letter to Scopa chairman Themba Godi, Dramat says the Hawks are following up on last month's admission by Swedish defence group Saab that its former British partner, BAE Systems, paid R24-million in bribes to secure a South African contract for 26 JAS Gripen fighter jets. All told, BAE systems spent R1-billion on what it called "commissions" in the arms deal.

Dramat writes : "I have already instructed two officials ... to approach the relevant authorities in both Sweden (National Anti-Corruption Unit) and the UK (Serious Fraud Office). Subject to approval by these authorities, (we) will assess the available information with a view to determine whether there is information which points to crime/s in South Africa ... whether it could be converted into relevant evidence by means of formal mutual legal assistance processes. It is also important to determine from the mentioned authorities what their investigations have revealed and whether the information obtained by them can be shared with the (Hawks)."

He could not predict how long the investigation might take.

Godi confirmed receiving Dramat's letter, saying: "It's a brave and correct decision ... unless justice is being done and is seen as being done on this matter, it's going to continue to cast a cold shadow over the political landscape of the country."

DA spokesman on defence David Maynier welcomed the development, saying: "The Hawks have effectively re-opened the investigation into the arms deal."

Despite several attempts, the Presidency yesterday failed to comment on the development.

Investigations by the UK Serious Fraud Office into BAE's dealings revealed that the arms manufacturer's R1-billion in "commissions" in the South African deal dated back to 1992.

They claimed that among the beneficiaries was FTNSA Consulting, a company linked to former First National Bank chairman Basil Hersov.

Businessman Fana Hlongwane, a one-time adviser of former minister of defence Joe Modise, allegedly received handsome "commissions" amounting to millions from BAE. Hlongwane also worked as a consultant for the arms manufacturer.

News of the Hawks' move came as a court battle continued in the High Court in Pretoria over the financial dealings of prominent South Africans - including some connected to the arms deal - via Ansbacher Bank.

The Sunday Times can reveal that senior ANC national executive committee member and former spy boss Billy Masetlha met former FirstRand CEO Paul Harris in 2009 to try to broker an out-of-court settlement in a 10-year-old case involving FirstRand and the International Tax Law Institute (ITLI).

ITLI founder, international tax guru Barry Spitz, wants FirstRand to open Ansbacher's books on about 500 of its prestigious clients, including Hersov. If this happens, South Africa could find out how much and whether senior ANC leaders received payments related to the arms deal.

The meeting, facilitated by former Denel CEO John Lamola, was held at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg in May 2009, a few weeks after President Jacob Zuma was sworn into office.

Masetlha confirmed that he had held meetings with both parties in the dispute, but claimed he was acting as a "concerned citizen", not on the ANC's behalf. He said the case could have economic implications for the country.

"Both sides were interested in my intervention to say ... what should they do in order to avoid a fallout which might ... in our interest as a country ... create a hell of a lot of problems for all of us.

"I am not scared of the arms deal. That dirty linen is neither here nor there. I must say now, as a member of the ANC NEC, that I am not scared of anything on that thing because we are going to shock you in terms of how we are going to deal with it," said Masetlha, without elaborating. However, he did note that the party wanted to avoid having the matter reach court.

Spitz contradicted Masetlha, saying the ITLI had drafted the proposed settlement "with the approval of the ANC", and the ruling party had requested the settlement be kept confidential.

"This was requested by the ANC, which obviously has its reasons for wanting it," he said.

Spitz added that the information sought from FirstRand was of interest to a "vast number of other persons and agencies ... political, financial and corporate, both in South Africa and abroad".

The Sunday Times has seen the proposed settlement document, which Masetlha signed in his capacity as "political head of the ANC Policy Institute".

In it, Masetlha undertook to "personally ensure the destruction of all the confidential information held by the ITLI and/or its privy parties ... and will further, to the extent possible, ensure that no confidential information is retained in any location open to the public, but not under their control".

But Harris, in a letter to Lamola, rejected this proposal, saying: "This is a very complex case and any involvement of outside parties other than our lawyers is not the proper process."

FirstRand spokesman Sam Moss confirmed the meeting between Harris and Masetlha.

Arms deal controversy returns to haunt Zuma

Arms deal controversy returns to haunt Zuma

The Constitutional Court will be asked to order President Jacob Zuma to appoint an inquiry into the arms deal contracts that led to the now abandoned allegations of corruption against him, when it sits in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The application is being brought by Terry Crawford-Browne, a former banker known for his opposition to the deals, whose previous bid to have an inquiry launched was thwarted because there was already a criminal investigation under way.

Thursday's application for direct access will seek a review of the refusal to exercise the presidential power to appoint a commission of inquiry contained in Section 84(2)(f) of the Constitution.

Crawford-Browne wants a review of whether the president has fulfilled constitutional obligations and for the court to direct the president to appoint an independent commission of inquiry into the arms deals of 1999.

Crawford-Browne wrote to the president and made a request on December 1 2008 for the commission of inquiry. Current Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was in office at the time.

Former president Thabo Mbeki, who also turned down such a request in 2003, was forced to leave office by the ruling ANC as tension mounted in the party over Zuma's prosecution for allegedly receiving bribes from arms dealers.

Crawford-Browne was told in December 2008 there was no need for inquiry because a criminal investigation was already under way.

The prosecution against Zuma and arms company Thint was eventually abandoned after the National Prosecuting Authority declared there had been political interference in the investigation. Zuma was inaugurated president in May 2009.

The main issue on Thursday will be whether the president has a constitutional obligation to appoint a commission of inquiry in certain factual circumstances, or whether the matter is a discretion that the president may exercise, or not, at will.

Crawford-Browne believes the refusal to appoint a commission was irrational and that the deals may have been tainted by irregularities, fraud and corruption.

The application is opposed by the president, who will not be at court as he is attending the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town until Friday, according to his spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.

The South African Institute of Race Relations is a friend of the court on the grounds that corruption is a threat to the constitutional order of South Africa, that the president's refusal is irrational and unreasonable and that the court should direct the president to take reasonable steps to address corruption by appointing an independent commission of inquiry. -- Sapa

KZN ANC bigwigs nabbed by the Hawks

KZN ANC bigwigs nabbed by the Hawks
2011-07-31 16:15

Paddy Harper,
City Press
Durban - The Hawks have arrested KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and the province’s speaker, Peggy Nkonyeni, in connection with the R44m "Amigos" fraud, corruption and money laundering case.

On Thursday the two were quietly fingerprinted, charged, issued with warning statements to appear in court tomorrow, and released after negotiations between their lawyers and the Hawks.

The clandestine arrests took place in terms of the controversial warrants issued against them by Simphiwe Mlotshwa, provincial director of public prosecutions, allegedly on the instructions of National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane several weeks ago.

The two, who have both occupied the post of ANC KZN treasurer, are also the target of an impending asset forfeiture application, which City Press understands will be brought by the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) in coming weeks.

Two new accused, ANC bookkeeper Delani Mzila and former KZN health department head Dr Ronald Green-Thompson, are set to join the original accused – who include Uruguayan businessman Gaston Savoi; former KZN treasury boss Sipho Shabalala and his wife, Ntombi; and former health boss Busi Nyembezi – in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday.

The case will then be adjourned and a date set for trial and the serving of an indictment, which can only be finalised when a forensic report by curator Trevor White is tabled in court.

White refused to discuss the report.


Controversy has dogged the Nkonyeni and Mabuyakhulu warrants since they were issued and the news leaked to the media.

