Behind the recent, unsubstantiated allegations made by Advocate Malesela Teffo about presidential interference in the Meyiwa case lies the root cause of his anger and frustration : President Ramaphosa’s retention as Minister of Police a man who is so patently unfit to hold that powerful position. Teffo is among those, on record, who have reported gross SAPS corruption to the President (and Parliament) without any action being taken against a man who even over-rides undertakings given by the President (to protect Thabiso Zulu), and whose meddling in policing is leading South Africa down the police state road.  Is it not obvious from what happened last July (2021) that retaining Cele in his present position is a threat to national security? 

Cele’s imprisonment on Robben Island is insufficient reason to bestow respect. The ANC’s Daluxolo Luthuli left the Island to head the apartheid military’s Caprivi training, which killed members of his own organization. Cele’s contribution to policing shows contempt for the Freedom Charter and the country’s Constitution, and it has brought about a return to apartheid policing.  Since the 1990s, he has done nothing to support good policing.  As the ANC’s policing representative in the 1990s he turned a blind eye to the persecution of the province’s best detectives (black Africans) who were subject to malicious prosecutions because their excellent investigations were exposing IFP and ANC killers, including in Richmond.  He even tried to persuade KZN’s most senior black detective, whose malicious prosecution cost him the job of provincial detective head (it went to a white security policeman) and his subsequent relocation to another province.

His failure to make constructive interventions in policing continued during his five-year stint as MEC (2004-2009) and was marked by controversy. He is alleged to have given millions of rand to a notorious taxi boss (with whom he has a close relationship) to ‘mediate’ conflict in which the mediator was implicated.  According to citizens’ rights group Real Democracy, he also dispensed R250 millions of taxpayer funds to convicted apartheid drug dealer,  and personal friend, ‘Timmy’ Marimuthu, for transport tenders for his trucking business (it was SB and CCB who ran apartheid era drugs). Together with his current advisor, apartheid cop Booysen, he was interdicted by the High Court from killing Maphumulo taxi boss Bongani Mkhize in November 2008. Mkhize was shot dead by Booysen’s Cato Manor unit police two months later.

During Cele’s tenure as MEC he would have worked closely with then Deputy Provincial Commissioner (and now National Commissioner Commissioner) Masemola while illegal paramilitary training in KZN continued. It was even covered by the media. In the Macambini area, the late Chief Mathaba (whose pre-1994 involvement in hitsquads was confirmed by the TRC) continued to target ANC supporters post 1994. It was there, in 2006, that paramilitary training by men wearing caps bearing the old South African flag was taking place.  Local ANC Women’s League leader Mrs SZ was under threat of death by Mathaba, and narrowly missed being attacked by these trainees. The Premier was warned of the danger to her life but took no action, presumably because of business deals involving his department and Mathaba.  In February 2007, SZ’s home was razed, and, apart from shrapnel injuries to grandchildren, the family miraculously escaped with their lives while coming under attack by gunmen. She lost everything, and got no help from the ANC.  A detective who had done his best to investigate cases involving Mrs Z and other ANC comrades complained bitterly that even the MEC was of no help to him.

Cele’s track record as National Commissioner SAPS is on public record, including as it relates to corruption and nepotism in appointments and promotions. His appointments included apartheid security policeman Mdluli to head (and loot) Crime Intelligence, and Khomotso Phahlane to head the SAPS forensic laboratory. A forensic audit following a complaint by whistleblowers confirmed some of their departmental fraud allegations. The criminal investigations into Phahlane were initiated by Robert McBride, whose dismissal from IPID is thought to be linked to the connection between Phahlane and Cele.  As indicated below, the very same irregular, and illegal, trends evident during Cele’s tenure are now conspicuous in his ministerial interference in policing – with very serious implications for stability.   It was Cele who signed the document authorizing the corrupt World Cup tender in 2010, for which the KZN Commissioner he had appointed, Ngobeni, and businessman Panday, have been charged.  Why has Cele not been charged?

