South Africa: Former KZN Police Boss Instructed Booysen to Shut Down 'Panday Investigation' - State Capture Inquiry Hears

Former KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Hawks boss Johan Booysen says former KZN provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni instructed him to shut down a sensitive investigation.

"I got a call from Ngobeni in May 2010 on my way home when she asked: 'What is this investigation you are busy with? The supply chain management one?'

"I tried to explain, and she kept interrupting me saying further investigation would embarrass the police and that we must stop the investigation. It was clear in my mind that she was talking about the Panday investigation," Booysen told the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday.

This phone call came after Booysen launched an investigation into controversial KZN businessman Thoshan Panday when he noticed "strange" procurement processes in Panday's books.

Panday made headlines in 2016 when the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged him with corruption for allegedly trying to bribe Booysen with R2m to backdate a report on an investigation into accommodation tenders worth R60m, News24 earlier reported.

In an independent forensic investigation report compiled by PriceWaterhouseCoopers it also emerged that Panday showered Ngobeni and other officers with gifts.

"Officers' accommodation was procured by a businessman in Umhlanga Rocks. I would not have had a problem if it was one or two occasions. But in this instance, it appeared that everything from accommodation to buying TVs, mattresses etc, it came from the books of this businessman," he added.

Booysen further told the commission that Ngobeni was within her rights to give an instruction. But in this case, Booysen was of the opinion that it was an unlawful.

"If you knew the instruction was improper, why did you continue?" evidence leader, Advocate Veruschka September asked.

"You have to understand, in the police, if something like that is going on and you proceed in the opposite direction. you are dead in the water. But I was never really going to stop that investigation," he said in response.

About three weeks after Ngobeni's instruction to Booysen, the KZN top cop allegedly made another phone call to Booysen relating to the Panday investigation.

"I received a call in my living room on May 8, 2010 from Ngobeni once, saying she told me to stop the investigation.

"I convinced her that it had stopped - I called Brigadier Andre Lategan to 'confirm'. Then I called her back and told her it was stopped. She seemed happy with my response," he said.

It later emerged that Ngobeni had a particular motive for her actions, Booysen said.

The inquiry continues.

Source: News24

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