City Press is advised by a reliable source close to the investigation that there was significant disagreement between Simelane and prosecutors as to whether there was a winnable case against Nkonyeni and Mabuyakhulu.

It appears that warrants against the two were previously withdrawn, only to be re-issued later.

Also, there is allegedly some disagreement as whether there is enough evidence to seize their assets.

The behind-the-scenes battle in the NPA is apparently part of tensions between Simelane and AFU head Willie Hofmeyr, who is himself the target of charges laid by billionaire fraud accused Dave King, which Simelane referred to the police.

Simelane’s spokesperson, Mthunzi Mhaga and Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela, were both unaware of the arrests, while Mlotshwa referred City Press to the investigating officer, Lieutenant Colonel Piet du Plooy, who was unavailable.

Internal battle

Mhaga refused to discuss the internal NPA battle over the case.

Simelane and Hofmeyr were scheduled to discuss the matter with Justice Minister Jeff Radebe as part of a discussion around the tensions between the two on Friday, but the meeting was postponed.

Both the ANC and the KZN provincial government are set to support Mabuyakhulu and Nkonyeni in court on Monday.

- City Press

Read more on: corruption | crime | pietermaritzburg | durban | anc | hawks | gaston savoi | willie hofmeyr | busi nyembezi | ronald green-thompson | mike mabuyakhulu | delani mzila | peggy nkonyeni | sipho shabalala | menzi simelane

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gotcha! Five nabbed after N4 chase

Gotcha! Five nabbed after N4 chase
July 30 2011 at 03:20pm
By Karabo Seanego



Police question five suspected robbers who were arrested on the N4 just passed the Hans Strijdom on-ramp on Friday afternoon. Picture: Etienne Creux

Pretoria police arrested five men aged between 30 and 46 on Friday and recovered an old, rusty AK-47 rifle along with a 9mm pistol and a police-issue bulletproof vest.

The police also discovered live ammunition for both weapons in the car the men were driving when they were arrested.

In addition balaclavas, gloves, handcuffs, cable ties and several cellphones were in the vehicle.

They were arrested when they did not follow a police order to pull off the road in Hatfield.

The gang was travelling in a white Mercedes Benz Kompressor and they apparently tried to speed past the officer who ordered them to pull over.

The officer called for back-up when the car joined the N4 en route to Witbank, and a chase ensued.

Officers in unmarked cars responded and caught up with the suspects.

The suspects were surrounded and outnumbered, and the driver pulled over.

Police spokesman Constable Sam Shibambo said: “The suspects were ordered out of the vehicle and the vehicle was searched.

“We believe they might have been on their way to commit a crime, which would explain why we did not find anything else in the car.”

He said the police were also trying to piece together how the gang got their hands on the bulletproof vest and handcuffs.

He said police feared that the police officer who they belonged to might have crossed paths with the gang and come out second-best, but he did not rule out the possibility of “one of their own leasing the equipment to the gang”.

Shibambo added that the car in which the men were travelling had not been hijacked or stolen but the police believe it might belong to the parents of one of the suspects.

The suspects were charged with illegal possession of firearms and were detained at Silverton Police Station.

“(We) are continuing with investigations and the suspects will appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon,” he said. - Pretoria News Weekend

Man shot seven times in PE

Man shot seven times in PE
A man was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Shauderville, Port Elizabeth on Thursday, Eastern Cape police said.

Gallo Images

A man was shot dead in a drive-by shooting in Shauderville, Port Elizabeth on Thursday, Eastern Cape police said.

Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said the 24-year old man was shot seven times, in the back and head, by two men in a minibus taxi.

He died at the scene.

"Police suspect that the killing is in connection with a court appearance that took place earlier today [Thursday], where the 24-year-old had opened an armed robbery case against the two men."

One of the alleged murderers was arrested. Police were searching for the second. The armed robbery took place in 2009.

( MSN News )

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sishen row: Hawks' raids rattle top politicos

Sishen row: Hawks' raids rattle top politicos

- Jul 29 2011
Wednesday's dramatic raids in which the Hawks seized evidence from mining company Imperial Crown Trading (ICT), the department of mineral resources and the state attorney's office may affect people close to both President Jacob Zuma and his deputy, Kgalema Motlanthe.

Both Jagdish Parekh, a top lieutenant of Zuma benefactors the Gupta family, and Gugu Mtshali, Motlanthe's partner, are among people of interest to the investigation, according to the search warrants used in the raids. Parekh and Mtshali are shareholders in ICT.

Also named is Jacinto Rocha, who formerly was second in charge at the mineral resources department. He signed off on iron-ore prospecting rights controversially awarded to ICT.

The company, through its lawyer, has denied all wrongdoing and questioned the timing of the raids, which came less than three weeks before the North Gauteng High Court hears a civil dispute between the Sishen Iron Ore Company (Sioc), ICT and the department. Sioc claims that ICT, in collusion with officials from the department, cheated it out of rights to part of its own iron-ore mine.

Rocha said he was unaware that his name was on the warrants and could not comment because he had not seen them.

The rights awarded to ICT are potentially worth billions. Steel company ArcelorMittal announced last August that it would buy ICT for R800-million and do a parallel BEE transaction in which ICT's shareholders and related parties -- not least of them the Gupta family and the president’s son, Duduzane Zuma -- would obtain ArcelorMittal shares with a face value of more than R7-billion.

Should the transaction be consummated, both the younger Zuma, whose investment company would get shares worth R933-million, and Mtshali, who would get shares of R300-million plus R67-million in cash, will be extremely wealthy.

But ArcelorMittal has repeatedly postponed signing off on the deal, citing delays in the completion of its due diligence, which may be materially affected by evidence that ICT acquired the Sishen rights illegally.

Wednesday's raids will pose another obstacle -- possibly insurmountable, depending on what was found -- to the consummation of the deal

That cages were rattled appears from the reaction of at least two state departments. Mineral resources spokesperson Bheki Khumalo went on radio to say raiding the department was "unconstitutional" and "against the very grain of good governance". The Hawks should simply have requested the information, he said.

And department of justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali was quoted as saying the raid on the state attorney's office was "unprecedented", also claiming that the information could have been obtained without a warrant.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela replied: "The departments of mineral resources and justice have expressed their unhappiness about our raid in the media. We are not going to respond to that. [Hawks head Anwa] Dramat will engage with both ministers on the issue individually."

Inside the investigation
The search warrant used to raid ICT spells out the charges being investigated: fraud, forgery, uttering and corruption. Apart from Parekh, Mtshali and Rocha, others named as being of interest to the investigation include ICT's Phemelo Sehunelo, his assistant Sharifa Ferris, Sehunelo's companion, Duduzile Kunene, and her former business partner, Thozama Basi. Both Kunene and Basi are department of mineral resources officials (see "Who are in the Hawks' sights").

The warrant, read with allegations made by Sioc in papers filed for the civil matter in the Pretoria North High Court, make it clear that the events of May 1 to 3 2009 are core to the alleged crimes. That May Day long weekend, it is alleged, ICT was given access to Sioc's mining rights application, which had been handed to the department immediately before the weekend. ICT hastily prepared its own competing application, allegedly copying title deeds from Sioc's application and crudely forging them to appear as if they had been obtained from the deeds office.

In the week that followed, ICT's prospecting right application was lodged at the department's Kimberley office -- allegedly belately or in dribs and drabs -- but passed off, with the help of officials, as if the entire application had been lodged on Monday May 4.

The date is significant because May 4 was the first day on which applications were accepted for lapsed, unconverted old-order mineral rights. ICT and Sioc's applications were both judged by the department to have been received on that day, but ICT's was given preference because of its greater empowerment credentials.

