South Africa: Uncertainty About Future of Detective Head Who Allegedly Worked With Modack

Cape Town (file photo).

There is uncertainty about what may happen to a Western Cape detective head who was named in the extortion case of suspected underworld kingpin Nafiz Modack, as being one of two police officers who allegedly worked with him.

Several sources this week told News24 that Major General Patrick Mbotho would be transferred and that this may come into effect on February 1.

His post, under the title "Deputy Provincial Commissioner: Crime Detection (at the level of Major General)," was this week apparently advertised internally within police. News24 has seen an undated copy of this.

'No talk of transfer'

But on Wednesday, Mbotho told News24 he was not aware of any transfer. He said he was at work and in the Western Cape.

On Tuesday, provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana would not confirm nor deny his transfer.

"Unfortunately, we are not in a position to comment on internal matters concerning our personnel in the Western Cape," she said.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula's spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga referred questions to national police.

Brigadier Selepe Mashadi told News24: "The department is on record that personal matters cannot be dealt with through the media."

Call to act swiftly

On Friday chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police Francois Beukman, said in a statement that the national police commissioner needed to act swiftly against, among others, high-ranking officers who allegations have been levelled against in court.

He referred to serious allegations made against senior police officers in a bail application in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

Mbotho is one of the officers who have been named during Modack's bail application.

In July last year it also emerged Mbotho was under investigation after two graphic messages of a sexual nature were sent from his cellphone number to an official group comprising several detective commanders in the Western Cape.

The first message said he wanted "this" done to his private parts. A graphic close up video of a man and woman having sex was then also sent to the group.

Earlier this month Mbotho's name was mentioned in Modack's bail application, which is being heard in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

In May last year News24 also reported on claims that he had dealings with Modack relating to a vehicle. These claims were dismissed by police at the time.

Modack is accused of extortion and intimidation alongside Colin Booysen - the brother of alleged Sexy Boys gang boss Jerome Booysen - Jacques Cronje, Ashley Fields, and Carl Lakay. They face charges relating to the nightclub security industry in that they allegedly took over security operations at clubs and restaurants, forcing owners to pay them.

On Tuesday Modack's bail application resumed and Charl Kinnear, a colonel investigating underworld activities, testified that the extortion case had initially been registered as an inquiry because of the involvement of senior police officials with the accused.

Earlier this month, Kinnear had testified that there was a recording of Modack in a meeting with Major General Jeremy Vearey, the head of the Cape Town cluster of police who was instrumental in his arrest, and Russell Christopher, a former State Security Agency official who trained with Vearey in the ANC's intelligence structures prior to 1994.

The meeting took place on May 5, 2017.

"Nafiz Modack states he was dealing with high-ranking police officials and, should there ever be a problem, Tiyo and Mbotho can sort it out," Kinnear had testified.

He was referring to Major General Mzwandile Tiyo, the Western Cape's head of crime intelligence, and Mbotho.

Kinnear had also testified about the "influence" which Modack appeared to have.

He also referred to a meeting Modack had at the One and Only hotel with Northern Cape police commissioner Risimati Shivuri.

News24 witnessed this meeting.

In May last year, in a report on the meeting with Shivuri, News24 had reported that sources had claimed that in September 2016, Mbotho met Modack about a Mercedes Benz that Modack wanted released after it was impounded and kept in Bellville.

The sources had said the vehicle was eventually released to Modack.

They also alleged Mbotho and Modack met after several firearms were confiscated by police from men linked to the new underworld grouping who gathered outside a city strip club on April 21, 2017.

'They met once'

But Brigadier Novela Potelwa, speaking on Mbotho's behalf at the time, had said Mbotho and Modack had met once and this had nothing to do with firearms.

"This serves to confirm that the gentleman referred to in your email [Modack] was in Major General Mbotho's office in connection with a complaint he had against the police.

"During the meeting, it transpired that the nature of complaint fell outside the jurisdiction of the SAPS Western Cape and he was subsequently referred to the office of the judge of [the Hawks]," she had said.

Mbotho took over the position detective head when Vearey was suddenly transferred from it in June 2016.

Vearey was them moved to a position he previously filled, commander of the Cape Town cluster of police stations, and Mbotho then replaced him.

Together, with his colleague Major General Peter Jacobs, who was also suddenly transferred in June 2016, Vearey took the matter to the Labour Court in Cape Town.

In August 2017 the court ruled that the transfers should be set aside. This has not yet happened.

Source: News24

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