Cele showed his apartheid hand immediately after his appointment, with the re-militarisation of the SAPS that the ANC government had replaced with a community-driven focus.   Military ranks were accompanied by military salutes (the only thing missing is the goose-stepping). He competed with apartheid policing in actively promoting police brutality – not only in ‘shoot to kill’ instructions but in the training of police members.  For no good reason except his own he established the Tactical Response Team, which immediately acquired a reputation for torturing and shooting people dead (sometimes while wearing balaclavas).  This overt brutalization led to the Marikana massacre, in which his TRT featured conspicuously.

As a populist politician, Cele has always relished operational involvement, and he lost no time in interfering, operationally, after his appointment as National Minister in 2018.  Operational involvement by ministers (encouraged during Zuma years) is completely irregular.  Constitutionally, it is not their job to micro-manage.  To use a recent example, it is the job of SAPS management, not the minister, to establish a task team into the recent Soweto tavern massacre, or to arrange patrols in the area. Soon after his appointment, he showed his hand in trying to stop the dismissal of Deputy National Commissioner Mngwenya, whose promotion he had fast-tracked while national commissioner to a newly created deputy commissioner post. Then National Commissioner Sitole stood firm, and Mngwenya, facing serious fraud charges, was dismissed.  Cele pushed the President to dismiss Sitole, especially after the national commissioner had moved Cele’s Robben Island buddy, General Jacobs, from heading national Crime Intelligence because of poor performance

That Jacobs was not to be trusted is shown in a counter-intelligence report leaked to the media (which existence has been independently confirmed).  It reported that certain apartheid-era members Crime Intelligence members in KZN (one of whom Cele would recall from his Richmond days in the late 1990s, when ANC warlord Sifiso Nkabinde was killed in intra-ANC conflict) were using slush funds to run the political hitsquad which had killed councillor Sindiso Magaqa, who had exposed corruption leading to high office in the Umzimkhulu area of KZN. The report also claimed they attacked and torched trucks.  According to media reports, it was given to Jacobs as national CIS head but, instead of giving it to line manager Sitole, he gave it to Cele – who denied that he knew about it.  Who, then, classified it?

Together with his involvement in intelligence matters – Marimuthu and family  reportedly work for CIS –  the fact that a ministerial team investigating political killings in KZN apparently reports to him creates a huge conflict of interest. Cele is deeply embedded in the politics of KZN and some of his colleagues may well be suspects in politically-driven killings.  The man who reports to Cele, General Khumalo, is believed to have been a member of the KwaZulu Police who was integrated into Operational Response Services (thus never a detective). After being accused of grossly irregular conduct as a brigadier in national ORS, he was promoted to his present position of general, and deployed to head the ministerial team. Members of his team have made many malicious arrests, and stand accused of abusing suspects, and other illegal conduct.  It was they who arrested Thabiso Zulu for no good reason on Sunday 10 October 2021 and illegally seized his cellphones (i.e. without a judicial order).  One was damaged beyond repair.  That Cele has refused Thabiso Zulu the protection ordered by the Public Protector (and endorsed by Ramaphosa) is well known.  However, his own SAPS members have been implicated in an attempt on Zulus’s life that almost killed him, in October 2019, and in gross physical abuse and malicious arrest in July 2020.  

Thabiso Zulu has risked his own life in trying to secure justice for his close friend Sindiso Magaqa.  Initially progress in this case was good, but then the man who allegedly pulled the trigger was killed, the task team headed by Khumalo took over, and, when bail was given to the remaining accused earlier this year, questions were asked about the quality of evidence against them. Bail had previously been refused because of the strength of evidence.  Two of the accused are members of Cele’s private TRT army.  Now, given that an intelligence report which claims that the hit on Magaqa was orchestrated by Crime Intelligence members has been classified, and their man who allegedly pulled the trigger has been killed, justice is being, willfully, obstructed, at the highest levels by the failure to declassify it.

It seems that the intelligence report was not the only matter Sitole was not informed about by his deputies, some of whom may have benefitted during Cele’s tenure as national commissioner. From a source close to him, it seems that he did not know about the arrest of Malesela Teffo on1 November 2021. Three people, two of whom were white members of apartheid era vintage, arrested Teffo, without a warrant, on 1 November at 0400 and took him in his pyjamas to ‘Sun City’ prison (Johannesburg), without a court appearance, where he was kept for ten days.  The two white members had been appointed weeks before his arrest, around the time Cele had threatened him, and, when he tried to check on them after his release, they had already resigned. He knows Sitole’s signature well, from his police clients’ documents, and claims that the signature on the appointment cards was not that of the commissioner. He is not the only one to have made claims about the forging of Sitole’s signature.

