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)


For the past few years former KZN Organized Crime Head Johan Booysen has been trading on public sympathy because of an ill-conceived racketeering charge brought against him by then Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, Nomgcobo Jiba. He has continued to hog the media limelight whenever possible, including by giving dubious evidence (some allegedly fabricated) to the Zondo Commission.  He claims that the racketeering charge had been brought to stop his investigation into a World Cup SAPS tender involving a Jacob Zuma family member and a well-connected Zuma tenderpreneur, Thoshan Panday.  Tellingly, though, he fails to tell the public why only Panday and the then KZN Provincial Commissioner, Mmamonye Ngobeni (elevated to that position from being station commissioner at Ulundi by then National Police Commissioner Cele) have been charged for this World Cup fraud. Why has his patron Bheki Cele not been charged since it was Cele who signed the tender documents? 

A recent Open Secrets article waxes lyrical about Booysen’s apparent persecution by Jiba.  Afriforum, too, is baying for Jiba’s blood. Conspicuously missing in this frenzied, misplaced, support for Booysen, is any mention of the suffering of, and complete absence of justice for, families of dozens of people killed and tortured by members of the unit under his command. There may be a lack of evidence about his own personal involvement in these heinous crimes, but questions are not even being asked about whether he simply turned a blind eye to what members of the unit were doing as they continued their apartheid era operational methods. These crimes were well publicized in the media at the time, and Booysen himself defended his unit in opposing a High Court Interdict granted in 2008, when his evidence points to his having lied under oath.   All charges were withdrawn against all the members of this unit in 2019 and, despite ample evidence to merit testing in court in at least some of the cases, there has not been a single prosecution.  Would the media response be different if they had killed and tortured dozens of white people, whose families, having suffered grievously, had also been denied any semblance of justice?

Booysen,  the Organized Crime unit and the continuation of apartheid policing

The racketeering charge against Booysen was linked to those brought against members of the detective unit which became known as the ‘Cato Manor hit squad’ (the area where their office was). This unit was part of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI known as the Hawks) established by an amendment to the SAPS Act in 2008. In September 2009, during the time the offences involving his members were taking place, Johan Booysen was overseeing the operations of this unit as a Director (Brigadier) in the office of the Assistant Provincial Commissioner KZN SAPS.  Taxi-related killings, which had previously been handled by Taxi Task Teams, had become part of their investigations, and many of the crimes the members were subsequently charged for occurred in areas which were being closely monitored in the period of their involvement. When letters were sent to the Head of the Unit about it the response received was signed by Colonel Olivier, by repute an apartheid era security policeman. In the 1980s and early 1990s membership of the Security, Narcotics and Murder and Robbery units, were interchangeable.  Members of these units, especially Murder and Robbery, became part of the Organized Crime component. Prior to 1994, this unit was notorious for shooting dead people they described as ‘criminals’, some of whom were underground liberation fighters. Judge Goldstone, in reviewing some of these cases (in which he names certain members who later became Cato Manor unit members, including CMM referred to below) notes a common modus operandi in the killings, and expresses serious concerns about the absence of proper investigations into them.  The same modus operandi he refers to was noticeable in some of the Cato Manor Unit killings, as was the conspicuous absence of any thorough investigation into them (it was only in 2012 that it became compulsory for killings and torture by police to be investigated by IPID). The torture and abuse of suspects by Murder and Robbery, which had been routinely used to try and extract confessions, continued after 1994. Examples are on record in correspondence in the latter 1990s and they include men arrested for Cato Manor unit crimes.  In other words, nothing had changed :  Police members notorious for their brutal apartheid tactics were simply serving new political masters.

The period 2008 to 2011 saw a rapid rise in killings by this unit, encouraged by the then MEC and subsequently National Commissioner, Bheki Cele, who urged police to ‘shoot to kill’ and praised them when they did.  Recently appointed SAPS National Commissioner Masemola headed KZN Crime Prevention during this period, then transferred to become Deputy National Commissioner after Cele’s national appointment in 2009

Many – but not all – of these killings were linked to taxi-related conflicts in areas around Kranskop,  kwaMaphumulo, KwaDukuza (previously Stanger) and Mandeni.  KwaDukuza  has long been a taxi conflict hub, involving various local and long-distance operators. During Bheki Cele’s tenure as KZN Community Safety MEC (2004 to 2009), millions of rand was reportedly paid to a prominent long-distance operator to ‘mediate’ between competing operators, such as those from Kranskop, kwaMaphumulo and Stanger associations (This same long distance taxi boss has taken over farming land, which was subject to a land claim in Kranskop, and it is alleged that a business venture with a prominent politician is planned).  Historically, there has been no political appetite to deal with taxi conflict because of taxi ownership by politicians and police.  Well-armed security companies guarding taxis, not necessarily registered with PSIRA, raise the violence stakes. When credible detectives make breakthrough arrests their units are shut down before they finger political allies. Both police and the Department of Transport may turn a blind eye to, or collude with, an association without a permit using violence to take over a route for which a local association has a permit (as happened in Mandeni).  Police members may take kickbacks from one or other taxi faction and, at a price, dockets easily disappear. This is the broad context relating to such investigations, but in the Cato Manor taxi-related investigations and killings during that period, the deaths of a serving policeman, Kranskop Station Commissioner Zethembe Chonco, and Inkosi Mbongaleni Zondi of Msinga, reportedly a former policeman, and a close political ally of Zuma, had been shot dead.  Those Killed by the Cato Manor members were supposedly (i.e. according to them) suspects. In the case of Zondi, allegations have been made that orders went out to kill those who had murdered him.

Colonel Chonco’s investigations included the theft of forty- three guns from the  kwaMaphumulo SAPS storeroom. The theft was an inside job as only specific exhibits had been stolen, other guns and even money had been left.  On 27 August 2008 he was shot dead in an ambush in which colleagues were injured near kwaMaphumulo. In the weeks that followed six suspects had been shot dead, one of them allegedly trying to escape from custody.  The KwaZulu-Natal Law Society, calling for a full investigation into these killings in September 2008, questioned whether the police were taking the law into their own hands.  The investigation did not happen and killings implicating the same police continued.  By early February 2009, following the shooting dead of Inkosi Zondi in Umlazi (possibly taxi or politically linked), when taxi boss Bongani Mkhize was killed, eleven suspects had been killed in five days.

Bongani Mkhize was the Chairperson of the KwaMaphumulo Taxi Association. When, by September 2008, six of his members had died at the hands of the police he applied for a High Court Interdict against The Minister of Safety and Security, the MEC for Community Safety and Liaison (Cele) the SAPS Provincial Commissioner and Provincial Commander Organised Crime KZN J Booysen.

Mkhize’s founding affidavit was accompanied by documentation from his lawyers which had been sent to police management, and statements and affidavits from his associates who had been tortured and, in one case, a witness to the killing of one of them by unit members. One of the men who had been abused had advised him that during his interrogation he had been told that that Mkhize’s name was on a list together with others allegedly implicated in the killing of Chonco, all of whom had already been killed.   If there were an arrest warrant, Mkhize indicated his willingness to hand himself over to the police in the presence of his lawyer. One of the affidavits accompanying the application was from Thandeka Sokhulu, the common law wife of one of the victims, Lindelani Buthelezi. She describes how the police kicked open the doors of their home while they were in bed (this apartheid tactic is regularly used right up to the present time, usually by police who do not even identify themselves).   She says her husband had nothing in his hands when they pulled him out of their bedroom.  She then heard shooting from another room. She herself had been assaulted by police who demanded to know where firearms she knew nothing about were.

In his replying affidavit Booysen claimed that Mkhize had no grounds to fear for his life, and that ‘he was relying on ‘innuendo, hearsay, unconfirmed rumour….’. He denied that a warrant for his arrest had been issued.  Should it become necessary to arrest him, he said, he would have all the constitutional rights that police were obliged to respect and observe.  All the others had been killed, he continued, because they had shot at the police, who had returned fire.

The High Court was not convinced, and granted an Order, on 14 November 2008, interdicting the Respondents from ‘unlawfully killing, injuring, threatening, harassing or in any way unlawfully intimidating the Applicant’.  For the four Respondents, especially Cele (who knew about the threats to Mkhize) and Booysen (who claimed he was not in danger), a High Court Order was clearly not worth the paper it was written on.  Mkhize was shot dead on 3 February 2009.  From being an alleged key suspect in the killing of Chonco, he had become an alleged key suspect in the drive-by shooting of Zondi the month before. Predictably, the police claimed that he had shot at them while trying to avoid arrest. Their version was contradicted by independent ballistic and forensic evidence which found that the windows of the car he was travelling had all been closed, and that the police had fired with rifles and pistols from behind. They had continued to rake his car with bullets while overtaking him, before firing a final shot into his head.  Mkhize’s widow lodged a successful civil claim and has been paid out for loss of support for her children and herself.

