POLICE DRAG HEELS ON NIEHAUS AND ANC YOUTH LEAGUE CORRUPTION CASES
Despite repeated requests, I am unable to get a progress report on the police investigations into two highly important corruption cases arising from charges that I laid last year.
The first case arose from Mr Carl Niehaus' confession when he left in December 2005 as CEO of the Gauteng Economic Development Agency (GEDA) that he had composed a fraudulent letter and forged the signatures of four members of the Executive Council thereon. Allegedly the forged signatures were those of Paul Mashatile, Ignatius Jacobs, Angie Motshekga and Khabisi Mosunkutu. Others charged in this case include former Gauteng premiers Paul Mashatile and Mbhazima Shilowa in terms of section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act which makes it an offence not to report a corrupt act to the police, as well as section 20 of this act as an accessory after an offence.
I laid this charge on 17 February 2009. I was informed last year that virtually all the necessary interviews had been done, but it now seems to have stalled.
The second case involves anti-corruption charges I laid on 2 August 2009 against the leadership of the ANC Youth League and against Board members of its investment wing Lembede Investment Holdings (LIH).
This was based on reports that the league's executive and Lembede's board would not take action against those allegedly implicated in a vast tangle of irregularities and possible fraud and corruption uncovered by a Gobodo audit report that was commissioned last year by league president Julius Malema.
LIH Board members and the ANC Youth League Executive Committee were charged in terms of sections 20 and 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act as well as the common law offence of "defeating the ends of justice".
The police were supposed to investigate nine findings by the Gobodo report concerning multi-million rand deals that allegedly point to fraud, unjust enrichment and contravention of the Companies Act. This included dealings with the late Mr Brett Kebble.
I wrote to Commissioner Norman Taioe, head of the Gauteng detective service, on 24 March this year requesting an update on progress with the above cases. After getting no response, I wrote to the office of Police Minister Nathi Mtetwa on 30 April. I received a response on 4 May from Brigadier Tselane Monaheng, personal assistant to the Minister, advising that the matter was receiving attention (see below). I wrote again on 1 June and on 25 June, but got no response.
It seems to me that police are dragging their heels on these cases because they are politically sensitive. In the one case, Gauteng ANC Chairperson Paul Mashatile could end up in court to explain why he did not charge Niehaus with fraud, and the another case could decapitate virtually the entire leadership of the ANC Youth League if they were convicted. Former high-profile youth league leaders like Lunga Ncwana, Songezo Mjongile, and Malose Kekana could also be ensnared.
I am perturbed that there might be political interference in the investigation of these cases. The public needs to know that progress is being made and that it will proceed to court in good time.
Any politically motivated delay must be rejected so that everyone, including senior ANC figures, is seen to be equal before the law.
Correspondence with Office of the Minister of Police:
From: Monaheng Tselane - Brigadier [mailto:MonahengT@saps.org.za]
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 10:02 AM
To: Shaune Le Roux; Gaehler Sharon - Brigadier
Cc: Motubatsi Joy - Brigadier
Subject: RE: Lack of Progress in Police Investigations.
Good day Shaune
Kindly note that your matter has been forwarded to the General of Police's office.
Please allow at least 14 working days for response.
PA to the Minister: Police
From: Shaune Le Roux [mailto:SLeRoux@gpl.gov.za]
Sent: 30 April 2010 11:03 AM
To: Monaheng Tselane - Brigadier
Cc: Jack Bloom
Subject: Lack of Progress in Police Investigations.
Dear Ms. Monaheng,
Please note that this e-mail is sent on behalf of Mr. Jack Bloom, MPL.
Herewith correspondence from Mr. Jack Bloom, MPL for the Minister of Police.
Shauné Le Roux
Letter sent to Commissioner Norman Taioe:
24 March 2010
Commissioner N. Taioe
Office of the Provincial Commissioner
By Facsimile: (011) 274 - 7310
Progress in the following cases: CAS 87/8/2009
I would be grateful if you could inform me of progress in the above cases.
Statement issued by Jack Bloom, MPL, DA Gauteng Corruption Spokesman, July 5 2010
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