ICT hits back
ICT legal representative Ronnie Mendelow questioned what he called "the exquisite timing" of the raids, coming as they did less than three weeks before Sioc's court application to have the prospecting right awarded to ICT set aside, but 11 months since Sioc had first indicated that it had laid criminal charges against ICT.

He said: "To view the timing of the raid as sheer coincidence is an affront to common sense … It's a malicious attempt to embarrass us and cloud the mind of the judge."

He dismissed the allegations against his clients as having "no substance whatsoever".

"We dealt with the allegations in our court papers in February in very intricate detail, head-on and with documentary evidence to refute Kumba's [Sioc's] allegations," he said.

Who are in the Hawks sights?
People of interest named in the Hawks' search and seizure warrant against ICT include (in bold):
ICT co-founder Phemelo Sehunelo is romantically linked with Duduzile Kunene, a department of mineral resources official. Kunene is a one-time business partner with Thozama Basi, the department official in Kimberley who received Sioc's application immediately before the 2009 May Day long weekend.

ICT -- and specifically Sehunelo and his assistant Sharifa Ferris -- hurriedly prepared its own competing application over the weekend, allegedly having been slipped a copy of Sioc's application.

In court papers, Sioc claims the title deeds included in ICT's application are copies of those that were in its (Sioc's) application, but crudely forged to appear as if they were obtained from the deeds office.

This was allegedly done by Ferris by placing a card over Sioc's certification marks while photocopying, after which ICT had its own certification done.

In a counter-affidavit, Sehunelo claims he had obtained the deeds from the deeds office in Vryburg, two hours' drive away, on Monday May 4, before ICT submitted its application to the department that same morning. Sehunelo claims that the crude forgeries were later slipped into the file -- a dirty trick to damage ICT.

ICT co-founder and shareholder Prudence "Gugu" Mtshali is understood to be deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe's long-time romantic partner. At the time ICT applied for the right to prospect the Sishen mine, Motlanthe was in the final throes of his short term as president. No specific allegations against Mtshali appear from the warrant or Sioc's court papers, but the warrant portrays an interest in her communications at the time of the ICT application and authorised the seizure of her computer.

Director and shareholder Jagdish Parekh took up a 50% stake in ICT in March 2010, well after the events in question. He is a key executive in businesses of the Gupta family, which is close to President Jacob Zuma. No specific allegations appear against him either.

Jacinto Rocha was deputy director general in the department at the time and responsible for approving all prospecting right applications. No specific allegations appear against him. He said on Thursday: "I was not aware that my name was included in the search warrant. I have not seen the warrant and so I cannot give an informed comment on the allegations against me."

Rocha left the department in February 2010; he now consults and lectures on mining law.

All ICT members referred the M&G to the company lawyer, Ronnie Mendelow, for comment (see "ICT hits back"), with the exception of Mtshali, whose phone went unanswered all Thursday. Kunene deferred comment to the department, and Basi could not be reached.

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit initiative to develop investigative journalism in the public interest, produced this story. All views are ours. See for all our stories, activities and sources of funding.


Legislation doesn’t recognise The Hawks – ConCourt
2011-03-17 17:08

Mariechen Waldner
The Hawks are constitutionally invalid, says the Constitutional Court.

Businessman Hugh Glenister, who went all the way to the ConCourt following the ANC’s decision to disband the Scorpions, has now been vindicated.

The ConCourt ruled today that a section of the legislation enabling the disbanding of the Scorpions and launch of the Hawks was constitutionally invalid.

It ruled that this legislation did not provide enough protection against political influence for the Hawks, a specialist investigative unit placed within the police.

The Scorpions fell under the National Prosecuting Authority and the Department of Justice.

The court ordered Chapter 6A of the South Africa Police Services Act 68 of 1995, as amended, to be sent back to Parliament, with the order of constitutional invalidity suspended for 18 months, until it has been rectified.

Glenister started his court battles after the ANC, at its 2007 conference in Polokwane, decided to disband the Scorpions, also known as the Directorate of Special Operations.

The ANC’s anger against the Scorpions was sparked by the directorate’s attempts to prosecute President Jacob Zuma for corruption.

These attempts followed the conviction of Zuma’s former financial advisor, Schabir Schaik, on corruption charges.

ConCourt judges ruled that the South African Constitution, the Bill of Rights as well as international anti-corruption agreements, ratified by Parliament, required the creation of independent anti-corruption entities by the state.

The Hawks, the judges found, were vulnerable to political influence because legislation required its activities to be coordinated by Cabinet and its policy guidelines to be determined by a ministerial committee.

The judges also pointed out that the conditions of service which applied to members of the Hawks made it insufficiently independent.

They did not have enough employment security to carry out their duties vigorously.

The appointment of members was not sufficiently shielded from political influence.

Remuneration levels were furthermore flexible and not secured.

This made the Hawks vulnerable to an undue measure of political influence.

The Constitution, the judges said, imposed an obligation on the state to establish and maintain an independent body to combat corruption and organised crime.

The Constitution imposed a pressing duty on the state to set up a concrete, effective and independent mechanism to prevent and root out corruption.

The judges also pointed out that corruption undermined the rights in the Bill of Rights, and imperilled South Africa’s democracy.

- City Press

Cool war talk, Bheki Cele urged

Cool war talk, Bheki Cele urged
RETHA GROBBELAAR 29 July, 2011 00:34

National police commissioner Bheki Cele should focus on creating a more professional police force and not on war talk, says Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies.
In the past five days, three police officers were killed on duty in Gauteng. In addition, two constables were found dead yesterday in a house in Sebokeng. The circumstances of their deaths are not known.

Burger said yesterday that the police needed better tactical training at station level.

"Units like the national intervention unit undergo continuous advanced tactical training, and they have almost a zero casualty number, but not all police officers at stations have had advanced tactical training," Burger said.

Cele spoke angrily about the killing of police officers when visiting their families recently.

At the funeral last month of police reservist Lieutenant-Colonel Marco Ishlove, Cele said that killers of policemen would have "sleepless nights". Ishlove was killed in a shootout with a gang of five men in Johannesburg.

Cele said: "If that is a policy of 'shoot to kill', let it be . no member [of the police] must die with a gun in his hand."

Burger said Cele should focus on creating a more professional, not more aggressive, police force, and create better relationships between the police and communities.

"If you have the community on your side, they won't allow the police to be attacked."

Police leaders calling for more aggression could lead to officers, already under pressure because they were confronted by violence every day, taking their aggression home, Burger said.

National police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao said that officers were shot at often and in many instances survived.

"[They are] the "victors, which shows that police training is good".

"We give enough tactical training to police officers," Adriao said.

All officers took refresher courses on street survival "every couple of years", and this included tactical training.

Provincial police spokesman Captain Katlego Mogale said a nine-year-old boy found the bodies of his 40-year-old father and of another constable in a house in Sebokeng yesterday.

The officers both worked at the Vereeniging police station.

A service pistol was found on the scene.

Mogale said the police were still trying to establish to whom it belonged.

The death toll of police officers killed since January is now 54, excluding the two officers found dead in Sebokeng yesterday.

■On Wednesday, Warrant Officer Mxolisi Mdutyana was shot and killed in the Joe Slovo informal settlement on the East Rand while on patrol with a reservist constable.
Student constable Sonwabile Beyaphi, who was sleeping in a shack during the shooting, was shot in the jaw.

