NEWS & ANALYSIS

Little progress in Niehaus-Mashatile corruption case - DA

Jack Bloom says none of the key figures involved have been interviewed by police

Little progress has been made in the case I laid six months ago against Mr Carl Niehaus and others allegedly implicated because they did not take action against his admitted fraud when he was CEO of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA).

Key people, including former premier Paul Mashatile (now Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture), former premier Mbhazima Shilowa (now an MP), and former MEC Angie Motshekga (now Minister of Basic Education) have still not been interviewed. The charge against them is that they allegedly failed to report Niehaus's fraud, which is an offence in terms of section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

Niehaus himself has not been interviewed.

I have laid a complaint today with the Independent Complaints Directorate concerning what I regard as misleading information given to me on progress in this case by Richard N Mdluli, presently Commissioner in the Crime Intelligence Division, but formerly Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Gauteng (see letter below).

In a letter dated 30 June 2009, Mdluli informed me that investigations "are almost finalised with only a very few statements yet to be received as they have been already requested from the affected parties which go beyond the name list of the people who were already implicated on the media article that was published."

According to the letter "The delay is not from the Police but as a result of these companies who have to refer the allegations leveled against them to their Legal departments for legal assistance and taking into account the duration of the actual incident when it took place".

I have requested Advocate S Moleshe of the ICD to investigate this apparently misleading information as a possible contravention of SAPS Disciplinary Regulations.

Meanwhile, I have met with a senior police official who assures me that the necessary interviews will be done.

It appears to me that this case was not taken seriously by Mdluli, but hopefully better progress will now be made in this important matter. I would like to think that delays were not influenced by the fact that it involves senior political figures.

Letter e-mailed today (18 August)

Advocate S Moleshe

Independent Complaints Directorate

Gauteng Province

Dear Advocate Moleshe,

I wish to lay a complaint against Richard N Mdluli, presently Commissioner in the Crime Intelligence Division, but formerly Deputy Provincial Commissioner for Gauteng.

I enclose a letter dated 30 June 2009 from Mdluli in connection with Jhb Central CAS 1669/02/2009 concerning various charges laid in connection with the admitted fraud of Mr Carl Niehaus when he was Chief Executive Officer of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency.

I was informed in this letter that investigations "are almost finalized with only a very few statements yet to be received as they have been already requested from the affected parties which go beyond the name list of the people who were already implicated on the media article that was published."

According to the letter "The delay is not from the Police but as a result of these companies who have to refer the allegations leveled against them to their Legal departments for legal assistance and taking into account the duration of the actual incident when it took place".

Furthermore "we are mindful of the duration of the complaint or the registration of the case thus far and you can rest assured that this office is doing its best in getting this matter finalized as speedy as possible."

My complaint is that this letter is misleading as key people have not yet been interviewed. These include Mr Paul Mashatile, Mr Mbhazima Shilowa, Ms Angie Motshekga and Mr Carl Niehaus.

I understand that providing misleading information on a case is a contravention of the SAPS disciplinary regulations and request you to investigate this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

Jack Bloom

MPL

Statement issued by Jack Bloom, MPL, Democratic Alliance Gauteng corruption spokesman, August 18 2009

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