Cele’s hand in operational matters is everywhere.  Since the SAPS has become, as Robert McBride put it in his evidence to the Zondo commission, a patronage network benefitting management members, hundreds of competent, experienced members have been illegally dismissed through Expeditious Disciplinary processes for no good reason except to feed the gluttonous patronage appetites.   When they win in arbitration, and even when they obtain court orders, they battle to be reinstated, as management has no compunction in spending obscene amounts of taxpayers’ money on lawyers, while dismissed members battle to pay legal fees.  Take, for example, what has happened to one of Teffo’s many clients, Mr D.  The Labour court ordered his reinstatement ten years ago.  He went back to work for two years but never received a salary, so he left. Teffo has been negotiating a payout since then and Mr D was with him when he was arrested in November 2021 for ‘trespassing’ at the Gauteng SAPS headquarters.  Whistleblower Patricia Mashale has provided evidence to SARS (SA Revenue Service) of serious fraud linked to the SAPS deducting income tax despite not paying salaries.  At a meeting in April between representatives of these dismissed members, the deputy minister and deputy commissioner who were present claimed not to know about it (not true) and promised action.  However, the message went out that the Minister would consider their grievances only if they stopped criticizing him and holding him responsible.  It is surely self-evident that this is a matter for SAPS management to deal with through proper legal procedures. It cannot be settled at the whim of a minister.

Were South Africa a true democracy, Cele would have been shamed into resigning after the violence and pillaging of July 2021.  As minister he bears responsibility for the SAPS’ complete failure to pre-empt, and then deal with, the mayhem which caused huge loss of life and financial damage.  Cele (a known political fence-sitter) clearly did not want to arrest Zuma, and even tried to persuade the Constitutional Court to delay the arrest. He was forced to back down when it was made clear that he would face a contempt of court charge if he failed in his duty. His zeal for operational matters seems to have vanished when the blocking of the national highways started, immediately after the arrest, when he should have been calling on the President to deploy the army to assist in keeping roads clear, and set up roadblocks.  That it should have happened by that Friday (two days after Zuma left for prison) at the latest was self-evident, even without intelligence information.  Did he not even consult with his friends in the provincial Crime Intelligence Service?

Why, then, did President Ramaphosa not move him when he re-shuffled his cabinet after the July mayhem?  In addition to his own documented history of corruption and nepotism as national commissioner, Cele’s contempt for the Constitution could not be clearer : He promotes policies which encourage the police to break laws designed to protect lives, prevent torture, ensure fair labour practice, and protect privacy. He even argued before the Constitutional Court that those he is keeping under surveillance (illegally, no doubt) should not be notified about it.  Unlike other ANC stalwarts, he has shown little interest in protecting even his own political colleagues like Mrs Z, buts has bestowed his favours on notorious apartheid operatives..  Having succeeded in removing Sitole, Cele has now suspended Deputy National Commissioner Vuma, who has made a detailed Protected Disclosures affidavit, while claiming that she fears for her life. Predictions by informed police sources were that this, and other planned moves, were not about shortcomings of incumbents, but about putting his own stooges into key positions.  News about appointments to acting positions appeas to confirm these predictions.  Most of these appointees lack competence and/or have skeletons in their own closets, some dating to when Cele was national commissioner.  One, very dangerous, appointment, is that of a member with no experience in this field to head Crime intelligence.  Of particular interest is that, apart from the national commissioner who has long had a close relationship with Cele, national management is now dominated by members from Ace Magashula’s Free State SAPS (Magashula, former provincial premier, is currently facing charges linked to State Capture)>

Will the real Commander-in-Chief of South Africa stand up and tell South Africa whether he approves of this return to apartheid policing, where the police break the country’s laws with impunity.  Will he show his approval by keeping a man who is in contempt of the Constitution he swore to protect as Minister of Police?  If he fails to remove Cele, will he please tell South Africa why he is not doing so.  Retaining Cele as minister is absolutely no guarantee that he will not change factional sides. His new acting management appointments demonstrate that RET factional controls of the SAPS are being cemented.

