Former SA crime intelligence officer back in court on theft, fraud charges

Morris Tshabalala
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Former crime intelligence officer Morris Tshabalala is expected to appear in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday, facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption.

On March 14, the court heard that Tshabalala, alias Captain KGB, was being treated like an animal and being denied his right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, his legal representative Advocate Annelene van den Heever said.

Addressing Magistrate Nicca Setshogoe, Van den Heever protested as soon as Tshabalala, in leg irons and shackles was escorted into the courtroom by a heavy contingent of armed police officers and correctional services guards.

“When he was brought to court, he was kept in the back of the truck like an animal. He was not taken into cells. That infringes on my client’s right to be perceived innocent. He has the right to be treated fairly. Access to this court is also being restricted. This is supposed to be an open court,” she said.

Setshogoe ordered that Tshabalala be unshackled, with correctional services officers obeying instantly.

Tshabalala faces charges of fraud, theft and corruption. He is seeking bail for a second time, based on “new facts”.

He was arrested in December while checking in with his parole officer in Pretoria central and charged with theft and defrauding his employer, the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The charges include theft and defrauding the crime intelligence’s secret slush fund of the SAPS of more than R500 000.

According to the charge sheet, Tshabalala, in one instance, defrauded the SAPS by falsifying that R470 000 was “needed to pay for blinds and curtains for a safe house” and he pocketed more than R200 000 from it.

He also faces a charge of corruption relating to R50 000 he received.

Despite having at least two criminal convictions, for armed robbery, masterminding a cash-in-transit heist and attempted murder, Tshabalala had the highest police clearance and was employed by the crime intelligence unit.

He was previously arrested in 1994, and convicted in 1996 for robbery with aggravating circumstances. He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

After serving just over two years at the Groenpunt Maximum Correctional Service Centre, Tshabalala was released. He was then re-employed by SAPS after he was released on parole.