Booysen’s sworn statement that those shot dead by members of his unit were firing at the police is contradicted by witnesses. Thandeka Sokhulu denied that her husband had tried to shoot the police before they killed him. ‘He certainly did not do so in my presence and the police had full control over him.  When he was taken to the other bedroom he was unarmed’   Further evidence is supplied by a witness, X, who happened to be in the vicinity in which two suspects in the Chonco killing were shot dead, ‘there was no shoot out with the police’ who had pulled alongside the vehicle they were in and had ‘executed them’ Two policemen then fired shots into the side of the road (from the sound, a pistol, not the automatic rifle the police had used),   The back window of the vehicle had been intact but with a couple of bullet holes in it. ‘I personally saw one of the policemen smash the rear window with his gun, obviously to hide the fact that shots had only been fired into the vehicle and not out of it’.  X was a disinterested party who had nothing to gain by making this story up, but understandably feared the consequences of being identified, so the evidence could not be used in court. However, this version corresponds to that of internal police (black) sources who have long been opposed to, and reported, this type of conduct, who claimed that the men had been shot dead in cold blood.  The problem is that investigators are colleagues of the killers themselves, and – unlike in the Mkhize case – the crucial independent ballistic, forensic or crime scene evidence is non-existent.   There are, however, witnesses to what happened in many of the cases for which these members were charged, including from family members like Thandeka Sokhulu.

This unit did not work in isolation, and in some cases, they were implicated in matters in which taxi operators had been tortured or killed by other units in the same area, as in Mandeni. In 2009 members of the Mbonambi family, local route taxi operators under siege by illegal operators linked to police members, had been tortured by K9 members. On the night of 25 March 2010 five heavily armed men (including with police-issue issue R4 or R5 rifles) opened fire on Mbonambi family members injuring Siyabonga Mbonambi, his brother Mdu and a toddler nephew. Mdu and the toddler died of their injuries. One of the attackers was identified as a member of an unregistered security company guarding a long- distance taxi operator. In September 2010, a large group of men claiming to be police members, who were not in uniform and did not produce identification (which is usual, but illegal), demanded to be let into the home, pointing guns at family members, including the elderly frail grandmother of the murdered toddler. They then searched everywhere, looking for someone, almost certainly Siyabonga, who had gone into hiding.  Among these men was CMM from the Cato Manor Unit. He and other unit members had been seen moving around the area, on occasion with alleged criminal taxi operators who were targeting Mbonambi operations. On one occasion he arrested another taxi operator, BM, who was already under threat, and whose life was probably saved by his having been able to make a telephone call reporting the arrest by CMM for what turned out to be a non-existent charge. In responding to a letter addressed to the Head of Organised Crime about these irregularities, Colonel Olivier, who described himself as ‘Operational Manager for DPCI in KZN) offers no explanation about CMM’s activities, and denies that they were looking for either Mbonambi or BM.

The clearest example of how this unit used other police members to do their dirty work is the case of Stanger Taxi Association member R N Xaba, who placed on record with the Umhlali SAPS (near KwaDukuza), in 2010, that he feared for his life from members of the association and the police.  He and other members were being excluded from the use of their Association’s rank because they refused to pay protection money to a faction linked to the police. He and others sought the help of the then MEC, who claimed he was busy with the World Cup so the fact that their lives were at risk would have to wait.  Xaba had said in his statement to the police that if he did not receive assistance ‘my life will always be in danger or cease to exist’.  Two months later it ceased to exist when he and a neighbour, who had no taxi connections, and was giving him a lift to where he was in hiding, came under heavy gunfire while travelling on a local road.  With their bodies riddled with bullets they both died. The driver of the vehicle which shot at them worked for another unit and, when confronted with the registration number of that vehicle, the head of the unit spilled the beans. Members of his unit were assisting Durban Organized Crime in two investigations (CAS numbers given), their member driving the vehicle was the ‘team leader and was liaising with Organized Crime.  A civil claim was lodged for support of the children of the two deceased, and, as with the Mkhize case, the State conceded liability.

The ‘death squad’ media reports and the aftermath

In December 2011, after extensive investigations which had started with the taxi industry, the Sunday Times published factually correct articles on what became known as the Cato Manor ‘death squad’. squad. Booysen was given ample space to respond. The subsequent persecution of the journalists, and a later public apology by the editor of the newspaper, must rank among the most shameful episodes in the history of South African journalism. The capitulation of the Sunday Times reminds us that editorial independence is non-existent, since the prime aim of media houses is to sell newspapers and the apology was made amidst shocking bullying accompanied by the threat of financial and advertising boycotts.  What is, however, incomprehensible, is the way in which respected journalists joined in the unjustified mud-slinging chorus against their own colleagues.

Investigations into at least some of these killings started soon after publication of the first story, while the current KZN Provincial Commissioner, Mkhwanazi, was Acting National Commissioner.  A Hawks team from the North-West Province was formed, working with prosecutors who were not based in KZN, because of mistrust of police and prosecutors in the province. At least one of the dockets had disappeared by the time these investigations, which included the reconstruction of the crime scenes, commenced. Support for their work, however, was said to have declined after the appointment of Riah Phiyega as National Commissioner.

Arrests of twenty members of the Cato Manor Unit of varying ranks followed, in 20 June 2012. Counterfeit money was reportedly found during the arrests and searches of homes. Charges included murder, defeating the ends of justice, attempted murder, assault, theft and being in unlawful possession of arms and ammunition.   Further arrests and charges, including those of racketeering, followed.

The type of support by many whites shown for these police members who had killed so many black people – supporters were urged to wear black for their heroes, and funding for them was sought through Facebook – was a chilling reminder of how little had changed in South Africa in almost twenty years when black victims of police brutality described as criminals  having never been tried and convicted, receive such support from people who would doubtless oppose vigilantism in their own communities,  It was, of course, not only white people who supported them : They also had black fans, especially taxi and political allies who approved of their actions, with the current Minister of Police Cele leading the pack.

Booysen was not among those initially arrested. He had been suspended from the SAPS in March 2012 but was reinstated by the court. Murder and racketeering charges were subsequently brought against him but were withdrawn in court in March 2014 only to be reinstated two years later. He also successfully opposed attempts to discharge him from the SAPS that year, but subsequently retired. 

Despite regular announcements that trials were imminent, the cases against the members who had been charged (the number had increased to twenty seven), dragged on for seven years, with regular remands, and time-worn legal delaying tactics. In July 2019, the NPA announced that a panel comprising the National Director of Public Prosecutions and Deputies had decided to withdraw the charges as they then currently stood (including racketeering and the killing of fort- five people).

The re-opening of the charges had brought hope to victims’ families, but also fear that family members would be targeted, especially if they were witnesses. Already severely traumatized – a child in one of the families was terrified when he saw a police vehicle that they would be killed – they had had to endure years of saturation media coverage of the men who had killed their loved ones, only to have their hopes, mercilessly, dashed.  Compared to the type of coverage given to policemen who had killed people using the same apartheid tactics, their suffering seems to count for nothing in the eyes of the media that is quick to condemn the journalists who exposed what these men were doing.

Rubbing salt into their wounds was the conduct of the KZN DPP who, after all the charges were withdrawn nationally in July 2019, had been specifically tasked with re-assessing the evidence in each of the cases to decide on whether any prosecutions should take place.  She was to notify the families of the victims of the decisions she had taken.  Over a year later, when families had heard nothing further, the office of the KZN DPP was approached about these cases.  Her response was that all the cases had been referred for an Inquest, without informing the families of the decisions (they might have wanted to contest the decision).  She claimed that the blame for not notifying the families lay with IPID (the Independent Police Investigative Directorate) which had failed to send out the letters she had written.  So, despite the seriousness of the crimes for which they had been charged, in some of which cases strong evidence exists (as, e.g. the Bongani Mkhize case) there is no intention to prosecute.

In other words, respect for the families of tortured and murdered victims, including those spelled out in the Department of Justice’s own Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa, is completely absent. Is it because they are black and still, almost thirty years after liberation, powerless? While they continue to suffer, Booysen and his Cato Manor crew are basking in public sympathy, and laughing all the way to the bank, as they sue the State for many millions of rand of taxpayers’ money because of the bungling by the NPA.

