Assassinated whistleblower: “What Zuma knew”
Hawks investigators found the missing docket – including critical video evidence – of the investigation into the murder of a corruption whistleblower when they raided crime intelligence boss General Richard Mdluli last year.
And testimony and evidence before court has also claimed that top ANC officials – among them President Jacob Zuma – were directly told about the corruption claims prior to the whistleblowers’ murder.
These claims, argue prosecutors and investigators, were the motive for the murder of Moss Phakoe, an ANC councillor and Cosatu whistleblower who had revealed corruption involving tens of millions of rands prior to his 2009 murder.
Phakoe’s docket – among others found there – included incriminating CCTV footage allegedly showing Rustenburg’s ANC mayor Mathew Wolmarans loading weapons into his car on the eve of Phakoe’s high-profiled murder in March 2009.
The fate of the missing docket – which disappeared at the beginning of 2011 amid a stagnant original investigation – was disclosed to Medai24 Investigations by an insider close to the inquiry.
Wolmarans is now standing trial for Phakoe’s murder.
The trial is a direct result of the emergence of the missing docket and the missing evidence.
Mdluli said: “I don’t respond to lies” and declined further comment.
Coastu North West provincial secretary Solly Phetoe said they had appealed to police minister Nathi Mthethwa in April last year to investigate the conduct of police intelligence in stopping the Phakoe investigation.
Phetoe said they had specifically mentioned Mdluli’s name.
Minister Mthethwa’s spokesman, Zweli Mnisi, said criticism of the Phakoe investigation should be raised with the Independent Complaints Directorate.
The murder was originally investigated by a North West special task team commanded by Colonel Tsietsi Mano but went nowhere expect to point the finger at people close to Phakoe.
After the Hawks found the Phakoe docket, a new national task team was appointed to investigate Phakoe’s murder and shortly afterwards, Womarans and his bodyguard Enoch Matshaba were arrested and charged with murder and possession of fire-arms and ammunition.
Phakoe’s confidant and fellow ANC-councillor, Alfred Motsi has told the Mafikeng High Court in testimony and an affidavit how he and Phakoe, armed with an incriminating dossier, embarked on a fruitless mission to get the top ANC leadership to act against Wolmarans.
He said their dossier contained incriminating evidence that Wolmarans and other councillors were allegedly involved in fraud and other corruption totalling millions of rand.
Motsi said they had first presented their evidence to the ANC regional leadership, then provincial leadership of the North West, but nothing had happened.
They also met with ANC NEC members Billy Masetlha and Siphiwe Nyanda, he testified.
They had also delivered evidence to ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and to the Office of the President then run by Kgalema Motlanthe, now deputy president of South Africa.
Their evidence had falled on deaf ears.
The pair had then delivered documentation to Jacob Zuma’s Forest Town home in Johannesburg.
Zuma, not yet South Africa’s president but soon to be, had invited them to come and see him over the festive period at his homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
Motsi said they had spent almost a whole night with Zuma and presented their evidence to him.
In January 2009, Phakoe, Motsi and several other councillors met the top ANC leadership in Potchestroom.
Among them were Zuma, Motlanthe, Mantashe, ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa, then Deputy President Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, now North West premier
Womarans and several other ANC councillors also attended the meeting.
Phakoe and Motsi stated their cases. The meeting had ended with the leaders deciding that former minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Sicelo Shiceka must call a meeting to solve the problem.
At no point, said Motsi, was any decision taken to report Wolmarans to the police.
Another meeting took place with Shiceka in Rustenburg, attended by Phakoe, Motsi and Wolmarans on March 12, 2009.
Phakoe had spoken last and handed his dossier to Shiceka.
Before he did so, he had looked at Womarans and said: “Hate me, but don’t hurt me.”
Two days later, early in the evening of 13 March, Phakoe’s body was found slumped over the steering wheel of his car with two bullet wounds.
After his testimony, Motsi said to City Press: “What we are saying to ourselves is that if the (ANC) leadership had taken steps against Wolmarans, Phakoe would still have been alive today.”
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza said the party could not comment until it had studied the evidence and allegations made in court.
A prisoner who was sharing a cell with Wolmarans said the former mayor “confessed” to him that he paid R80,000 each to two hit men to murder Phakoe.
Wolmarans has pleaded not guilty and is out on R50,000 bail.