■On Sunday, two flying squad members, Lefu Mokoena, 45, and Bhekuyise Mahlalela, 47, were killed when two people in a bakkie that they had pulled over, shot them near Zonkizizwe, on the East Rand.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

2 cops shot dead in Gauteng

2 cops shot dead in Gauteng
2011-07-28 11:26

Read more stories about
Police2 cops shot dead in Gauteng - 28 Jul
Police tenders - more graft allegations - 27 Jul
Cele calls for police killings to stop - 27 Jul
Cele seeks probe into police tenders - 27 Jul
Policeman shot dead while on patrol - 27 Jul
Police destroy over 753 000 firearms - 26 Jul
Limpopo cop killing case on hold - 26 Jul
Cele's jet use justified, efficient - police - 26 Jul
Find killers to comfort families - Cele - 26 Jul

Johannesburg - Two police officers were shot dead in Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg, on Thursday morning, Gauteng police said.

Captain Katlego Mogale said she had just arrived on the scene at 10:30 and was still getting information on the incident.

She could only confirm that two officers were shot dead.

"What I know is that two constables died," said Mogale.

On Wednesday morning, a policeman was shot dead at the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg.

The Star newspaper reported this week that at least 53 police officers have been killed since January.


Read more on: crime johannesburg police

Child found cops' bodies in house
2011-07-28 21:20

Related Links2 cops found shot dead in Gauteng
Limpopo cop shot dead
Cele calls for police killings to stop

Johannesburg - The 9-year-old son of a Sebokeng police constable woke up on Thursday morning to find the bodies of his father and a woman in the house, Gauteng police said.

"Two police constables, both aged 40 and stationed in Vereeniging were found dead in a house in Zone 12 Sebokeng," said Captain Katlego Mogale.

Neighbours apparently heard a banging noise at about 22:00 on Wednesday.

"When they tried to listen carefully, the sound subsided," Mogale said.

"Early this morning, neighbours were woken up by a 9-year-old boy who summoned help. The neighbour allegedly found the two constables lying dead and a pistol next to them."

Mogale said the boy was the male constable's son.

She said he was asleep but found the bodies when he woke up.

Mogale declined to speculate on the matter, saying she did not know whether the man and woman were in a relationship.

"The motive for the killing is unknown and will form part of the investigation."

On Saturday, in Itsoseng, North West, a police officer shot and injured a woman before shooting himself dead. The motive for the shooting in that case was not known.

In the line of duty

Meanwhile, in the past 10 days, four police officers have been killed in the line of duty.

On July 19, Warrant Officer Leon Nieuwoudt, 38, was shot dead after he arrested two suspected stock thieves on a farm near Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape.

On Sunday, two flying squad police officers, Petrus Mokoena, 45, and Bhekuyise Mahlalela, 47, were shot dead when they stopped a bakkie with two occupants in Zonkizizwe, Ekurhuleni.

On Wednesday morning, Warrant Officer Mxolisi Mdutyana, 44, was shot dead at the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Reiger Park, east of Johannesburg, while he and a constable were on patrol in the area.

National police commissioner General Bheki Cele was said to be highly upset after being told of the Reiger Park shooting.

His spokesperson Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said his reaction was: "When will this stop?

Cele said in a statement on Wednesday: "I want to make another appeal to the people of South Africa to help stop the murder of police officers. The time has come for communities to say 'HANDS OFF our cops'...

"The police officers that are being killed are spouses, parents, siblings and children but also - importantly - they are from your community trying to keep you safe."

According to figures published in The Star newspaper on Thursday, 54 police officers had been killed in action since January this year.


Read more on: johannesburg police bheki cele


+ Author Affiliations
Tom Lodge is a Professor in the Department of Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
Public opinion suggests that political corruption is entrenched in South Africa. Comparative experience does not indicate that the historical South African political environment was especially likely to nurture a venal bureaucracy; as a fairly industrialized and extremely coercive state the apartheid order may have been less susceptible to many of the forms of political corruption analysts have associated with other post-colonial developing countries. Democratization has made government less secret, inhibiting corruption in certain domains but through extending government's activities opening up possibilities for abuse in others. Today's authorities argue that the present extent of corruption is largely inherited and indeed certain government departments, notably those concerned with security and the homelands, as well as the autonomous homeland administrations themselves, had a history of routine official misbehaviour. After describing the distribution and nature of corruption in South African public administration this article concludes that a substantial proportion of modern corruption occurs in regional administrations and certainly embodies a legacy from the homeland civil services. A major source of financial misappropriation in the old central government, secret defence procurement, no longer exists but corruption is stimulated by new official practices and fresh demands imposed upon the bureaucracy including discriminatory tendering, political solidarity, and the expansion of citizen entitlements. Though much contemporary corruption is inherited from the past, the simultaneous democratization and restructuring of the South African state makes it very vulnerable to new forms of abuse in different locations.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Capicol to be paid for malls ‘in future’

Capicol to be paid for malls ‘in future’
July 27 2011 at 05:00am
By Roy Cokayne

Capicol, the developer of the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa, will only receive payment “some time in the future” from the troubled Sharemax group for these two mall developments.

The Sharemax board last week announced the transfer of ownership to Sharemax companies of the partially completed property developments it had syndicated but did not provide any details on how the change of ownership had been achieved.

A Sharemax spokesman had previously disclosed that some of the companies in the group were bankrupt and Sharemax did not have the money to pay outstanding amounts to allow the transfer of ownership of the developments to take place.

But Sharemax financial director Dominique Haese confirmed on Monday that the settlement agreement with Capicol was structured in such a way that payment to Capicol was only due “in the future”.

Haese said the Sharemax board had been active in trying to source funding from various parties but could not disclose further information about this.

She said the idea was to “cleanse” the old Sharemax structure if all the shareholders agreed to the scheme of arrangement process.

“Once that has been done, banks may be interested to get involved because it makes commercial sense. Various investors have indicated they might want to come on board if it (Sharemax) is cleansed,” she said.

Sharemax Investments owes R64.5 million to Capicol in terms of an arbitration award related to the Zambezi Retail Park.

GD Irons Construction has a lien for more than R100 million over The Villa for completed, but unpaid, work. It has confirmed this lien is still intact.

In a statement by the Sharemax board last week, it said the transfer of ownership of the two properties meant that the boards of the Sharemax group were now able to progress with the implementation of the schemes of arrangement processes, which were expected to be completed by the end of next month.

The change of ownership was for 100 percent of the Zambezi Retail Park and 80 percent of The Villa. It was contractually agreed that Capicol’s 20 percent interest in The Villa would be available for acquisition at various stages at predetermined amounts. It also referred to a suspensive condition in The Villa agreement, which had to be fulfilled by August 15.

Haese said Capicol had been working on a solution to The Villa and this condition was to allow it to follow up properly on the work it had been doing.

However, this condition would fall away if Capicol did not manage to come up with a better solution by August 15, she said.

Meanwhile, Efficient Group chairman and chief economist Dawie Roodt, who was last year one of three new independent non-executive directors appointed to the Sharemax group of companies, resigned his Sharemax directorships on Friday.

Roodt said on Monday that he had resigned because he believed he had contributed as much as he possibly could to Sharemax. However, he admitted there was some “tension” between the directors at board level.

His resignation came one day after the new Sharemax board announced the transfer of ownership of the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa.

The three independent non-executive Sharemax directors were appointed by the statutory managers, who were appointed by the registrar of banks to manage the repayment of investor funds after an investigation into the affairs of Sharemax found its funding model contravened the Banks Act.

Sharemax defaulted on monthly payments to investors from September last year.

