Thursday, June 20, 2013

'Captain KGB' shock

'Captain KGB' shock
GRAEME HOSKEN | 20 June, 2013 01:51

Captain Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala appears in the Sasolburg Magistrate's Court yesterday in connection with the February 16 attack on a cash-in-transit van. Tshabalala has slipped through police nets for more than a decade and become a top spy

A top spy cop served only two weeks of a 10-year sentence for armed robbery, has spent 15 years evading arrest and secured employment in a specialised crime intelligence unit despite his criminal record.

State security and prosecution authorities are now scrambling for explanations as to how covert crime intelligence officer Captain Morris ''KGB'' Tshabalala managed to stay out of jail all these years and breach police security.

A top-priority investigation by the South African Police Service and the National Prosecuting Authority started yesterday and will possibly also involve the Correctional Service and Justice departments. The latest revelations about Tshabalala came to light as he appeared in the Sasolburg Magistrate's Court in the Free State yesterday in connection with a February cash heist.

Tshabalala is being investigated for his alleged role in seven heists in which more than R30-million was stolen.

Yesterday, Tshabalala - who has a top security clearance - appeared with his colleague Sergeant Willby Molefe and four others - Sipho Nkosi, Mapotswe Moloi, Lehlogonolo Tiekelele and Sipho Motsamayi - in connection with a R3-million heist in Sasolburg in February.

Neither the NPA nor SAPS could yesterday explain why Tshabalala, 39, did not serve his sentence and how, as a convicted criminal, he had secured a top job in the police. His job description includes assessing threats against President Jacob Zuma and the state.

The Times can reveal that Tshabalala was once a police informant who in 1996 was sentenced to 10 years in prison for a 1994 robbery in Pretoria's Mamelodi township. He was also convicted for illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

He spent only two weeks in prison before he lodged an appeal, which he abandoned in 1998.

The Pretoria High Court issued a warrant for his arrest in May 1998.

The warrant was produced in court again yesterday after it was flown by helicopter under a specialised police escort.

Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko confirmed they had the warrant and would be executing it today on Tshabalala, who is being kept in Groenpunt Maximum Security Prison.

"I can say that if you have a criminal record you cannot become a policeman," Ramaloko said.

National police spokesman, Brigadier Phuti Setati said: ''An investigation into the whole matter [is under way] and feedback in this regard is to be given.''

NPA spokesman Phaladi Shuping confirmed Tshabalala had served a brief part of his sentence 15 years ago before appealing it. "He later abandoned his appeal. It is not known why he never returned to prison, which is why the arrest warrant was issued. This is to be investigated," he said.

Gauteng correctional services spokesman Ofentse Morwane said officials were unable to comment.

Justice and security cluster sources, however, said SAPS computer systems showed that Tshabalala's arrest warrant had been "cancelled" by someone working in the police criminal record centre.

"Fortunately, we were able to access the arrest warrant through the court system. This warrant will be served on him in prison and he will immediately begin serving his 10-year sentence," said one source.

He said police were investigating who within the criminal record centre cancelled the warrant.

"This appears to be connected to huge corruption. This will form part of our larger investigation into Tshabalala," said another source.

Revelations about Tshabalala's murky past came as protection was being considered for those involved in the cash-in-transit heist investigation, including the prosecution team.

The protection might be necessary after it emerged yesterday in court that a statement containing the names and details of witnesses had been ''misplaced'' by Nkosi's lawyer, during the court appearance of the accused last week.

Nkosi has been linked, through a ballistics analysis programme, to seven other armed robberies.

The six suspects were remanded yesterday after their bail hearing was postponed to next week.

Last week, several witnesses were placed in a protection programme because of fears for their safety after Magistrate Sandra Sujanani ordered the prosecution to provide copies of statements and confessions to the accused.

1 comment:

  1. Sinister movements within the SAPS and Governments leave US cold....

    What does number one have to do with the dividends of all this National Crime?

    Drug Smuggling included.....!