The stated commitment by the office of the NDPP, which has established an internal ethics office, has a very hollow ring.    How can the public accept that this office is independent when dozens of people have died, families have lost breadwinners and suffered immense trauma, exacerbated by the conduct of the same NDPP for the past eight years, which initially raised their expectations, but then robbed them of any hope of justice?  Would the NPA have treated killers of dozens of whites with the same kid gloves? Truly, apartheid policing and justice have triumphed.

We need to get to the bottom of why the racketeering charges were allowed to derail investigations into extremely serious matters – murder, torture, theft and defeating the ends of justice.  It is not sufficient to simply scapegoat Jiba and Abrahams.  We need full interrogation, and it is important to get to the bottom of why the racketeering charges were brought, and whether they were a deliberate red herring to make a martyr out of Booysen, and divert attention from the torture and killings.  Only a full inquiry into the conduct of the NPA in their handling of these Cato Manor unit cases will suffice if it wants to show that it is serious about ethics, and really does intend to clean up the Augean stables it has become in the past twelve years.


Under the firm guiding hand of Police Minister and disgraced former national commissioner Cele, the SAPS has been increasingly following in the same brutal, corrupt footsteps as its apartheid predecessor. As then, it does not hesitate to turn on its own. In the early 1990s, security policeman Jikazi was murdered before he could expose his white colleagues who were stealing petrol from police stores.  The corruption appetites of the new power elite have grown with the eating. it is the very many SAPS members who take their oaths of office to report any suspected wrongdoing to management, regardless of who the wrongdoer is, seriously,  that are in the firing line.  In the Free State, Senior Administrator Patricia Mashale, is at the front of this line.  The usual weapon is dismissal using an unfair labour practice, expeditious disciplinary actions, but the way in which Ms Mashale has been targeted by her own colleagues during the past few months points to her own life, and possibly the lives of family members, being in danger.  She has now heard there are plans to arrest her on a trumped-up charge of perjury and remove her to somewhere far away from her home without registering details on the police system.   She fears that they want to make her ‘disappear’.

As a very senior and experienced Administer in a unit dedicated to priority crimes, Ms Mashale has, true to her oath of office as a police member, dutifully reported corruption, including irregular appointments and promotions, and firearms-related criminality, to her line managers or the Hawks.  The current wave of persecution started after she sent a dossier on corruption in disciplinary hearings, and how they were being used to settle scores, to National Commissioner Sitole in January 2021.  It was never acted on, but details were leaked to his former Free State colleagues. Initially a charge of misconduct for reporting to Sitole was opened, but it was not pursued. Then a case of harassment was opened against her in the Family Court by one of those she had named in the dossier, and her personal cellphone was illegally seized by police members. Months later it has not been returned to her, despite the illegality of the seizure having been drawn to the attention of the National Head of Legal Services, with the request that it be returned, six weeks ago.  She is also under surveillance. On 21 November the car she normally drives to collect her son from a boarding school a long distance away, which was driven by another family member, qA followed all the way home by police in unmarked vehicles who, on finding that she was not in the car, lost interest.  Severely traumatised, she sought professional assistance and, when she handed in her medical certificate, was instructed to ask her therapist to put the diagnosis ‘depression’ on it (he refused to commit fraud. In January she was informed that she would have to attend an Expeditious Disciplinary Hearing, to be chaired by one of the members whose irregular promotion she had reported, leading to its reversal. 

The Free State Provincial Commissioner who authorized the disciplinary hearing is .Lt-General Motswenyane.  Serious questions arise about her appointment as her five year contract had ended in February 2021, and appears to have been irregularly extended.  She had previously been Provincial Commissioner in the North-West Province and is alleged to have outstanding cases against her there.  It was as Commissioner in that province that she achieved notoriety as Second Respondent in an Interdict Application brought by then IPID head Robert McBride in 2017 to stop the police under her command from obstructing IPID investigations into then Acting National Commissioner Phahlane for crimes including money laundering and corruption, for which Phahlane is now on trial.  She herself was under IPID investigation for establishing a team (headed by a notorious torturer) specifically to interfere with the investigations, making it impossible for IPID to finalise them at that time (the chief investigator has since been murdered).  She stands accused of taking no action against serious allegations of sexual harassment made by female members, including station commissioners, against a District Commissioner, who also stands accused of blatant racial discrimination against ‘coloured’ and white members.

The Human Rights Commission CEO confirmed to the SAPS that Mashale had fulfilled the requirements of making a Protected Disclosure. Shortly thereafter his (the CEO’s contract) was not renewed. It is known that there is political interference, including in appointments, in the SAHRC. Two weeks ago she discovered that the personal phone she is now uses has been hacked.  She cannot access her emails, and her bank has informed her that her personal details have been leaked.

This latest development, the threat of an unprocedural arrest, is linked to the harassment case opened against her in 2021.  Having obtained a Protection Order herself against the management member, Mashale has challenged his action through a recission application. which, following several postponements, is set to be heard on 13 April.  She has been informed that the charge she now faces is one of perjury for submitting an affidavit to the Family Court stating that the Protection Order obtained against her had been set aside – which it has been pending her recission application to be heard, together with the management member’s matter, in April.

Ms Mashale  has been giving her support to hundreds of SAPS members who have been persecuted by corrupt, incompetent management, many of whom have been illegally dismissed. Advocate Malesela Teffo, from whom she and others receive legal assistance (https://mg.co.za/opinion/2022-02-21-advocate-dan-teffos-life-may-now-be-at-greater-risk-than-ever) has won many cases to reinstate illegally dismissed workers and the police refuse to reinstate them, even after they have won arbitration awards and, in some cases, obtained Labour Court Orders. They have now discovered that despite supposedly having been dismissed, these members have never received dismissal letters signed by the National Commissioner, and their details are still reflected on the SAPS administrative systems.  Their contributions to the Government Employees Pension Fund and SARS continue, but they are not receiving their salaries.  Who is pocketing their salaries?  They have attempted to open fraud and corruption charges against SAPS management but have allegedly been told to change their statements before cases are registered.  At least one other affected member has been threatened with malicious, and serious, criminal charges.

Like Advocate Teffo, Ms Mashale has been drawing the attention of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and the Presidency to these abuses for years but no action whatsoever has been taken against the man who is responsible for allowing criminality to flourish in the police, Minister Cele.  National Commissioner Sitole has become a scapegoat, but the rot is far more widespread.  Until there is a forensic audit of all management members and their qualifications, nothing will change. The removal of Sitole must also be accompanied by a forensic investigation of Free State management, and all allegations of illegal conduct.  Unless these steps are taken, immediately, the insatiable corruption appetites will continue to flourish, many competent and experienced members will be lost to the SAPS, and violent crime will continue its destructive path. 

Ms Mashale fears that the criminal SAPS tactics used in the arrest of Advocate Teffo by apartheid era police members, leading to his detention in prison for ten days without having appeared in court, will be used against her, probably with lethal consequences as the annual death toll in police custody is high.  Why, despite its supposed support for the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and Whistle-blowers, and its anti-corruption rhetoric, have all of those who could have acted to protect her and prosecute wrong doers not done so?   Her persecution, and the threat she is now facing, must lead to immediate action at the highest levels of government to ensure her protection, while simultaneously initiating concerted action to root out the endemic criminality which festers at all levels of the SAPS and poses a threat to the lives of all South Africans.


The large peri-urban Ndwedwe area north of Durban has for years been serviced by Injabaliso Bus Service, offering passengers affordable transport, including for those who rely on it to bring their bulky goods from nearby towns of Verulam and Tongaat. Over the years, there have been sporadic threats, including the blocking of buses, by taxi operators, which have been dealt with through political intervention.  Around three months ago, taxi operators resumed attempts to disrupt the service, including by threats to drivers. Despite pleas to government and police, and warnings of likely bloodshed, no action whatsoever was taken and, on 15 November, two bus drivers were shot dead in hits in the Sonkombo area. Bus operations stopped, as drivers, who live in Ndwedwe, are understandably terrorized, as no arrests have been made.  Fearful residents are crying out for the return of the bus services as costs for transporting their goods have risen since they now need to rely on costlier taxis or their haulage services. While the SAPS have indicated preparedness to assist, continuing pleas for intervention by the municipality, and the provincial Department of Transport, to assist with logistics, have fallen on deaf ears.