Construction on both the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa stopped in the same month when funds from Sharemax to Capicol dried up. About 40 000 shareholders have invested R4.5 billion through Sharemax’s various property syndications. – Roy Cokayne

Cele calls for police killings to stop

Cele calls for police killings to stop
2011-07-27 18:45

Johannesburg - National police commissioner General Bheki Cele called for a stop to the killing of policemen as Reiger Park officers search for the person who killed their colleague, 44-year-old Warrant Officer Mxolisi Mdutyana on Wednesday.

His spokesperson Colonel Vishnu Naidoo said that when he was told of Mdutyana's murder, Cele's reaction was: "When will this stop?"

Mdutyana was shot and killed at the Joe Slovo informal settlement in Reiger Park on Wednesday morning while he and a constable were on patrol in the area.

The men were on their way to the station when a woman ran to them and said two men were pointing a gun at her.

The officers approached the men who then ran in different directions. The officers separated and pursued them.

Gauteng provincial spokesperson Captain Katlego Mogale said the constable ran down the road and the warrant officer ran into a lane between shacks.

"Moments later, the constable heard shots and returned to investigate. He found the warrant officer lying in a pool of blood."

He was declared dead at the scene by paramedics, Mogale said.

Hands off our cops

Cele said: "I want to make another appeal to the people of South Africa to help stop the murder of police officers. The time has come for communities to say 'HANDS OFF our cops'...

"The police officers that are being killed are spouses, parents, siblings and children but also - importantly - they are from your community trying to keep you safe", he said in a statement.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said a programme to address the police killings would be shared publicly on Friday, following a recent conference on the subject.

"These heartless criminals who murder our cops have, for all intentions declared themselves enemies of the State and the law-abiding citizens; and it is our resolve that we shall end these killings. We have the support of millions of South Africans [who] are saying: enough is enough!" said Mnisi.

Stiffer penalties

The ANC said the continued killing of police officers was no longer just a matter for Mthethwa and Cele, but a huge societal challenge.

"The ANC calls on society to strengthen such structures as street and area committees, community policing forums and other organs of civil society to collaborate with [SA Police Service] in an effort to stamp out these heinous acts against police officers."

Stiffer penalties were needed for those finally apprehended for such shootings, and South Africans needed to focus on ways of bringing the killings to a "screeching halt".

They sent condolences to Mdutyana's family and said: "Television images of killed police officers and their families going through the trauma of dealing with deaths, is disturbing enough.

"It is about time the killings should come to a stop in the same way we brought down the heinous policy of apartheid to a screeching halt."

Protect the protectors

On Tuesday, Cele visited the families of warrant officers Lefu Petrus Mokoena, 45, and Bhekuyise Mboneni Mahlalela, 47, after they were shot dead in Vosloorus.

The Star reported that their deaths brought to 53 the number of policemen killed since January.

"Communities, business, NGO's, religious and other leaders as well as the media have already pledged their support in combating this heinous scourge," Cele said.

"But obviously much more will have to be done - and soon - to protect the protectors.

"The statistics of murder on police officers in 2011 are frighteningly high and a concerted effort must be made to ensure that the numbers do not go into triple digits shortly."

Cele and Mthethwa will brief the media on Friday in Pretoria on their approach to police killings.


Read more on: crime | police | zweli mnisi | bheki cele | nathi mthethwa

Cele's jet use justified and efficient: police

Political economy
27 July 2011 00:19
Cele's jet use justified and efficient: police

Used the jet for 47 trips at a cost of R1.498m.
Police chief General Bheki Cele's use of the police jet to travel around the country is justified and an efficient mode of transport, the police said on Tuesday.

In a written reply to a parliamentary question on Tuesday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Cele's use of the jet for 47 trips, including four abroad, cost R1.498 million between August 2008 and May 30 this year.

The Democratic Alliance's spokeswoman on police, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, said this underscored "the disregard that commissioner Cele has repeatedly displayed for accountability, professional conduct, and prudent use of state funds".

In a statement later, the police said the facts were being "blatantly ignored by certain individuals".

It said Cele never undertook such trips on his own and was always accompanied by members of management, meaning there were usually eight passengers on the jet.

Should Cele undertake a trip on his own he would use a commercial airline.

"These trips are often undertaken on very short notice and commercial flights are not always available to transport the national commissioner and senior officers to the destination where they have to perform official duties," the police said.

When police management had to attend official duties out of Gauteng and had to return to head office for other commitments on the same day, the use of the jet was more economical in terms of time spent travelling to and from international airports as well as waiting for flights.

The police said the period in question included the run-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup, when it was necessary for Cele and police management to check on the operational plans and state of readiness of all provinces to host a safe and secure event.

Also during this period, Cele and his management visited each province where they inspected 126 police stations and held national management meetings.

"This, with the aim of improving service delivery to the communities and addressing challenges faced by members of the [SA Police Service (SAPS)] at grass-roots level."

The fact that these visits were undertaken had been widely publicised.

All plans relating to, and the roll-out of the countrywide Safer Festive Season operations, which were also successful, were also implemented during this period.

"It must also be stressed most emphatically that the police jet, and other police-owned aircraft, are not used exclusively by the national commissioner and top management," the police said.

"These aircraft are used for operational members of the SAPS, for example to transport members of the Special Task Force to high-risk situations anywhere in the country as well as to convey detectives, crime scene experts and forensic analysts to crime scenes anywhere in the country.

"When one takes all the above into consideration, one can only reach the conclusion that certain elements are hasty in their rush to condemn, criticise, and vilify the national commissioner.

"Over the period of time during which these trips were undertaken, the police jet was the most efficient means of transportation in terms of cost effectiveness and effective time management."

( moneyweb)

Sharemax law firm accused of extortion

Sharemax law firm accused of extortion
July 27 2011 at 05:00am
By Roy Cokayne


Zambezi mall one of Sharemax by Simphiwe Mbokazi 453

Roy Cokayne

Sharemax attorneys Weavind & Weavind have been accused of attempted extortion and unprofessional conduct, related to a complaint lodged against the law firm with the Law Society of the Northern Provinces by prospective investors in property syndication schemes marketed by Sharemax.

Pierre Hough, a multi-disciplinary strategist and investigator of serious economic crime, claims attempts were made to get his client, Toffie Risk, to withdraw his complaint to the law society and the SAPS. Hough said this week that Risk was living in fear over a damages action instituted against him by Weavind & Weavind.

He alleged Weavind & Weavind had made an offer to Risk that if he signed a document and disassociated himself from Hough’s advice and from Hough as a consultant, it would withdraw the damages action against him.

“This is attempted extortion, which is a very serious matter, and unprofessional conduct. It also amounts to attempting to defeat the ends of justice,” Hough said.

Weavind & Weavind today faces a law society disciplinary committee hearing related to an initial complaint made by Hough, Risk and another of Hough’s clients, JMM Bosman. They claim misappropriation of trust funds in Sharemax schemes, by releasing funds from the law firm’s trust account in contravention of a government prohibition.

A R200 000 claim has been lodged with the Attorneys Fidelity Fund as well.

Weavind & Weavind at the time ignored a request from Business Report for comment about the initial complaint.

However, in response to a letter of demand from an attorney representing 11 other investors in Sharemax schemes, Weavind & Weavind claimed the government prohibition was not applicable to the firm. The law firm subsequently instituted a multimillion-rand damages claim against Risk, Bosman, Hough and his firm, Chase International, for defamation.

Hough said at the time that the claims were an attempt to intimidate his clients.