Factional politics should play no part at all in decisions about ministerial appointments, especially in such a crucial portfolio, where it is the lives of South Africans which are at stake.   Should President Ramaphosa fail to remove Cele, and institute immediate reforms to, and de-politicse, the SAPS, he will shoulder the blame for leaving South Africa vulnerable to the type of destabilization which wrecked lives, and the economy, in July 2021.   If Cele continues to be given free rein, the security of the country is at serious risk, and we all have good reason to be afraid…very afraid.


SAPS is ‘a patronage system…..Promotions in this area will be related to protecting seniors involved in corruption and maladministration’

Robert McBride, then head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, in his evidence to the Zondo Commission

The findings of the Zondo Commission into State Capture, and even the scandal of President Ramaphosa’s ‘Farmgate’, have their roots in a Presidential Proclamation issued by newly elected President Zuma in 2009 which led to the creation of what was to become a Frankenstein Monster : The Ministry of State Security.  That, and the re-militarization, and intensified politicization of the SAPS through cadre deployment, were accompanied by the increasing culture of secrecy and lack of accountability, which gave rise to the passing of the Protection of State Information Act, and stalled the country’s faltering steps towards democracy. Although not (yet) signed into law, its contents have informed the conduct of government – including its increasing authoritarianism and over-zealous classification of documents which should be public – since then. All these actions have shaped the structures of governance, and the culture that informs them, and have made a mockery of the rights enshrined in the Constitution – even the right to life, as the case of whistle-blower Patricia Mashale illustrates. Laws are broken with impunity, and government employees with integrity (even in some tertiary institutions) who dare to speak out about abuse and corruption lose their jobs, or even their lives, rendering government platitudes about fighting corruption meaningless. Increasingly, ministers have breached their legislative mandate by involving themselves in operational matters, treating their departments as private fiefdoms. Increasingly, too, we have journeyed down the apartheid surveillance-cum-police state road, with the very state institution charged with upholding the law breaking it – and the spirits of SAPS members who risk their lives dealing with criminals – with impunity.  Currently, an experienced, competent, police member of great integrity, Patricia Mashale is in hiding, in fear of her life, from her very own police management colleagues simply because she fulfilled her oath of office, and she did what the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act demanded of her, by reporting gross police corruption to her line management.  To make matters worse, the very institutions that should be standing up for her, and taking up the anti-corruption cudgels, are letting her down, including the supposed prime guardian of democracy, Parliament.

[Politics runs operational policing: Why Patricia Mashale is in danger of being killed

Patricia Mashale, a very senior administrator in the Free State SAPS FLASH unit, dealing with priority crimes such as firearms controls, joined the SAPS in 2007, shortly before it started expanding its management structures exponentially, when Minister Cele was appointed National Commissioner in 2009, to accommodate and fast-track increasing numbers of political cadres and family members in its top-heavy structure.  The SAPS is currently headed by 200 generals and 400 brigadiers – most of them incompetent – costing taxpayers R1 billion a year.

This ballooning created new, superfluous, departments to benefit cadres, relatives, and friends.  One department (previously a division under a commissioner) which plays an important role in the atrocious treatment of Ms Mashale, and hundreds of other competent police members, is the Human Resources Department falling under another new component National Advisory Services. It, too, is over-staffed with generals (most incompetent),   the most senior being a deputy national commissioner.  This department plays a pivotal role in irregular appointments and promotions, and illegal dismissals (ably assisted by its legal services department; the current head is known to have overturned at least one legal dismissal, her department being complicit in hundreds of illegal dismissals).

The current National departmental head, Lt-General Vuma, is the First Respondent in the case in which Judge Norman Davies slammed the SAPS management for breach of the IPID Act.[ii] This case makes it abundantly clear that it is politicians who run police operational matters. Vuma, the First of four Applicants, supplied the principal founding affidavit and waxed lyrical about why the SAPS could not respond to an IPID subpoena and declassify documents relating to the planned procurement of a ‘grabber’ interception device for the ANC’s Nasrec because it could compromise national security:

It is therefore our humble view [her affidavit reads] that any attempt to comply with the said subpoenas will be an infringement of law and a disclosure of sensitive National Security and Intelligence information that has the potential of compromising National Security and exposing the intelligence gathering mechanisms and sources”. 