When the taxi threats resurfaced, residents initially sought assistance from politicians and police but, when no notice was taken, they became scared for their safety.  KZN Monitor letters were then sent to the Ndwedwe and iLembe District SAPS. On 4 October, they were informed that taxi owners had jammed an Injabaliso bus in Sonkombo, preventing it from proceeding to other areas to load passengers for Tongaat.  The name of the association, and contact details of its chairperson, were provided. The police were asked to take urgent action against the criminal operators and ensure that buses could operate safely. There was no response. On 9 October the bus owner, Kishore Sathanlal, was shot dead in a hit at his Tongaat home.  The local police have yet to provide feedback about the murder investigations. A further letter to Ndwedwe and District SAPS on 4 November described how taxis were chasing buses travelling from Verulam to Ntaphuke (in Ndwedwe) and they were provided with the name of the taxi association implicated. They were reminded that drivers and commuters feared for their lives, and the need for urgent intervention, including arrests, was emphasized. Again, there was no response.  On the late afternoon of 15 November, two bus drivers, brothers Zamo and Jabulani Ngwenya, were shot dead in Somkombo, not far from KZN Premier Zikalala’s home.  One of the deceased was killed while offloading passengers and the second was shot driving on hilly terrain not far away. The bus rolled, but miraculously, despite injuries, no passengers were killed. The private security company employed by the bus company arrived at the scene from Verulam before the local police did.

After telephone calls to the Ndwedwe and District SAPS, the police sprang into action, setting up roadblocks. However, it was too late. There had been another incident in which a driver was blocked by unmarked cars and threatened, so terrified drivers refused to return to work in fear of their lives. Ndwedwe residents suggested that the municipality, together with the four traditional leaders, the Departments of Safety and Security and Transport, and the police meet with the bus operator to formulate a plan to ensure the safe resumption of bus services. For the past three weeks, letters stressing the urgent need for action, sent to all these role-players, including the municipal manager, by email, and even What’s App messages  have been ignored.  An SAPS representative claims that the Department of Transport is ‘on board’, and, referring to complaints about the bus service made by taxi operators, suggests that a meeting between representatives of the bus company and taxi associations take place to plan the way forward – while conceding that the bus service manager is too scared to attend such a meeting.

This response is extraordinary, since serious crimes, including three murders, have been committed, and no one has been arrested and charged, despite the names of three taxi associations – – one of which has been operating in the area illegally, i.e. without a permit – having been given to the police and the Department of Transport.  Since the murder of Kishore Sathanlal, almost certainly by a taxi-industry hitmen, his widow and the bus service manager have lived in fear, especially when leaving their homes. Yet one of them is supposed to meet with taxi operators implicated in the violence.  A remote meeting has been suggested.

What has happened in Ndwedwe highlights two endemic governance problems in this province.  The first is the inefficiency and lack of accountability of elected officials and departmental staff, starting with communication hurdles.  The provincial government website has deteriorated markedly in the past few years. Many email addresses are out-of-date,  few cellphone numbers are provided for administrative staff funded by taxpayers, and land lines are frequently not answered, or staff are not available.  Those cellphones listed are usually not answered and voicemail boxes are full. When, after numerous attempts, emails do not bounce back, they are seldom acknowledged, let alone responded to.

The second problem lies at the heart of South Africa’s abnormally high murder rate: The unwillingness of government to regulate and police the taxi industry, which has become a law until itself.  This is the industry that supplies most hit men and then covers up for them.

It is poor communities who suffer most.  After a year of further impoverishment through job losses and price increases, Ndwedwe residents are now paying more for transporting essential goods, including those needed for the informal sector activities on which communities rely.  Ndwedwe, like the rest of South Africa, is being held to ransom by criminals this government refuses to act against.



Yesterday, 13 December, a press conference, ‘From State Capture to a Police State : The Application of Human Rights precepts to the Emergence of a Return to a Police State in South Africa’ was held in Pretoria.   This initiative came from Advocate Dan Teffo, who was maliciously arrested and imprisoned twice in November because of his work for justice.  He stressed its urgency days before it was held, adding ‘before I disappear’.  Advocate Teffo was today served with a warrant of arrest, and there are unconfirmed reports that a warrant has been issued for another speaker yesterday, Patricial Mashale, who has been suspended following disciplinary charges against her for blowing the whistle on gross corruption in the Free State SAPS.  Details of the charges are not known, but they are believed to arise from yesterday’s media conference.

On 1 November Advocate Teffo was arrested at his Johannesburg home around 04h00, and, dressed in his pyjamas, taken to Johannesburg prison (‘Sun City’). There he was sentenced, on 2 November, and without appearing in court, for Contempt of Court. He then had no knowledge of any such case against him.  He was arrested by three police members, two of whom were white members he believed were apartheid era security policemen (names known). He surmised that after they had left the SAPS they had been re-enlisted, as details he procured showed their appointment date as 16 August 2021. He avers that the signature on appointment cards is not that of National Commissioner Sitole.  He was released from prison ten days later and, when he tried to check on these mysterious police members, he was told they had already resigned.  He was arrested, again, on 16 November, apparently on a Trespass charge, when he entered the Gauteng SAPS headquarters with a client.  Much of Teffo’s work is in the Labour court for police members victimized because they are not part of the corrupt management cabal, battling to get them reinstated when he wins disciplinary cases.  He appeared in court on 19 November, but the bail application could not be heard as he had previously lodged a complaint against the magistrate to whom it had been allocated. When he re-appeared in another court on Monday 22 November there was no docket, and the investigator (apparently acting on instructions –  Teffo thinks those of the Gauteng provincial commissioner) again delayed on the pretext of verifying his residential address. When an incomplete docket appeared in court on 24 November, even the magistrate appeared confused and granted bail.

Teffo believed these arrests were carried out on the orders of the Minister of Police – who refers to him as a ‘troublesome advocate’ – and were primarily linked to very sensitive cases he has taken on which could have serious implications for the minister and management members. One of those cases is the murder, in 2014, of prominent soccer star, Senzo Meyiwa, in which he was approached to hold a watching brief for the deceased’s family, which was the primary focus of the press conference.  The deceased’s brother, Sifiso, provided details to back up Teffo’s argument about how this case had been deliberately sabotaged to protect well-connected killers, and bring false charges against people who had nothing to do with his brother’s murder.  Two good detectives who had cracked the case were removed and another team, reporting to Minister Cele, had taken over and charged five suspects, some of whom are serving prison terms for other crimes.  A sister of one of these men, who also spoke, gave very detailed information about how her own investigations could prove that the men now standing trial are innocent. Of particular concern in Teffo’s input was that it pointed to complicity at high level in the prosecutorial service in what seems to be a gross miscarriage of justice.

At the media conference Patricia Mashale spoke of severe harassment, and malicious charges brought against her, for her anti-corruption work.  She gave chilling information about the extent of criminal corruption in the Free State firearms unit.  She is already severely stressed, and fears for her life, due to SAPS management harassment. Police seized her personal phone, and her car was followed for a long distance by unmarked vehicles with police members in them, who lost interest when they realized she was not in the vehicle.

Proceedings yesterday, and the arrests of an advocate and an SAPS whistleblower, confirm the capture of the SAPS.  However, the man responsible is not the National Commissioner, a mere pawn, but the Minister of Police who was dishonourably discharged as National Commissioner in 2012, following a disastrous tenure in which brutality and all manner of corruption and irregularity escalated. According to media reports, this minister takes his advice from a police general from a notorious apartheid unit, and from a convicted apartheid era drug dealer policeman, who, together with his family, works for Crime Intelligence in KZN. It was Cele to whom the then national  SAPS Crime Intelligence head Jacobs handed a counter-intelligence report in 2019 detailing how apartheid-era security police were running a political hit squad in KZN, and were fueling violent protest such as truck burning on national roads. Minister Cele reportedly failed to take any remedial action, decreeing that the report be kept secret. He also, irregularly, controls a ministerial team investigating political hits in KZN, his own political colleagues being among potential suspects.  This team specializes in malicious arrests and abusing and torturing suspects. He also controls, through his surrogate, The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), because Parliament has still not passed legislation ordered by the Constitutional Court five years ago to give IPID independence from the police ministry.

