Hawks general cleared of interfering in Gupta bribery case, say lawyer, union

09 July 2020 - 13:42 By Soyiso Maliti
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Hawks Maj-Gen Zinhle Mnonopi is off the hook.
Hawks Maj-Gen Zinhle Mnonopi is off the hook.
Image: SAPS

Hawks Maj-Gen Zinhle Mnonopi, who was accused by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas of trying to make his corruption complaint against Ajay Gupta disappear, has apparently been cleared in an internal probe.

Hawks spokesperson Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi would not comment to DispatchLIVE, saying the Hawks were “not in a position” to talk about an internal human resources matter.

But the SA Police Union (Sapu) said Mnonopi was now in the clear.

Her legal representative also told DispatchLIVE she had been cleared of all counts against her.

Mnonopi was suspended amid allegations that she tried to wreck a bribery case laid by Jonas against Ajay Gupta.

Jonas told the Zondo commission in 2018 that Mnonopi had referred to the case as a “DA matter” and told him she wanted to “kill” the case.

This follows Jonas's claim that Gupta offered him a cabinet post and a R600m bribe.

Mnonopi filed an affidavit with the commission disputing Jonas’s claims.

She accused him of defeating the ends of justice by failing to report the matter on time.

During the investigation, Mnonopi was suspended but returned to work in 2019 despite the ongoing internal disciplinary process. 

Mnonopi referred DispatchLIVE to Mulaudzi for comment.

Mulaudzi said if it was a court matter, the Hawks would have been able to issue a statement on whether she had been cleared. However, it was an internal matter.

But Sapu spokesperson Oscar Skommere said Mnonopi had been cleared on all counts against her. These were:

  • Preparing a false statement for Jonas;
  • Requesting Jonas to sign a false statement;
  • Bringing the organisation into disrepute by preparing a false statement for the former finance deputy minister and requesting he sign such statement; and
  • Failing to take disciplinary steps against a Lt-Col Nomvalo for loss of a firearm.

Mthatha attorney Mvuso Notyesi, who represented Mnonopi in an unrelated matter, also confirmed to DispatchLIVE that Mnonopi had been cleared, saying that “she put up evidence and also other senior police officials put up evidence”.

“I believe Mr Jonas did not even attend [the hearing] to give evidence,” Notyesi said.

Asked if Sapu’s version of events was correct, Mulaudzi said the union had “no reason to misrepresent” a client, but he would not be drawn into revealing the outcome of the internal process.

Jonas could not be reached for comment. DispatchLIVE called him on a number confirmed as being his by ANC officials and MPs. He did not take calls or respond to WhatsApp messages.

In a Facebook post, Notyesi wrote: “The allegations of state capture, defeating the ends of justice and other charges laid against General Mnonopi by former deputy minister of finance Cde Jonase [sic] has been dismissed as unfounded and unsubstantiated in evidence. General Mnonopi has been cleared of all charges.

“She has been subjected to trauma, emotional stress and psychological trauma since 2018 when these baseless allegations were made public.

“Congratulations General Mnonopi. God has been with you.”

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