As Judge Zondo has now confirmed, it was the Fourth Respondent, Mbindwane, the advisor to then Minister Mbalula, who drove the acquisition process, with police management simply doing what they had been doing for years and following ministerial instructions.  This case was used to motivate for the dismissal of General Sitole, probably because he tried to assert a spark of independence from Cele – begging the question of why Vuma has not been dismissed.

It was Vuma who, in September 2021, issued a circular inviting ill-trained reservists and clerical staff to become operational members (but, as with other positions, it was largely well-connected reservists who were chosen above more deserving ones).  At the same time, long serving, experienced police members were being dismissed using a process called Expeditious Disciplinary hearings.

The context of these disciplinary hearings is one in which ‘discipline’ in the SAPS, i.e. legislative rules and regulations governing procedures and conduct which are standard bureaucratic norms, are implemented has, according to long-serving, well trained members, been abandoned.  It has been replaced by autocratic governance at the whim of whoever the management member is and his or her connection to nepotistic, corrupt networks.  Reasons for instituting these procedures, which invariably lead to dismissals, include asking awkward questions of management about promotion policies, or about corruption, or questioning an illegal or life-threatening instruction, or even because an incompetent but politically well-connected superior officer feels threatened by a competent, better qualified member.   Advocate Dan Teffo has won many disciplinary cases, but reinstatement of members is refused, even when court orders are obtained.  Because autocracy dominates, a favourite charge (not only in the SAPS) is ‘insubordination’.  Because members fear to lose their jobs by questioning their superiors (who, due to nepotistic appointments, may be ill-qualified), lives may be lost. For example, in a recent incident, a unit commander was ordered to undertake a dangerous operation against well-armed criminals, despite not having enough members to do so safely.  He had raised the same problem previously with his superior who had taken no action,  but he did not date question this order by going above the immediate line manager’s head to ask for more members, because a colleague who had done that had lost his job. The unit commander reluctantly obeyed, hoping all would be well, but during the operation a young member he regarded as a son was shot and died in his arms.  He is traumatized for life.

Other creative means are used to dismiss members who are a thorn in some management’s flesh.   A highly experienced, black female branch commander in Gauteng found herself medically boarded without ever applying for it (she had made herself unpopular by putting white suspects in cells). A junior colleague had issued death threats against her, so she had been advised to work away from the shared detective office.  She then discovered she had been medically boarded, and, because she loved her job, started a long process to be re-instated, while the junior colleague who had threatened her got her job. Management claimed her application (never made) had been lost. The then Human Resources head lied to parliament about it (she was subsequently dismissed for fraud by General Sitole, much to the chagrin of Minister Cele who had fast-tracked her).     

In addition to dismissals, malicious criminal cases may be opened against members who expose corruption;  they may even be denied bail if police are acting in collusion with prosecutors (who delay bail applications).  Although she was given bail, a middle-aged social worker in the Family Violence unit was charged, after her dismissal, with crimen injuria and, when she reported to the Senior Public Prosecutor, was sent to cells for the day and kept in leg irons (the prosecutor is alleged to have a relationship through marriage with a politically well-connected SAPS member).  When the docket was eventually found it had no charge sheet.

The persecution of Patricia Mashale

This was the fraught work environment, in which most management members had climbed the promotions ladder politically in then Premier Ace Magashula’s Free State, in which Mashale diligently performed her administrative duties (Magashula is now facing charges relating to State Capture).  In the course of this work she uncovered a great deal of corruption in SAPS ranks, including serious firearms-related crimes (reported to the Hawks) and irregular appointments and promotions (reported to her line management).It was her whistle-blowing in 2021, carried out in accordance with anti-corruption legislation, which led to the persecution she has endured for over a year, and the fact that she has to remain in hiding for fear of being killed. She had reported serious irregularities in disciplinary hearings (e.g. pursued to settle personal vendettas) and appointments implicating members of Free State management to National Commissioner Sitole, and her report found its way back into the hands of those she had reported, i.e. Free State Management.  The threats started in earnest.