The lives of Advocate Teffo and Patricia Mashale – and possibly others with insights into the Senzo Meyiwa case – may be in very grave danger, as South Africa slides, increasingly, into an apartheid-era police state. Teffo has provided the President with details of police corruption, but no action has ensued. The President had assured corruption-fighter Thabiso Zulu, another victim of the same police and their tactics, of protection, but has been overruled by his Minister of Police.  Surely questions should be asked about who exactly is running South Africa – and taking the country further along the road to an apartheid-type police state?  See also ‘The Return of Apartheid Policing threatens the lives of whistleblowers’

  See also ‘The Return of Apartheid Policing threatens the lives of whistleblowers’


‘Research and development only takes place to the extent that it empowers or enriches those who sponsor it. In much of the world, independent academic research is a thing of the past, with the university laboratory now a sponsored, branded  profit centre dependent on industry or government  agencies’ (Shelley,T Nanotechnologhy)

The growing, frenzied calls for mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations, are deeply disturbing, especially when they come from doctors who seem to have forgotten the real meaning of health. There is no good reason to make vaccination mandatory, as it does not stop transmission of the virus, and forcing it on people who do not want it may impact negatively on their health.  Science is an open system which should be characterized by transparency, but important debates among leading overseas scientists, and even negative reports about vaccines, and the dubious conduct of manufacturers, receive scant – if any – coverage in local media.  Important questions about long term safety of these vaccines remain unanswered. All efforts to make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory must be opposed on both ethical and health grounds, and because giving an increasingly authoritarian government, and its dysfunctional health system, any further power would be a slippery slope to further health abuses, as happened during the apartheid regime.

Why forcing people to undergo medical procedures may cause them harm

Health is ‘a state of complete physical, social and mental wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (WHO definition).  A vast library of anthropological research confirms this holistic view of health, Body and Mind in Zulu Medicine, by the late Dr Harriet Ngubane being one of many local publications.  Modern, allopathic medicine, too, acknowledges that even expectations of benefits of treatment may improve reactions to medication, and hence the use of placebos in clinical trials.  Conversely fears of harm may themselves lead to adverse events (Nocebo), including by raising stress levels. That high stress levels can fuel serious illnesses is well known. (In rare cases entrenched beliefs about harm may even lead to what is termed Voodoo death). As former editor of science journal Nature, Jo Marchant notes in Cure : A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body, ‘If we feel safe, cared for and in control………..We feel less pain, less fatigue, less sickness. Our immune system works with us rather than against us’

People are dying after being vaccinated, but our Regulatory Authority,     SAHPRA, offers no explanation for why it believes these deaths are not vaccine-related, so families believe that they are. Elderly, but fit, Mrs M had avoided Covid-19 but became ill with flu-like symptoms within days of being vaccinated. She died soon afterwards.  Like most South Africans, her family depends on the public health system, and proper monitoring of vaccinees is not happening.  Surely the M family’s fear of vaccination is not unreasonable? Some of the blame for the low vaccine uptake must be laid at the door of this dysfunctional department, where many patients are treated disrespectfully, and medical records are inadequate, or even missing. It even failed to follow up after Rural Women’s Network leader, Sizani Ngubane, already showing Covid-19 symptoms, tested positive, despite pleas from her hospitalized son. She died a lonely, agonizing death, dehydrated and alone, at her home. Empirically-based community health policies formulated by progressive health professionals were ignored by the 1994 government, which preferred to waste many millions of rand on its Cuban allies with no experience of local health dynamics. .

Vaccination does not stop transmission of the virus

It seems that insufficient attention is being paid to what is happening in highly vaccinated populations in Europe, where the infection rate is soaring. The comprehensive UK data is particularly useful, and easily accessible. For a four- week period in October/November, more vaccinated people per 100 000 over the age of thirty were becoming infected than were unvaccinated people. On 9 November, when the under eighteen age group is excluded, seventy six percent of reported Covid cases had been vaccinated. The most recent figures, however, show that infections in those over seventy are higher for the unvaccinated than the vaccinated, which is probably linked to the uptake of third booster shots.  Hospitalization and deaths remain higher among the unvaccinated, but Public Health England cautions that other unknown variables may play a part in illness and deaths. Among those tested, more people have antibodies than have had the virus.

High rates of infection are conspicuous in other European countries where two thirds or more of the population have been vaccinated.  In Portugal, where ninety percent of people have been double vaccinated, a provisional analysis (still subject to confirmation) suggests that the country may have more new cases per day per million of its population than does South Africa.

From their recent Lancet editorial, it appears that local scientists acknowledge that these virus variants are likely to arise in what they term ‘a high transmission, environment’ where vaccine coverage was high.  What seems obvious is that, whether vaccinated or not, it is masks, social distancing and cleanliness that are the crucial weapons in the war against Covid-19.

Divided scientific opinion, Big Pharma, and more questions than answers

Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier is among leading overseas virologists and immunologist who have raised questions about potential problems with the rapid vaccine roll out (he has also been misquoted about it). He (and others) takes issue with the short duration of trials compared with norms about the years required for testing vaccine safety.  He is vindicated by a recent article in the British Medical Journal which confirms that the Pfizer trial used to gain permission for the American roll-out falsified data and failed to follow up on adverse events.  He also believes that mass vaccination could drive more harmful mutations of the virus.  There has been one mutation after another in the year since roll-out, but there is no way of knowing whether they are vaccine linked.   Particularly worrying, though, is his warning that these vaccines, unlike most others we are familiar with, are associated with Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE).  ADE leads to vaccine-induced antibodies which rapidly decrease, facilitating further infection.  In August 2021, the American Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and Health and Human Services (HHS) warned that they were seeing reduced protection against moderate infection, and that even protection against severe disease and hospitalization could diminish (italics added).  We thus become increasing vaccine-dependent, which could conceivably compromise our own immune systems.  Nor is there any consensus on the long-term consequences of nanotechnology used in the biotech vaccines, for adverse events (as with asbestos) could manifest only many years later.  Recent epigenetic revelations about intracellular influences on DNA transcription processes also pose unanswered questions.  As prominent physicist Paul Davies puts it in The Demon in the Machine, his brilliant attempt to link quantum physics, information theory and biological processes, ‘Cells are beginning to look like bottomless pits of complexity’.

Few of these issues are publicly debated in South Africa. and even medical doctors who raise their voices against prevailing orthodoxy are ridiculed as ‘anti-vaxxers’ or conspiracists.  Like those of scientists labelled ‘denialists’ in South Africa in the 1990s because they differed in their views about HIV, the important questions the so-called conspiracist doctors raise remain unanswered. It should also be borne in mind that experts who exert influence on health policy have an ethical duty to disclose any conflict of interest linked to funding they receive, which does not seem to happen.  There were no screaming headlines about the whistleblower revelations about Pfizer trial fraud –  described by a British doctor as ‘devastating’ –  despite it being published in a prestigious journal. (While not mentioned in the BMJ article, they had also allegedly embargoed a Japanese rodent study which suggested that mRNA vaccine particles are not as short-lived in bodies as the manufacturers claim).  Nor have vaccine-related adverse events and deaths elsewhere, including in the American Pfizer trials on children, received much attention, despite the local drive to vaccinate teenagers. (children’s immune systems are usually stronger than those of adults). Another problem is the apparent lack of choice of vaccines for children, as some people find the familiar modified virus type of vaccine more acceptable than those using biotechnology.  Should we not be very worried about reports that three Vietnamese children have died, and dozens have been hospitalized, following Pfizer jabs?   Should we not also ask whether our government’s failure to ensure that there is full investigation of apparently vaccine-related deaths has anything to do with avoiding potential liability claims on the South African fiscus? While details of agreements signed by the government with vaccine providers remain secret (which is unacceptable in a constitutional democracy), they reportedly include a liability waver against the manufacturers.

Why are businesses and scientists encouraging the march of authoritarianism in South Africa?

On different continents, large crowds are protesting about their governments using Covid-19 as an excuse to abuse their power, and telling them that ‘enough is enough’  In South Africa, despite government heavy-handedness and abuses during lockdowns, and bans on tobacco and alcohol sales which saw police and other government employees among those continuing to sell these products, business leaders and others are actively demanding that government curtail one of the most fundamental of our freedoms – for health and life are intertwined – and for no good reason, since vaccination does not stop transmission.  Have they forgotten how dysfunctional and corruption-riddled our health system is?  A case in point relates to the responsibility of the then MEC for Health in KZN for the painful, preventable, deaths of countless hundreds of cancer patiens, because of gross corruption in oncology procurement. Despite prima facie evidence of his having breached the Anti-Corruption legislation, the SAHRC, the Hawks, and the ANC have covered up for him, and he has been rewarded with promotion to the position of Deputy Minister of Health.  Is it not madness to even consider giving this government even more power over us than it already has?

Mandatory vaccination for Covid-19 is a slippery slope for, should it be made law, an extremely dangerous precedent would be set, especially as global warming promises further outbreaks of dangerous diseases. Have the lessons of apartheid’s chemical warfare programme not been learnt? When the National Health Act, which makes informed consent for any medical procedure mandatory, was passed, those Nazi-Germany-type abuses were fresh in people’s minds, even though the TRC hearings had been embargoed (and attempts to declassify them, and other material, had been, stopped by the apartheid generals). While key perpetrators were named, but never brought to justice, countless others working covertly in laboratories were never even publicly identified, and no steps were taken to ensure that any such activities stopped. The stripping away of informed consent for any medical procedures, and a lack of transparency – which is already an increasingly serious problem – could well facilitate similar abuses in the future.

