Booysen dispels Cato Manor death squad existence

Johan Booysen
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Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss, Johan Booysen has dispelled the existence of the so-called Cato Manor death squad in the province as a farce. Booysen told that Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that the death squad was an orchestrated plan to remove him from his position.

He also testified about the looting of secret service funds in the province, which implicated former police minister Nathi Mthethwa, and how the NPA interfered in some of the high profile cases.

Suspended NPA top official Lawrence Mrwebi was fingered in interfering in high profile cases, which included that of Durban businessman Toshan Panday. In his second day before the commission, Booysens described how Panday had made representations directly to Mrwebi to have the charges against him dropped. The charges are related to bribes he paid to the former KZN hawks boss.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Booysen says the charges were indeed later dropped.

Mrwebi also allegedly stretched his influence to the Amigos case, involving some senior ANC officials Mike Mabuyakhulu and Peggy Nkonyeni. The case involved tender fraud worth R140 million relating to water purification plants in hospitals in KZN.

Booysen says there was pressure for the case to be withdrawn.

There were also allegations of the looting of the secret service account involving former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. Booysen told the commission that some of the funds were used to pay for security upgrades at Mthethwa’s residence in KZN.

He further rubbished claims of the Cato Manor squad which allegedly executed extrajudicial killings in KwaZulu-Natal. The death squad made headlines in 2011 after investigations by the media.

The Commission will resume on May 2.