An internal case was opened against her for reporting to the National Commissioner, but that was dropped. However, a deputy provincial commissioner, Lesia,  opened a case of  ‘harassment’ against her in the Bloemfontein Family Court (see below).  He also opened a criminal case against her, when, in October 2021, he sent a Colonel van der Merwe and Operational Response Team members to arrest and intimidate her, and illegally seize her personal telephone (he claimed she was spreading fake news about   him).Apparently that case (said to be harassment, which does not exist as a crime) was sent to a prosecutor in Welkom in November.  Mashale eventually managed to open a case against Lesia (she was initially blocked by a station commissioner) and it is under investigation by IPID.  She has had no feedback whatsoever about this, and other matters she has reported, from IPID (including a case she opened against the Provincial Commissioner, which seems to have disappeared). The phone has still not been returned to her, despite an appeal to the head of Legal Services in January 2022.  In November the family car used to fetch a son from boarding school was followed for a long distance by unmarked cars transporting a uniformed police member. They lost interest when they discovered she was not in the car.   She realized she was under surveillance and, traumatized and fearing for her family’s safety, she took sick leave, only to be told when she handed in her medical certificate that her therapist should diagnose her as depressed (which she wasn’t). Her therapist refused to commit fraud.  In January, she received notice that an Expeditious Disciplinary hearing would be held against her.  The Presiding officer was a brigadier, whose irregular promotion to general she had exposed (based on arbitration findings against him), and he had been demoted and instructed to pay back the additional salary.    All of this, including the irregular composition of the Disciplinary Inquiry, was drawn to the attention of national management and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee in January.    In February, her replacement telephone was hacked, virtually everything wiped off it, and her bank advised that personal information had been compromised.  She assumed that she had some legal protection when the CEO of the SA Human Rights Commission Intervened and gave her whistle-blower status  (The CEO has not had his contract renewed). However, Mashale was advised on 1 March that she had been dismissed, without any salary or other benefits (e.g. leave money due) paid to her.   The SAPS member subsequently transferred to deal with firearms licensing (the position vacated by Mashale) knew nothing about this work and endorsed license renewals without proper procedures being followed (also reported to parliament). Her transfer was allegedly linked to a personal relationship with a management member.

Increasing numbers of illegally dismissed SAPS members – many dozens  – contacted Mashale.  These dismissals had breached the SAPS own Disciplinary regulations (2016, Sections 8 and 9), and their dismissal letters had not even been signed by the National Commissioner (who, from various independent reports, seems not to have been kept fully informed about what was happening, even in his own office).  Their details, including their contributions to the government pension fund and SARS (Revenue Services), were still reflected on the SAPS administrative system after they were dismissed, despite their not receiving salaries – raising questions about who was pocketing their salaries.   SARS have been advised about this.

Due entirely to Mashale’s efforts, a meeting attended by the Deputy Minister of Police, the Deputy National Commissioner, the Executive Director of IPID, (the supposedly independent police oversight body reporting to the Police Minister) and representatives of NADEL (the Democratic Lawyers Association) was held in Bloemfontein on 25 April.  Those representing government claimed not to know about what had been happening, and promises were made to address re-instatement issues, with NADEL lawyers overseeing the process.   Mashale was widely acclaimed by dismissed SAPS members : 

Patricia Mashale, your name is known wide and far. In every corner of South Africa you are known as the Angel who are saving members of SAPS and their families from starvation and misery’

However, two months later this initiative, which seems to have been a face-saving exercise by government representatives, is dying a quiet death. Of great concern is that a message has gone out, apparently from Minister Cele or members of his entourage which, crudely put, says that he will consider re-statements only if police members stop blaming him, the Honourable Minister, for their problems.  A subtle message has also been put out that aggrieved members should distance themselves from Mashale if they want their jobs back.   These dismissals are in breach of laws and a minister has absolutely no right to take any decisions about who is appointed or dismissed in the SAPS, which is in complete breach of governing legislation.  It is not part of ministerial mandates.  The Honourable Minister seems not to understand that South Africa is a constitutional democracy, not a tribal fiefdom.