Weavind & Weavind managing director Raiford Johnson said the allegations of attempted extortion and defeating the ends of justice were extremely serious but neither his firm nor anyone acting on its instructions or with its consent had made any offer, as suggested, to either Bosman or Risk or to anybody acting on behalf of the complainants to the law society.

Johnson said the claims were “totally false, slanderous and obviously made with the intent of causing us (Weavind & Weavind) huge harm”.

Hough said he had lodged a further complaint with the law society last week about the alleged attempted extortion and unprofessional conduct by Weavind & Weavind.

Jaco Fourie, the senior legal official of the disciplinary department at the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, declined to confirm if such a complaint had been lodged. He said a committee of the law society had been provided with certain documentation for the hearing this week and it would consider and discuss them at the hearing.

But, Fourie added, as far as he knew, the people Hough was representing “had withdrawn their complaints” and these allegations now only came from Hough.

Bosman has withdrawn her complaint to the law society while Weavind & Weavind has withdrawn the damages action against her.

Bosman confirmed she had contacted Weavind & Weavind and informed the firm she no longer wanted to continue with her complaint.

“I did not have the energy, time or money to continue with it,” she said.

Charle Rossouw, Toffie Risk’s attorney, declined to comment on whether Risk had withdrawn his complaint against Weavind & Weavind.

Rossouw confirmed they had approached Weavind & Weavind after reviewing Risk’s situation in relation to the summons issued against him for damages.

“There were no offers from Weavind & Weavind in that respect and certain discussions followed thereafter but I cannot discuss them,” he said.


07 December 2010 23:13 Sharemax update: Chris de Beer - lawyer, De BeerJanse v Vuuren & De Wet Inc
Interviewer ProfileAlec Hogg is a writer and broadcaster. He founded Moneyweb and is its editor-in-chief.

Email Alec Hogg
Download this interview

Subscribe to newsletters

A plea for a proper investigation into the debacle.

ALEC HOGG: Well, Chris de Beer has got a similar case that he's digging into. He's a lawyer at De Beer Janse v Vuuren & De Wet. Chris, you've taken a particular interest in Sharemax. We'll get on to that in a moment, but why? What stimulated you to be interested in this whole saga?

CHRIS DE BEER: Hi Alec. Ja, we are acting on behalf of investors in some of the syndication companies and we had a proper look. We've been investigating the scheme for a while now, and ... down to the fact that in our papers we basically state in 700 pages what we believe the state of affairs is. Certainly some of the syndications are doing much better than the others, but the application is brought with a view of ultimately ensuring protection of investors and the public.

ALEC HOGG: You mention an application. You too are going to the courts to try and resolve an issue that you feel is problematic with those who are currently running the Sharemax portfolios. Why are you concerned that they aren't doing a good job?

CHRIS DE BEER: As far as "basically concerned that they are not doing a good job", I think the concern is more regarding the powers that are divested to the statutory managers. They are appointed in terms of the Banks Act, and they've got ... limited powers, whereas if you apply for a judicial manager they've got far more powers than the statutory manager, and they can do proper investigations into financial affairs. They can deal properly with any irregularities if there should have been any. They can better ensure the protection of investors.

ALEC HOGG: You say that you are representing investors. How many investors are those, Chris?

CHRIS DE BEER: Well, it's a group of investors. You've got people putting a lot of money in...

ALEC HOGG: So it's a lot.

CHRIS DE BEER: Pensioners as well. One of my clients put R10m in one of these syndications.

ALEC HOGG: What possessed him to do that? R10m in a Sharemax syndication?

CHRIS DE BEER: It's a lot of money into what was sold as being a good property investment.

ALEC HOGG: So he bought the story, he gave some broker, what, probably R3m in commission, and he's now struggling to get his money back, or at least to get some of it back?

CHRIS DE BEER: You see, that's the reason I say, Alec, there should be proper investigation into this. We don't want to be responsible with statements we make. The bottom line is that we see that some of the properties, specifically the latest ones, are grossly overvalued. And we can't see how with limited powers any statutory manager can properly protect investors and the public. If you have a look at the profile of the investors, I mean, it's old people, it's basically a mix. But ja, it should be a very responsible approach, and that's why we also try to ensure continuity by requesting the court to appoint the statutory managers as the co-judicial managers.

ALEC HOGG: So you want judicial managers. In South Africa's history, though, the past 27 years, only one property has come out of judicial management. All the others have actually gone bust. Is that not something that might happen here - that you then get the liquidators getting their hands on Sharemax, and heaven knows if anything's going to come out after that's happened.

CHRIS DE BEER: What I can tell you about that, Alec, is that at this stage we are approaching the court to get the permission in terms of the appointment of the statutory managers to bring judicial management applications in respect of seven of the syndication schemes. I think the two most problematic schemes are the Zambezi Retail Park and The Villa Retail Park. We are basically bringing two judicial management applications for Zambezi and for Villa.

ALEC HOGG: Those are the two biggest ones, are they?

CHRIS DE BEER: Yes. The two biggest ones, the two latest ones and also the ones with the biggest problems, looking at values.

ALEC HOGG: Chris, just on a broader sense, you say you put together 700 pages for the courts. Is there stuff that's come out in your investigation that we haven't seen yet from Sharemax?

CHRIS DE BEER: Alec, I can tell you this much. The papers are available from tomorrow at 10 o'clock, on an internet website. It's a link that you can find on the internet site. It's a public document, so anybody who wants to read it can go and read it there.

ALEC HOGG: How bad were these guys - Mr Willie Botha and his team, his cohorts?

CHRIS DE BEER: Well, I think it's for the reader to decide. At this stage we are strongly of the view that there should be further investigation into the affairs of the group. I think it's quite clear that there have been irregularities, otherwise there wouldn't have been statutory managers. But ja, I think specifically if you look at the way that they conducted loans between the companies - I think that's something that needs to be attended to.

ALEC HOGG: Chris, just finally - did you track down any assets abroad, overseas?

CHRIS DE BEER: Well, at this stage we haven't really had the opportunity to do that, but that's something that a judicial manager will probably have a proper look at, and we'll investigate that as we go further.

ALEC HOGG: Chris de Beer is a lawyer at De Beer Janse v Vuuren & De Wet, and he's done some serious investigation, as you heard, into Sharemax. We will be posting that link onto Moneyweb tomorrow. You can go and read the 700 pages and make up your own mind.

• Subscribe to a daily email of transcripts from Moneyweb Radio - click here


17 September 2010 23:13 Statutory managers appointed at Sharemax: Michael Blackbeard - deputy registrar of banks, SARB
Interviewer ProfileAlec Hogg is a writer and broadcaster. He founded Moneyweb and is its editor-in-chief.

Email Alec Hogg
Follow Moneyweb on twitter

Reserve Bank moves decisively to help Sharemax investors.

ALEC HOGG: Well, I guess the guys who put their money in Sharemax are wishing they had listened to Deon Basson years ago, and are wishing they put their money into something like Discovery Invest because unfortunately, as they say in the classics, the fit has hit the shan, and Advocate Michael Blackbeard is the South African Reserve Bank. He's the deputy registrar there. Michael, you've put into place now - it's called statutory managers, but the same thing as the curators that were put into place at Fidentia. They are now going to try to get money back for the investors.

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: Yes, good evening, Alec. The position is that we did find that the funding model of Sharemax was indeed a contravention of the Banks Act, and the only administrative powers that we do have in such a case is to order repayment and then to appoint managers to manage the repayment process.

