A senior Hawks investigating officer suspects he is on a hit list apparently because of an investigation he led into Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Jiba, the deputy national director of public prosecutions, and Mrwebi, the head of the specialised commercial crime unit, were being investigated for their role in the decision to withdraw fraud and corruption charges against Richard Mdluli, the suspended head of the South African Police Service’s crime intelligence division.
Now Solly Magobosha, a colonel in the Hawks’ serious economic crimes unit, fears that his investigations into Mdluli and the two NPA advocates have led to senior Hawks members and State Security Agency (SSA) agents plotting against him.
He handed the completed docket to his superior, General Alfred Khana, two and a half months ago so that it could be presented to the NPA for a decision on whether Jiba and Mrwebi should be charged for defeating the ends of justice.
But Hawks boss General Berning Ntlemeza told Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and constitutional development that the docket was still under investigation.
Magobosha dismissed this as a blatant lie.
“There is no decision on the docket, whether to withdraw the matter or not. It’s still open … on the system, it’s still on my name,” he said.
Magobosha said he made it clear to Khana that the “next time the question comes [regarding the docket’s status], I will have no choice but to tell the truth”.
He believes the investigation had turned up sufficient evidence to inform a decision on Jiba and Mrwebi – and that they could face criminal charges if the docket is sent to the NPA.
The Mail & Guardian asked Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi two weeks ago why the docket had not yet been handed over to the NPA. He has not replied.
Magobosha received a tip-off about the plot from a former police informant, a few weeks after he had clashed with his superiors over the docket. He was initially sceptical about the source’s information but the source insisted that it was reliable.
A source claims the hit list includes other Hawks officers who pose a threat to Ntlemeza.
“I have been working with them [Hawks and SSA] as an informant for many years and they know me well. The hit list is for people who threaten the general’s [Ntlemeza’s] allies with investigations, especially Magobosha,” the source said.
The source’s information was so detailed that Magobosha began to panic and he twice requested an urgent meeting with an investigator from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) but received the brush-off.
He also reported the information to Khana but Magobosha was questioned only about the reliability of the source and not the actual information.
“I said I’m not going to [reveal the identity of the source]. I would appreciate if you can respect that he is my source, for now … I said to him [Khana] I don’t know who to trust,” Magobosha said.
After his unsuccessful attempts to report the case to Ipid, he contacted the directorate’s head, Robert McBride, about three weeks ago. Ipid is now investigating the allegations. Magobosha claims there have been moves to discredit his source.