The grossly irregular involvement of Minister Cele in operational matters has been drawn to the attention of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on more than one occasion (e.g. that he runs a detective team investigating political killings in KZN) yet nothing has been done to stop it. The unfortunate impression created is that parliament simply rubber stamps whatever the Minister and the SAPS are saying and doing, and have no idea of what their oversight role entails.    

So, in addition to the death threats hanging over Mashale’s head, the SAPS and the Ministry is now using the type of classic colonial divide-and-rule tactics, refined by apartheid under the rubric ‘PsyOps’ against Mashale to try to discredit her in the eyes of her many supporters.

Current serious threats to Mashale’s safety
As mentioned, in addition to a mysterious criminal case, Deputy Free State Commissioner Lesia had obtained a Protection Order against Mashale and her husband and, discovering that it had been finalised, they immediately applied for recission. Mashale had also, while at work, obtained an interim Protection Order against Lesia.  At the time of her dismissal, she was informed that she was to face a criminal charge of perjury linked to her application for the Protection Order – which was untrue; she had correctly stated that his Order was set aside pending the recission application.  She immediately went into hiding, fearing that she would be maliciously arrested and effectively ‘disappear’ into some distant prison. 

When a hearing in the Family Court took place in April, her husband represented her, but she had to attend a hearing to finalise this case on 31 May.  At the hearings in 2021, Lesia had arrived in court with members of Operational Response Team (TRT and POP), which was completely irregular since this was a personal, not a policing, matter.   This irregularity was drawn to the attention of national management and the parliamentary oversight committee.

As 31 May approached, Mashale was terrified of attending court, and two letters were sent to the National Commissioner, copied to parliament, pointing out that Lesia had no right whatsoever to waste police resources on what was a private matter.  Mashale managed to gather a group of supporters, including dismissed members, who accompanied her to the hearing. This is her report from court, which cites material now on the court record :

‘Colleagues we are done at court case postponed until 13 July, reason being that a neutral magistrate was appointed. The case will be heard at the magistrate’s court because the current magistrate said this case is too hot for hem because the matter is much bigger than they anticipated. She also didn’t want to preside over the matter because she and G [Mashale’s husband] had worked together since 2004 and she doesn’t want to be accused of being biased. She also raised issues regarding the enormous police presence at court and said that she counted 11 police cars and even felt intimidated herself by so many police officers that were brought to court by Maj-General Lesia, citing that she couldn’t believe that so many police were there to protect him against one woman. (italics added)

‘She told us that the docket is not being kept at the Domestic Court anymore because they have information that there are people who attempted to steal the docket, the docket is being kept in safekeeping in her office, and when she leaves for the magistrate’s court, she must make sure the docket is with her She also feared that she might also find herself in danger because of that, and she might even come under attack by the same police officers who were there to protect Lesia, and if she as a magistrate feels that threatened, she doesn’t even want to imagine how I (i.e. Mashale)feels.

 ‘The matter of this docket was discussed by all the senior magistrates this morning, so they are aware that there is more than the eye could see because very influential people like the President and the Ministers are

monitoring this case. The next court date : 13 July 2022 at the Magistrate’s Court

Clearly, despite letters on record to national management and parliament, no action whatsoever was taken to stop this grossly irregular conduct – and waste of taxpayers’ money – by Lesia. Parliament has been kept fully aware of the serious threats to Mashale’s life, but there is no evidence of any remedial action on their part.  Take, for example, the matter of the threat assessment, which the committee had apparently requested from the police.   It was conducted by a very experienced member of Crime Intelligence,  Warrant Officer Maasdorp, who confirmed that the threat emanated from the SAPS.  When he presented his report to his commanding officer, he was ordered to change it. He refused, and, for refusing to lie, and for behaving in an ethical manner, in refusing to accede to unlawful instructions and commit fraud, he is now facing an Expeditious Disciplinary hearing and may well be dismissed himself.   This treatment of Maasdorp was reported to parliament, and its response was that the wrong type of threat assessment had been done. As with other responses, parliament quoted from what the police, who are known to be, at best, economical with the truth, had told them. The instructions given to Maasdorp were in writing, and he had fulfilled them, as he had done with countless other threat assessment reports over decades in his job.  There is no indication that anyone in parliament followed up on what was an extremely serious allegation against Free State management, i.e. trying to make one of its members lie to parliament.  He was also put under huge pressure to reveal Ms Mashale’s whereabouts, which he refused to do. 