ALEC HOGG: Why did it take you so long? The late Deon Basson was writing about this for years. We have also at Moneyweb. Julius Cobbett has been unpacking individual parts of these portfolios and showing that they are completely unsustainable. Was it not possible to move quicker?

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: Look, hindsight is 20:20 vision. There are various factors. Firstly, it's a question of was the law clear enough? And the lawyers of Sharemax made a big issue about whether the commercial paper notice was clear enough and whether there was room for interpretation, and we have to ... these submissions by the lawyer. So there were lawyers involved.

ALEC HOGG: They kicked you into touch though, playing for time, and in the period that they were playing for time more people presumably put their money into this crooked lot.

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: Yes, unfortunately that is usually the case. We receive a complaint, we have to react, we do react. The question is do we react too quickly, then we are also not very popular, because we are destroying the goose that lays the golden egg. If we obviously respect the rights of the other and we take too long we are also not - so it's a very thankless task.

ALEC HOGG: It is. It's never easy to be a state employee and to be an honest one at that. You guys really are. But, Michael, from your perspective, what can the public do, we as journalists? And again I'll just refer to Deon Basson - the poor man went out there and attacked Sharemax all on his own. Naspers, his employers, refused to support him in the court action against Sharemax. He's passed on now and we know that the stress that was involved probably had a role in that. What can the public, what can journalists do perhaps if they get exposed to a similar...

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: Look, I think there have been so many articles in a lot of newspapers that that's spot-on. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. And do your homework. Is it a reputable business, do you foresee problems? But the problem is I think it's always the carrot. There's a monthly interest to be earned, and that carrot would appear to erase all the cautionary elements.

ALEC HOGG: There's also slimy salesmen in between, aren't there?

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: That is unfortunately also the problem.

ALEC HOGG: What is going to happen now to those who have been responsible for harvesting all this money from investors? Are they going to be brought to book?

MICHAEL BLACKBEARD: Look, it is our policy that once we find that the Banks Act was contravened, we hand the matter over to the police. But I must caution that the test we have is that we have to be satisfied. So it's a very easy test - we have to be satisfied that the act was contravened. In a criminal case there is a beyond-reasonable-doubt test. So the police and the prosecutor sometimes have difficulty in proving reasonable doubt. ...

ALEC HOGG: Let's hope that this time round you are able to do it but, more than that, that the South African public can take a lesson from this. We've had Masterbond, we've had Fidentia, now we have Sharemax and there have always been people out there warning against these schemes. If it's too good to be true, as the deputy registrar was saying, believe it, it is. Wayne McCurrie, you've often used that credo.

WAYNE McCURRIE: Alec, I have. If you stick to one simple rule in investments - it's just diversify your portfolio, don't ever put more than 8% or 10% of you money in any one investment. You'll probably escape all of the things that you've said there, that have gone wrong for investors.

ALEC HOGG: I just wish that they would go after the consultants in a case like this. You think of the PR consultants, a guy like this Johan Geertsema, who was involved with Saambou - he was involved here as well. They lend some kind of credibility sometimes to it through their silky tongues and unfortunately it means that the ordinary people in the street get encouraged to go ahead and put their money in there and lose it. It doesn't seem fair.

• Subscribe to a daily email of transcripts from Moneyweb Radio - click here

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two more cops die brutally at the hands of criminals

Two more cops die brutally at the hands of criminals
July 26 2011

THESE are the two officers who died at the hands of hijackers on Sunday evening.

Warrant Officer Lefu Petrus Mokoena, 45, and his colleague Bhekuyise Mboneni Mahlalela, 47, died on the R103 (Old Heidelberg Road) after stopping to investigate a Nissan bakkie at about 8pm.

Inside the bakkie were armed hijackers and their victim. The gunmen got out of the vehicle and opened fire on the officers.

Both officers were shot in the upper body, and while they lay on the ground dying, the gunmen stole their service pistols. One officer died at the scene and another en route to hospital. Both were based in Germiston and working for the East Rand Flying Squad. They each had 25 years’ experience in the force.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the men had hijacked the bakkie in Zonk’Izizwe, Germiston, and run out of petrol

. While the gunmen opened fire on the police, the hijack victim managed to run away, said Dlamini.

He said the gunmen then abandoned the bakkie at the scene and hijacked a passing Toyota Corolla.

They robbed churchgoers inside the Corolla of cellphones before driving away and abandoning the car a few kilometres from the scene.

Police found blood inside the Corolla, leading them to believe one of the gunmen was injured.

Dlamini said a 9mm pistol had been found inside the bakkie.

“The hijack victim returned later to the scene. No one has been arrested,” he said.

Police are appealing to communities to help with information that could lead to the killers’ arrest.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

China, South Africa dodgy crime partnership

China Perspectives
Jackie Cameron 2011
China, South Africa dodgy crime partnership

HONG KONG: China and South Africa have agreed to work together on anti-crime fighting measures. There is an element of police training involved but mostly the talk in recent weeks has been about swapping intelligence to uncover criminals and curb cybercrime.

A nation that has failed abysmally in its attempts to fight crime - as South Africa’s shockingly high murder, rape and robbery statistics attest - presumably the country is hoping to receive more than it gives to China on the training front. Unlike the case for commercial sectors such as banking, South Africa cannot claim to be a world leader in effective policing.

But, do we really want China to roll up its sleeves on South Africa’s crime problem? Do we want it slipping its tentacles into African spying operations and getting its hands dirty in covert internet-based information gathering?

China has a lot to offer the world. When it comes to anti-crime advice and intelligence collaboration we should generally keep the Chinese away.

Fine line between crime-fighting and spying

China getting involved in our crime intelligence, law enforcement and punishment issues is scary for many reasons. For starters, there are stiff penalties for activities that are considered crimes in China but are regarded as basic rights elsewhere.

It seems inevitable that China will expect co-operation from South Africa at some point for help in dealing with a matter that is not, in South African eyes, a crime – like freedom of speech. An obvious area of concern is where Chinese people challenge the legitimacy of the Communist Party to rule China.

The Chinese government keeps tabs on people in and outside China and takes out its punishment on those within. Anti-communist party talk is a crime in China that gets you a hefty jail term as happened to Nobel prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

The fact that this basic democratic right is illegal in China, as are other similar rights, was underscored at the weekend through protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong to remind the world about what is carefully referred to in China as the “Tiananmen event”. That was the fateful day in 1989 when Chinese soldiers killed student protestors.

In China, internet access was at best shaky as the government used its massive arsenal of cyber tools to control mainland citizens’ access to the worldwide web, no doubt to reduce the chances of anyone there getting it into their heads to embark on similar action. Intermittent internet access has been a feature of life in China since unrest started in north Africa earlier this year and spread across the Middle East.

China: What’s a crime?

There are many other pointers in China that its view of what constitutes a crime is different from how others in the world define what should be illegal and what should not.

The Chinese government has repeatedly made noises about clamping down on intellectual property transgressions in discussions with western leaders. In reality, it has done nothing to stop the spread of what other countries consider a vicious economic crime on its turf.

In South Africa, and elsewhere, we are repeatedly reminded that to buy a pirate DVD is tantamount to stealing from the artists, and carries stiff penalties. Chinese cities are awash with sub-titled pirate copies of Hollywood movies, western television shows and pop music CDs.

These are not copies hidden under a flea market counter and furtively traded. They are on open display in well-fitted retail outlets in shopping malls, usually with signs forbidding shoppers from taking photographs and with shop assistants diligently keeping a look out for shoplifting – which would probably get you behind bars in China.