Dare we hope that common sense will prevail, and that medical doctors supporting mandatory vaccination will revisit the oath they took to first do no harm?    


….the Nazis came for the Communists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a Communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak up, because I was not a trade unionist.  Then they came for the Catholics, and I was Protestant so I did not speak up.  Then they came for me…By that time there was no one to speak up for anyone. (Pastor Martin Niemoller)

The threatened suspension of the SAPS National Commissioner, tellingly driven by Minister Cele, provides a useful smokescreen for the sinister and serious abuses of power by the Minister of Police. His unconstitutional interference in operational policing matters, especially his heading of a ministerial team investigating political violence, poses a serious threat to the lives of innocent people, including whistleblowers. 

Events surrounding the recent arrest of whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu illustrate the tactics currently being employed.  At an A NC election-related meeting in Copesville, Pietermaritzburg in September, a popular candidate choice was stabbed, allegedly by supporters of the current incumbent (who is on trial for fraud) and in the presence of police from Mountain Rise SAPS.  Thabiso Zulu, who had stopped briefly to drop refreshments for old folk, was assaulted when he left, and opened a case. Subsequently, a case of assault was opened against Zulu by a supporter of the councilor. Because this station is implicated in police criminal actions in abusing Zulu and a pregnant neighbour in July 2020, the transfer of the dockets was requested . However, instead of their being given to provincial detectives, they were handed to the political killings task team, whose mandate does not include assault cases.

On the afternoon of 10 October, members of the task team arrested Zulu for the assault case opened against him and took him to Loop Street police station in Pietermaritzburg. Being a Sunday afternoon, it took several hours to locate his lawyer. Under threat, including that bail would be denied, Zulu was coerced to retrieve his two cellphones from his home and to activate them.  The police took them away from him without his permission, telling him that they were going to download the contents.  They did not leave their contact details at the police station.  

These investigators report to General Khumalo, who has never been a detective, and was formerly a Brigadier in Operational Response Services, prior to which he was apparently, pre-1994, a member of the KwaZulu Police  He reports directly to the minister, not the national commissioner, which is grossly irregular in terms of the South African Police Services Act.. The arresting officer reputedly has a close relationship with the minister. The illegal removal of the cellphones, which had no bearing on an assault case, was a breach of legislation governing interception and monitoring, which requires judicial authorization and, for the police, written authorization by the national commissioner. When contacted, General Khumalo offered no explanation.  He was advised that his members were operating outside of their mandate, and he was asked to ensure the phones were immediately returned to the police station for safekeeping. The intervention of the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner SAPS was also sought (unsuccessfully). Following information give by the arresting officer n to his lawyer, Zulu spent the afternoon after his release on bail on 11th searching for the phones at Loop Street SAPS, the station at which he had been detained, and at another Pietermaritzburg station a distance away from the city centre (Plessislaer) but neither station had them.  They were returned to the Loop Street station only on Wednesday 13 October. One was damaged, apparently beyond repair.  This sinister task team is operating outside of the law, with impunity.

There seems little doubt that Zulu’s arrest, on a Sunday afternoon, was merely a pretext for accessing his cellphones and downloading their contents.  This places anyone who has contacted Zulu, especially those providing information about corruption, including among senior politicians and police members, at great risk.  The procurement of these phones was probably at the request of the Minister of Police, to whom this team reports directly and with whom the arresting officer is alleged to have a close relationship. This direct reporting  is grossly irregular, since his own political colleagues may be among the suspects in cases this team investigates. Unsurprisingly this team has been conspicuously unsuccessful in obtaining convictions in dozens of political killings in recent years; nor has it made any arrests for the attempted murder of Thabiso Zulu two years ago. In the October 2019 case, when Zulu narrowly missed being killed, this team is alleged to have intimidated witnesses, and to have refused to transcribe an incriminating taped recording of the plot to kill Zulu, implicating politicans and police.

This is not the only operational matter in which the minister is directly involved, and line management is by-passed. Recent media reports refer to a leaked intelligence document about Crime Intelligence in KZN running taxpayer-funded political hit squads – as did the apartheid government thirty years ago. These reports referred to the then head of CIS, General Jacobs, giving the intelligence report to the minister – instead of to his line manager, the national commissioner. They alleged that the minister had opposed an investigation into the apartheid era operatives implicated, since it would embarrass the police.

Already accused of failing to act against hit squads, the minister is now accused of allowing – and possibly ordering – the illegal interception of cellphones and the downloading of their contents. Having failed to protect whistleblower Zulu, he now, through his team’s illicit activities, has access to a large amount of material on political and police corruption on Zulu’s phones, endangering the lives of all of those who, trusting Zulu, have passed on incriminating information for him to follow up. The parallels between Cele’s handling of policing and his apartheid predecessors is striking. This illegal interception of Thabiso Zulu’s phone may well be a sign of things to come, further endangering the lives of anyone who wants to do the right thing and report corruption and crime to someone they trust.

That such sinister, illegal, activities continue points to the failure of parliament, and their oversight committees, to hold ministers to account.   They are now being urged to, immediately, summons Minister Cele and his team to account for their irregular and illegal activities. The assistance of the Inspector-General of Intelligence is also being solicited.  If these activities are allowed to continue, no one who wants to do the right thing is safe.


Brutality, corruption and other problems have been endemic in policing in South Africa since 1994, escalating after 2009.  Crime Intelligence has long been the chief offender in corruption stakes but a recent, leaked, report confirms other allegations of intelligence malfeasance: Like the apartheid state, our police run political hit squads. These operations pose a serious threat to the stability of the country but the report was apparently withheld from the SAPS National Commissioner.  The Minister of Police stands accused of taking no action, despite knowing about it, which he denies. Instead of parliament and the President demanding answers from the minister, media reports suggest that it is the national commissioner who may need to defend his fitness to hold office, purely because of a court judgment that he and other applicants had breached the IPID Act by failing to give the Directorate what police claimed was classified information. It is clear from other evidence, especially that given to the Zondo Commission by Inspector-General of Intelligence Dintwe, that the commissioner was a victim of political machinations, and has been personally absolved of any blame for the irregular procurements which are the focus of the court case.  A careful reading of the judgment suggests that it is a storm in a teacup, especially when compared with the threat posed by the destabilizing activities of CIS, including murder, which could continue because the minister has not taken steps to stop them.  Why is Minister Cele not being held to account?

What the public needs to know about the court case

In November 2017, the month of General Sitole’s appointment as National SAPS Commissioner, the police watchdog body IPID opened a case relating to the grossly irregular procurement of spying software by SAPS CIS in December 2016 (termed I-View1). A further planned irregular procurement in November/December 2017 – the notorious grabber electronic interception device (I-View II) – was also included in the litigation involving IPID and the SAPS. Alleging that the SAPS refused to give it documentation needed for investigation, IPID approached a magistrate’s court to obtain subpoenas to force the hand over. The 2018 High Court case, in which the subpoenas were a bone of contention, seems to have been a response to this move by four Applicants, three of whom, including the national commissioner, were police. The fourth Applicant, Mbindwane, an advisor to (and presumably representative of) then Police Minister Mbalula, was subsequently exposed as being the key player in the sorry saga of the grabber. The Applicants consistently argued that they could not provide the documentation because it was classified, so only the JSCI (Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence) could declassify it. When this 2018 case was finally heard in court in mid-2020, Counsel for the SAPS argued that IPID should formally write to the commissioner, detailing the documents required, and demanding that they be handed over within a specified time period.

In summing up, the judge accepted the commissioner’s argument that the subpoenas should be set aside, as the whole matter was surrounded by confusion, compounded by the absence of a proper court record.  The core issue of the police’s refusal to hand over what it said was classified information remained. Referring to the 2016 procurement the judge commented that ‘ It appears that his [the commissioner’s] involvement might be limited to the classification of the relevant documents’. Why Sitole would have classified 2016 documentation is not interrogated. There was also a major focus on the attempted grabber procurement, but to contextualise that – especially its alleged link to ‘national security’ –   the evidence of the Inspector-General (I-G) of Intelligence to the Zondo Commission is crucial.  This evidence was given in May 2021, several months after the January 2021 judgment in the case which had dragged on for almost three years. At some stage, however, the documentation had been de-classified and handed to IPID.

