NATIONAL NEWS - A senior police officer with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (also known as the Hawks), Kobus Roelofse, on Tuesday told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he was “perturbed” by attempts to “inhibit” him appearing before the inquiry.
Roelofse is expected to give law enforcement-related testimony before the commission, evidence that will deal with his personal experience over the years as a police officer, specifically relating to investigations he has led.
Roelofse’s evidence is expected to deal with transactions and benefits linked with the South African Secret Services Account (SSA).
Roelofse told Zondo that in the months preparing for his appearance before the commission, he had received information which he considered attempts to hinder his testimony at the inquiry, which he said disturbed him.
However, Roelofse said he wished not to mention the names of those linked to this information.
“I was not expecting that, it was a little bit sad that it happened,” Roelofse said.
Zondo said it was unacceptable that those wanting to assist the nation by testifying at the commission were threatened and intimidated, adding that it was important for the commission to get a full picture of what had transpired, which falls within its terms of reference of the inquiry so that the commission can make proper recommendations to prevent similar transgressions from reoccurring.
“Thank you for not being deterred by those threats,” Zondo told Roelofse.
It is expected that former intelligence boss Richard Mdluli and former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane are among several people who may be implicated in Roelofse’s testimony.
Zondo heard on Tuesday that four of Mdluli’s family members, including the former intelligence boss, had attempted to postpone Roelofse’s testimony so they could be afforded more time to deal with his evidence.
A total of 53 rule 3.3 notices were sent out by the commission to implicated parties ahead of Roelofse’s testimony on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Roelofse testified at the Mokgoro inquiry into the former special director of public prosecutions, Lawrence Mrwebi, and former deputy national director of public prosecutions Nomgcobo Jiba’s fitness to hold office.
Roelofse told that inquiry of the mess that was left after Mrwebi decided to withdraw charges against Mdluli.
In 2011, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges for alleged misuse of crime intelligence funds by purchasing luxury vehicles.
Mrwebi withdrew the charges, allegedly because of security and intelligence concerns.
Roelofse on Tuesday told the state capture inquiry that his testimony would deal with the illegal activities of senior and highly placed officers in crime intelligence, a murder investigation and another into the alleged looting of the SSA.
Roelofse said his evidence was an attempt to point out the seriousness of these allegations and the failure to finalise investigations into these matters.