Attempts were then made to pressurise family members of Mashale, including a brother who was a neighbour of one of the police members, to reveal her whereabouts.  They refused to do so.  On the evening of 23 June, shots were fired by men in a bakkie at her brother, Shawn Meyers, and he narrowly escaped injury, or possibly death, by hiding in a nearby yard.  When he tried to open a case of attempted murder the police refused saying there was no case as none of the bullets had hit him (they presumably did not even know it is a criminal offence to fire a gun in public).

The police are desperate to trace Ms Mashale, who now has, yet again, to court in July for a purely malicious matter.  Will the Deputy Provincial Commissioner, again, bring a huge posse of taxpayer-funded police members– desperately needed to fight rampant crime – to court with him in pursuance of his private vendetta?

Beyond the Zondo Commission report

The cases cited in the Zondo Commission report provide only a few examples of the extent to which the South African state, starting with the security of residents and the state itself, has been criminalised.  State capture extends beyond the Vrede dairy farm to policing not only in the Free State, but the whole country.  It is common knowledge that most Free State management members owe their positions to Magashula, and his protegees are well represented in national management structures. Similarly, it is known that many KZN police support Zuma, including dozens at one urban station who refused to act against looters last July, and even intimidated their colleagues who did.  The damage done to policing during the State Capture years and beyond, up to the present time, is inestimable, and is the main contributing factor to South Africa’s abnormally high levels of criminal violence.

There are  current parallels with the pre-1994 negotiation period, when most apartheid police in management did not support de Klerk (there were even fears that they might stage a coup), and now, when key  members of SAPS management owe their positions to the Magashula/Zuma ANC faction and, with exceptions the loyalty of intelligence agencies, especially State Security, is  factional, and (again, as last July shows) does not serve the interests of the country.  As violence climbed to unprecedented levels in KZN in April 1994, a senior, well-placed Nationalist Party representative put it bluntly : ‘You cannot purge the police, for you would be lucky if you were left with only ten percent of them’

However, the ANC government, in a constitutional democracy, is purging the police of good members to extend its own corrupt nepotistic network.

All the police oversight bodies lack independence, as they are controlled by the minister, which is a particularly serious problem in the case of IPID, the supposedly Independent oversight body.  The Constitutional Court has made it clear that IPID lacks the independence which the Constitution requires, yet over five years later parliament is dragging its heels in obeying the highest court of the land and passing legislation removing IPID from the control of the Minister of Police.  Whether it is the rampant abuse, torture and killings by brutal SAPS members, or illegal dismissals of competent, professional members,  IPID  (which is currently divided over the appointment of the current CEO, who is claimed to be merely a front for Cele_ simply cannot do its job properly as it conflicted.   Parliament, like the Chapter 9 institutions, has become completely toothless.   

Although he is Commander-in-Chief, the President is not in charge,  as his orders (e.g. about protection for Thabiso Zulu) are overruled by his Minister of Police.  This is the minister who was dishonourably discharged from his position as National Commissioner – where he had started the capture of the police by crooks such as apartheid security policeman Mdluli and his fellow intelligence henchmen –  and who signed off on the corrupt World Cup tender [iii]for which the KZN Provincial Commissioner he appointed, Ngobeni, and businessman Panday, are being criminally charged.  Why has he not been charged?

This is the man who, with the assistance of his apartheid era police advisers, runs what he treats as his own empire like a Bantustan.  For the sake of South Africa, who will dare to stop him – starting with clamping down, immediately, on his interference in operational matters, including appointments and dismissals, and investigations into serious political crimes?


McBride quoted in The Witness newspaper 17 April 2019

Re: Protection State Information bill see‘Beyond Apartheid : The New Nationalists and the Protection of State Information Bill’ November 2011 www.violencemonitor.com

Davies Judgment Case E No 49791/2018 in the High Court Gauteng (Pretoria Division)