Cato Manor cops take aim at 'captured' Nomgcobo Jiba and Shaun Abrahams
Revelations before two judicial commissions of inquiry – implicating suspended deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba - have given purchase to members of the so-called "Cato Manor Death Squad" in their bid to have racketeering charges scrapped.
Retired KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen and 26 others have challenged the validity of racketeering charges faced by the group, and have included the revelations from the two commissions in their latest set of court papers.
In papers filed in the Durban High Court on Friday to supplement earlier submissions, Booysen said that evidence before the Zondo and Mokgoro commissions "shed light" on Jiba’s conduct, specifically her role in authorising the prosecution of the group.
In a replying affidavit, obtained by TimesLIVE, Booysen said there had been several "developments" concerning Jiba and aspersions on her conduct - which have become an arrow in the accused cops' quivers.
He said that as a direct result of her conduct in approving the authorisations to charge the group with racketeering, she had been charged with perjury, struck off the roll of advocates, suspended and a commission of inquiry into her fitness to hold office had been initiated.
"The Mokgoro inquiry is addressing a number of complaints concerning Jiba's fitness to hold office, including her conduct in the decision to authorise my prosecution for racketeering. It has called a number of witnesses who have shed light on Jiba's conduct."
He called to mind the testimony of former Asset Forfeiture Unit head Willie Hofmeyr, who said in evidence before retired Constitutional Court Justice Yvonne Mokgoro that Booysen’s case was part of a trend under Jiba to prosecute those who were "perceived as obstacles to corruption and the capture of the state".
The criminal pursuit of a business associate of Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward, and his nephew, Deebo Mzobe, is what Booysen contends is the reason he found himself in the dock.
Furthermore, Booysen raises evidence put before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture that Jiba allegedly collected cash pay-offs from Bosasa.
He zeroed in on the testimony of whistle-blower Angelo Agrizzi, who said that Jiba was one of several National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) figures who were paid to serve the company’s interests.
According to Agrizzi, Jiba was given the code name "Snake" and was paid hundreds of thousands of rand to provide confidential details of the status of the investigation and prosecution of Bosasa players.
"There is much evidence to suggest that Advocate Shaun Abrahams and Jiba had been captured. Their captured mandate was to protect former president Jacob Zuma and those he was friendly with,” the affidavit reads.
“I and others were targeted only because we went ahead to investigate politically-connected individuals. It severely undermines the credibility and integrity of both [people]. My legal council will advance that any failure by them [Abrahams and Jiba] to deal with these serious allegations and give their versions under oath must lead to the conclusion that they were indeed captured and that their decisions were tainted by an ulterior purpose,” he said.
Booysen and his squad face a litany of charges‚ including theft and murder‚ specifically of suspects during their arrests. Booysen, himself, has never been charged with murder - but was implicated only via racketeering charges as leader of the squad.
He and his subordinates hold that they were sidelined as collateral damage to derail Booysen’s investigation into politically-connected businessman Thoshan Panday.
They stand accused of killing suspects or rivals of taxi operators they were allegedly doing business with and planting weapons to frame crime scenes — collecting incentive awards for good work as reward.
Booysen has already had one set of racketeering charges against him set aside‚ only to have them reinstated by then national director of public prosecutions Abrahams in 2016.