The Shanghai Fake Market, where you can buy knock-offs of clothing, personal goods and sporting equipment from any western brand imaginable, takes up extensive floor space in a central city building and is a popular shopping venue for locals and tourists. Stall holders brag about being fake goods’ merchants on their business cards and you can even expect to find a policeman patrolling in the vicinity to help them protect their wares. Beijing’s Silk Market is a similar concept.

Another area that is hazy when it comes to whether the Chinese authorities will view something as criminal is the trade in marine resources, like abalone (perlemoen) and sharkfin. Drug and perlemoen organised crime syndicates are interconnected in the Western Cape and Chinese triads have been involved in international perlemoen smuggling for many years.

China highlights perlemoen as a “must try food” in South Africa on its government China-Africa website. You’d be hard-pressed to find perlemoen in a South African restaurant and taking them out of the sea without a permit can land you in deep trouble with the authorities.

It seems implausible that China will help South Africa in any meaningful way to clamp down on Chinese nationals that get these, and other, rare delicacies to Chinese plates. It would be just as difficult to ask South Africans to give up their favourite beef snack forever and turn in biltong sellers to a foreign police agency.

Upmarket restaurants have abalone, mostly very small ones, on their menus and endangered species are a common item on restaurants everywhere. Exotic animals are de rigeur at weddings and are linked to personal pride, libidos and deep-seated cultural issues.

There are many other areas where there are huge cultural differences over what might constitute a crime, like talking to the foreign media (doing just that landed a journalist who repeated what was already published in China in jail for 15 years last year) and diamond-buying (blood diamonds are apparently no big deal for the Chinese).

Can we really work together on crime-fighting when our ideas of what are and aren’t crimes are so different? It seems unfair to the people who will unwittingly become the focus of intelligence operations.

Norwegian massacre gunman was a right-wing extremist who hated Muslims Read more:

Suspect named by Norwegian media as Anders Behring Breivik
Police believe he acted alone and not connected to Islamist organisations
Last updated at 10:44 AM on 23rd July 2011

Suspect: Norwegian media reported that Anders Behring Breivik has been arrested
The massacre in Norway was the work of a man with extreme right wing views who hated Muslims, police said this morning.
Officers found a series of raving internet posts by 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, who was arrested for gunning down children on the island of Utoya yesterday.
National police chief Sveinung Sponheim told public broadcaster NRK that the suspected gunman's Internet postings 'suggest that he has some political traits directed toward the right, and anti-Muslim views, but if that was a motivation for the actual act remains to be seen'.
Six foot tall and blond Breivik is reported to have arrived on the island of Utoya and opened fire after beckoning several young people over in his native Norwegian tongue.
Reports suggest he was also seen loitering around the site of the bomb blast in Oslo two hours before the island incident.
More than 30 are believed to have been killed - seven in Oslo and between 25 to 30 on Utoya Island, 50 miles north of the capital.
Initially it was not known what were the motives of the gunman and architect of the car bomb - whether they or the single person had been radicalised and was part of a militant Muslim group waging Jihad or was trying to further a home-grown political cause.
But it now appears Breivik was behind both attacks, a fact that it took police hours to realise as the mayhem ensued.

Crime scene: The 32-year-old Norwegian is said to have used this white van to drive onto the island of Utoya
The incidents come as social tensions with Norway heighten in recent months over the country’s perceived stance on Islamic issues.

Fatal: Seven people were killed in the Oslo bomb blast (pictured)
Though a long-standing Nato member, Norway has not attracted many enemies because it has tended to stay out of international conflicts.
However, it has recently increased its military presence in Muslim countries such as Afghanistan or Libya, a move bound to anger fanatics.
There was anger among some of the 150,000 Muslims living in Norway when a newspaper reproduced the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in January last year.
Last night ‘Helpers of the Global Jihad’ posted a message on the internet claiming the bombing was ‘only the beginning’ of the retaliation over the cartoons.
But this has been dismissed by some commentators as a publicity stunt.
Other Scandinavian countries have faced radical Islamic attacks in the past.
Violence erupted in Denmark after a newspaper published a cartoon of the Prophet wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb in 2005.
And last December an Islamic suicide bomber, who was radicalised in Britain, set off a bomb in Stockholm.
Police would not speculate on who was responsible for the attack or whether international groups were involved.
But the country is also in the midst of grappling with a homegrown terror plot linked to al-Qaida.
Two suspects are in jail awaiting charges.
Last week, a Norwegian prosecutor filed terror charges against an Iraqi-born cleric for threatening Norwegian politicians with death if he is deported from the Scandinavian country.
The indictment centred on statements that Mullah Krekar - the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam - made to various news media, including American network NBC.
Jihadist groups have also made recent threats to Norway over plans to expel Mullah Krekar, the founder of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam.

MASSACRE AT KIDS' CAMP: More than 30 feared dead as terrorist opens fire at Norwegian summer camp and car bomb devastates Oslo
'Norway's 9/11': At least 30 feared dead in double attack on Norwegian capital and holiday island
Terrified teens 'swam for their lives and hid in trees' as island gunman fired at them
Norway's support of NATO's mission in Libya also earned it enemies, Bob Ayers, a former U.S. intelligence officer, told AP.

Suspect: The 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, who has been arrested after the attacks
'Norwegians are in Afghanistan. They're in Tripoli. They reprinted the cartoons,' he said.
Many intelligence analysts said they had never heard of Helpers of Global Jihad, which took initial credit. Ansar al-Islam also took credit on some jihadist web sites.
And Ayers said it appeared more than one person was involved.

Wrecked: The blast in Oslo was outside a government office
Asked at a press conference in Tripoli about Libya's reaction to the events in Oslo, government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said, 'We never support any acts of terrorism whatsoever.'
But he suggested NATO's policies could have prompted the attack, saying, 'NATO is planting terrorism in the hearts of many. This is unfortunate and sad.'
Authorities in Norway and other Scandinavian countries have focused on anti-terrorism tactics that frustrate countries like the U.S. that are more aggressive about making arrests.
Scandinavian authorities fight terrorism by disrupting plots, sometimes telling suspects they know what they're up to, and warning them of the consequences.
Terror convictions are also difficult to get because of scepticism in Scandinavian courts toward cases built on intent - as most terrorism trials are - and a demand for more evidence than in the U.S. and many other places.
Europe has been the target of numerous terror plots by Islamist militants.
The deadliest was the 2004 Madrid train bombings, when shrapnel-filled bombs exploded, killing 191 people and wounding about 1,800.
A year later, suicide bombers killed 52 rush-hour commuters in London aboard three subway trains and a bus.
And in 2006, U.S. and British intelligence officials thwarted one of the largest plots yet - a plan to explode nearly a dozen trans-Atlantic airliners.
In October, the U.S. State Department advised American citizens living or travelling in Europe to take more precautions following reports that terrorists may be plotting attacks on a European city.
Some countries went on heightened alert after the May 2 killing of Osama bin Laden.
Intelligence analysts said they doubted the attack was linked to bin Laden's death.
'Al-Qaida would have targeted something closer to U.S. interests if it was related to bin Laden,' Ayers said.

Explore more:
People: Osama Bin Laden Places: Stockholm, London, Madrid, Libya, Norway, Denmark, Afghanistan, Iraq, Europe Organisations: British Intelligence

Read more:

Mail Online

Comments by Sonny

This fanatic was a MASON.

Same mentality as the Broeder Bond in the old SA.

They also thought that they had 'a licence to kill and steal!'

If he hated Muslins, then, why kill his own people??

Another Malema Clone??