From I-G Dintwe’s evidence, the blame for the grabber procurement lies squarely with ministerial adviser Mbindwane, who pursued the need for the equipment doggedly, arguing that there was threat to national security, and inferring that foreign intelligence agents planned to infiltrate the Nasrec conference and influence the choice of who would be future president of South Africa. Even the Commander-in-chief had been briefed about the threat.  The I-G was aware of the debacle over the classification of the documents and stressed that this process was abused, mentioning that even the regulations about it were classified!  Of great concern is his testimony about the failure of oversight by relevant parliamentary bodies, especially the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI).  He also clarified that, in addition to the IPID criminal investigation, his office was conducting an oversight investigation into these irregular procurements (whether this was an obstacle to police accessing documentation is not clear).   He emphasized that Sithole had consistently insisted that proper procurement processes be followed, and that he had not authorized the acquisition of the grabber by signing documents.  When he heard about it going ahead, he immediately stopped payment.  It also seems that incorrect information disseminated by Minister Cele had added to the confusion.

Enter the leaked counter-intelligence report

In August 2021 details of an alarming SAPS counter-intelligence report were leaked to the media.  This report detailed how undercover CIS members in KZN were implicated in plans to assassinate politicians and sow discord in the ANC (Project Blow Out and Project Wave) Three of those named had been members of the apartheid security police who had been given amnesty by the TRC. Secret service slush funds had been used to acquire the car, and the AK 47, used in the attack on Sindiso Magaqa, who was shot in July 2017 and later died in hospital. An untrustworthy informer was killed, and police are among those standing trial for the Magaqa killing, The media subsequently reported that General Sitole was trying to access the report he apparently had no knowledge of,. and demanding answers about what had been happening under his watch.  According to the KZN CIS head, the report had been passed to then national CIS head General Jacobs who had passed it to the ministerial task team investigating political killings in January 2019. However, no prosecutions followed, allegedly because the minister (Cele) had instructed that no one should be charged as it would embarrass the SAPS. The minister, whose close connections with certain CIS operatives are public knowledge, has denied knowing about the report.

The plight of whistle-blower Thabiso Zulu, his unceasing quest for justice for Magaqa, and the refusal of the minister to provide him with protection despite attempts on his life, is well known. At least one CIS member (name known) is keeping Zulu under surveillance; he is believed to be linked to the police who abused him during a malicious arrest in July 2020.  Rogue CIS members are also alleged to instigate civil unrest, including the burning of trucks.

Is the President in charge?

A media article reports that General Sitole has written to the President ‘to save his job’.  But why should a costly formal inquiry into his fitness to hold office be needed when full information about procurement and classification is accessible, and all documentation has been handed to investigators who will be able to ascertain where the blame lies?  The suggestion is irrational. The court judgment is old hat, but the threat posed by murderous Crime Intelligence operatives is alive and well, so why is nothing being done about it?

Commander-in-chief Ramaphosa assured Thabiso Zulu personally that he would receive protection, but since that did not happen, the Minister of Police, who opposes it, presumably countermanded the presidential order. Being able to exercise this type of influence begs the question of whether it is Cele who is pushing the President to suspend Sitole? Police Ministers already exercise too much power as they also control IPID, which has still not been given the independence from the ministry ordered by Concourt. It is an open secret that Cele wants to run the police himself, and Sitole is the only bulwark against giving him that type of absolute power with its potential to corrupt absolutely.

Minister Cele controls the ministerial task team into political killings in KZN, so there is already a serious conflict of interest since killers may be among his political colleagues.  Is this why this team has been so spectacularly unsuccessful in obtaining convictions in dozens of high-profile killings?  Now it is alleged that he knew about the hit squad report and, willfully, failed to ensure that people accused of murder, and serious crimes against the state, were exposed and charged.  They remain free to carry on destabilizing and, for all we know, may have been implicated in what the President insists was an ‘attempted insurrection’ in July.   What are parliamentary oversight bodies, and the President himself, doing about the fact that, if the leaked report is accurate, it is the Minister of Police who is jeopardizing the safety of South Africa?


In the wake of the diabolical destruction following the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma on 7 July the air was thick with allegations and denials about who was to blame for the lack of intelligence warning about the impending mayhem. Minister of Police Cele blamed then Minister of State Security Dlodlo, who was adamant that NATJOINTS (the intelligence co-ordinating committee) had received her Departmental report, and that the Police Minister would have known about it. The only consensus among those trying to unravel the truth behind this web of denial, based on a report by a expert panel on Intelligence problems chaired by former minister Sydney Mufamadi, and evidence to the Zondo Commission, is that Intelligence services are a long way from recovering from the serious damage they suffered when captured by the Zuma regime to serve party interests.  As a consequence, the type of planning needed to deal timeously and effectively with the events of 8 – 13 July did not happen.   However, even without adequate intelligence, and given the threats and actions immediately after arrest, far more could have been done to prevent some of the serious economic damage which ensued. The real reasons for the failure to act cannot be divorced from the continuing factionism and political interference in operational policing issues by the Minister of Police, and the lack of political will within the governing party itself to deal decisively with the problems arising from a predominantly Zuma-supporting province. The politicisation of intelligence, including in police Crime Intelligence Services, is part of the broader, insidious, politicisation of the police to serve the interest of factions of a party, and the continuing efforts being made to block attempts to build a professional service – especially in KZN.  Even claims that information was given to the SAPS cannot be evaluated unless it is known which faction (Zuma/Cele) or the National and/or Provincial Commissioners, it was given to.

Political capture of the SAPS

It was never going to be easy to build a professional, non-partisan police service from the old apartheid and homelands forces, into which a sprinkling of liberation fighters had been, generally unsuccessfully, integrated.  However, the inherited problems of nepotism, incompetence, and corruption post 94 paled to insignificance after Zuma became president and, following on Selebi, two other non-police members – Bheki Cele and Riah Phiyega – were appointed national commissioners. The nine years which followed 2009, which included the appointment of acting commissioner, Phalane, (now facing criminal charges) were marked with seriously irregular appointments of political cronies, friends, and members of MKVA – including criminals – often into senior positions. Gross procurement irregularities escalated. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Crime Intelligence Services (CIS), headed by the Zuma-appointed, apartheid era security policeman, Richard Mdluli.  As with the State Security Service (a new structure), police crime intelligence became a tool to be used against political enemies, and included new recruits sent for specialist training in BRICS partner countries to support Zuma. The re-militarisation of the police initiated during the Cele tenure – which had been deliberately done away with in 1994 – was to lead to increased brutality, including the massacre at Marikana in 2012. The rapid promotion of selected cadres resulted in a grossly inflated, top-heavy service with a proliferation of completely unnecessary (and often incompetent) generals and brigadiers, at the expense of well trained ‘bobbies on the beat’  

By 2017, investigations by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) into gross procurement irregularities which had been happening since 2009, were well underway.  Among those implicated were senior officers including the then acting national commissioner, Khomotso Phalane , who was already under suspension for other financial crimes. There was also a focus on irregular procurements by CIS, where the influence of suspended Richard Mdluli, then, finally, on trial for serious charges, for which he was subsequently convicted and imprisoned, was still in evidence. Two matters in which millions had been spent irregularly involved the procurement between December 2016 and March 2017 of software to supposedly monitor the Fees Must Fall protests, linked to then Minister of Police Mbalula, and a December 2017 attempt by the then CIS Acting Head, Ngcobo, to procure, on the basis of some supposed ‘national security threat’ a cellphone jamming ‘Grabber.’   

In November 2017, and for the first time in eighteen years, a well trained professional police member, General Kehla Sitole, was handed the poisoned chalice of permanent appointment to the post of National Commissioner SAPS, and stepped straight into the hornets’ nest of investigations into the corrupt procurement of equipment for CIS, which had nothing to do with national security and everything to do with ANC factions.  After a tip off about the illegality of the ‘grabber’ acquisition, the newly appointed commissioner immediately stopped the payment. However, he found himself, together with two other senior SAPS members, and (tellingly) an advisor to former Minister Mbablula, Mbindwane, embroiled in drawn-out court proceedings about a criminal case opened in November 2017. The main focus of the court application was the failure of SAPS management to hand over to IPID apparently classified procurement documentation relating to the 2016/early 2017 acquisition, with Judge Davies, in his 2021 judgment noting that Sitole’s involvement might be limited to classifying the documents.  The question of why a commissioner appointed a year after the acquisition would want to classify such documents is not answered. According to a parliamentarian closely monitoring policing in 2016/2017,  NATJOINTS appeared then to be classifying documents for its own reasons without proper protocols being followed.  It emerged that only Intelligence Inspector-General Dintwe had the power to declassify documents; that duly happened, and they were handed to IPID.  In his evidence to the Zondo Commission in May 2021, Setlomanamaru Dintwe specifically implicated Mbindwane , in the irregular procurement of ‘signal grabbers’ ahead of the ANC’s Nasrec conference (at grossly irregular prices), and said that the procurement had been halted by IPID.  In 2019 Minister Cele, appointed in 2018, refused to renew the contract of IPDI head McBride, who had driven the investigations, creating the perception that since they went back to 2009, they might be getting ‘too close for comfort’ for the minister.

Cleaning out the Augean stables

General Sitole inherited a police service riven with factions and infiltrated by criminal networks.  It was staffed by too many, senior and incompetent members, but his attempts to ‘demote’ the over-supply of generals were found to constitute unfair labour practice.  He also set to work trying to curtail irregular expenditure (R968 million rand in 2017/18 financial years) and, by October 2020,  42 people, including police members, were facing corruption-related criminal charges, and internal investigations into 564 ;officers, including generals and brigadiers, were underway. 

One would have expected that a Minister of Police would have welcomed attempts to clean up his portfolio, but by April 2019 a weekend newspaper reported that Cele was looking for any excuse to get rid of Sitole, and motivate for his own person to replace him.  These allegations were made when Cele apparently took exception to the suspension of Sitole’s deputy, Lt Gen Christine Mgwenya, who had been fast-tracked to be Cele’s chief of staff between 2009 and 2011.    She has since been criminally charged, together with other senior officers, for a R191 million SAPS tender fraud, including corrupt procurement and money laundering.

Particularly serious problems, and a major impediment to cleaning up the police, arise from Cele’s constant and untoward interference in operational matters, with potentially very serious consequences for justice.  As minister he had no right to appoint his own team to investigate the murder of soccer star Meyiwa, or to personally meet with Cape Town policeman Charl Kinnear shortly before his 2020 assassination.  Most outrageous of all – and completely unacceptable – is his ‘hands on’ involvement in investigations into political killings in KZN – killings in which his own comrades may be implicated. Why is this being permitted by the President and Parliament?

Cele has many allies in the police service (as does Zuma), almost certainly including political deployees during the Zuma regime, and members of the ANC-aligned Police and Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) which played a valuable role in policing post 1994 but, more recently, has become embroiled in its own corruption scandals.  Similarly, his long-standing closeness to MK members such as Peter Jacobs mitigates against loyalty to a commissioner Cele wants to get rid of.

 In 2018, Sitole appointed Jacobs to head CIS, while warning that the appointment would be a case of ‘shape up or ship out’.  He presumably did not perform, as he has been ‘shipped out’ to another position in the SAPS, amidst a great deal of public acrimony.   Jacobs certainly did nothing to heal the factional divides, and promote professionalism, in CIS in KZN, nor to deal with its criminal activities.  An intelligence report recently leaked to the media states, among other things, that KZN CIS officers were involved in the 2017 murder of corruption whistle-blower Sindiso Magaqa, and that a minister was implicated. The killing was said to be part of a project authorised to assassinate politicians in KZN financed by CIS, and the hit man was a registered informer.    

It is alleged this report was handed to both Jacobs and Cele, but Cele has denied receiving it.  It is well known that Thabiso Zulu who has pursued justice for Magaqa, has narrowly missed assassination, and remains under threat of death and that the man whose job it is to prevent crime refuses to provide him with the protection recommended by state security agencies – and the very same man tasked with having oversight into political killings.

Lies spies and audiotapes

Around three weeks before Security Cluster ministers accused each other of lying about the availability of intelligence, press reports in a KZN newspaper referred to the inappropriate friendship between Cele and a convicted drug dealer, and fraud charges having been opened against Cele.   When convicted of dealing in drugs in 1992 Panganathan ‘Timmy’ Marimuthu would have been among the apartheid police (including security and narcotics) responsible for disseminating drugs, including mandrax, especially to ‘Indian’ and ‘Coloured’ communities, as part of the apartheid state chemical warfare programme.   In 2002, the Jali Commission established to expose the rot in SA’s prisons, heard claims that top prison officials and politicians had been implicated in the irregular release of Marimuthu, described as a millionaire trucking businessman.  The Commission’s investigators described a climate of fear in which they risked their lives.  Cele’s friendship with Marimuthu has been known for years, and by early 2012 media reports accused him, family members, and associates of ‘looting’ the secret service fund while providing ‘consultancy’ services for Cele while he was commissioner.

The print media articles were accompanied by the posting of a YouTube recording of a conversation in 2019 between Cele and, presumably, Marimuthu. This recording (probably doctored) could have been about personal/business matters, but reference to known CIS operatives, and to Sitole wanting to give some documentation to IPID, suggests that Marimuthu, apparently still employed by CIS, was by-passing line management and reporting directly to the minister.  Parliamentary committees have been requested to investigate.

The arrest of Zuma and its aftermath

Claims by then minister Dlodlo that information about threats had been given to the police appear verified by the good organisation, directed by the national office of the SAPS, which ensured that well trained police members from around the country were assembled at the Nkandla homestead to deal with any eventuality.  Fortunately, as the midnight Concourt deadline approached, Zuma and his entourage left the homestead for, had that not happened, there could have been a bloodbath, since threats had been made by members of the Zuma family that police arresting him would be killed.  Like other questions, that asking why members of the Zuma family have not been arrested for sedition, has not been answered.

Other unanswered questions include why no action was taken following the arrest, and why no roadblocks were set up, when – even without further intelligence – it was abundantly clear, from posts on social media, and the burning trucks and blockages on national freeways, that the threats were not idle.  Why were soldiers, who had been deployed near Nkandla for Zuma’s arrest, not immediately sent to unblock the roads and guard infrastructure.  It was the Minister of Police, with his experience of violence in the province, who should have immediately sought presidential authorisation.  He is, of course, also deeply embedded in the politics of the province himself, posing a serious conflict of interest with his duties as a minister.

There are also questions about whether provincially generated Crime Intelligence was utilised by the KZN Executive and police management, since the historical close involvement of MECs in policing issues is well known. General Sitole is on record as telling parliament in August 2018 that directives had been issued that all provincial premiers should be given briefings by SAPS Crime Intelligence about the state of their provinces, especially if there were any threat to the stability of the country.

Apparently, the Provincial Commissioner, a well-trained, experienced, operational member was away on paternity leave during the worst of the violence.  The Deputy PC who was acting, having been promoted to that position despite a dismal record as a District Commissioner, was obviously not up to dealing with such a crisis. Why was Public Order Policing not immediately deployed to areas such as Phoenix, with water cannons, and back up by Metro Police?   It seems that water cannons, and three of the four Casspirs controversially acquired by eThekwini Metro Police, supposedly to back up the SAPS in restoring public order, are not even operational.  Surely some heads must roll for such serious negligence, and for the violence such elementary precautionary procedures could have prevented?   

Apparently well-founded reports over the weekend of 10/11 July suggested that, nationally, the ANC had resolved to implement stringent sanctions against Zuma and supporters.  It would seem that any such decisions, if indeed taken, had been set aside after all hell broke loose immediately afterwards.

While Provincial SAPS management and Executive must be interrogated about their lack of preparedness and action following the arrest of Zuma, as must the Minister of Police, the real imponderables lie within the belly of the ANC beast.  Does it really have the will to deal with the criminal enemy within for, if it doesn’t, it will have to shoulder the blame if similar episodes of wanton, violent destruction and looting happen again. It cannot claim that it does not know, and that it was not warned.

Notes about Marimuthu, apartheid police, and the Biochemical Warfare Programme

Media articles cited regarding the Jali Commission and the alleged Marimuthu/CIS/Cele links include the Mercury (2000, which named former deputy Durban mayor the late Sipho Ngwenya as implicated in keeping Marimuthu out of prison)), Sunday Times and City Press (2012) and Daily News (2021

After 1990 drugs, especially mandrax, spread rapidly to black African townships and rural area.  In 1994, shortly before the elections, a Mercedes stuffed full of mandrax destined for a local shebeen was stopped at a roadblock at Ulundi.  The driver was a former security policemen turned KwaZulu-policeman, a notorious killer and serial rapist (Mvuyane)who was shot dead before he was finally to go on trial for a litany of crimes.  However, because the matter was reported to Judge Goldstone, there was an investigation and a KwaMashu woman and her son were found guilty and paid a very large fine in cash

The Biochemical Warfare hearings of the TRC were embargoed and, following their briefly being declassified in the early 2000s, they – and other related material – were immediately reclassified, seemingly at the insistence of ‘the generals’