JOHANNESBURG – Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen says elements with law enforcement agencies and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have been captured in order to pursue the interests of politicians.
Booysen has started presenting his evidence at the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday.
He said his difficulties in the Hawks started when he initiated an investigation of a politically connected businessman, Thoshan Panday.
Major-General Johan Booysen was asked to set out what he believes his evidence will reveal to the commission.
“Certain elements within the law enforcement and the NPA had been captured for reasons of own interest and in other cases to promote or follow a particular agenda or narrative of people in political power.”
Booysen said that until 2010, he had an unblemished career spanning more than 30 years.
“I’ve no doubt in my mind that the trigger for the change in my experience of the police came about when I initiated a corruption investigation into a wealthy businessman in KZN by the name of Thoshan Panday.”
Booysen has described how he was instructed by then provincial police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni to stop the investigation.
Booysen has described how he was summoned to a meeting by the provincial commissioner, where he was interrogated by the subject of a high-profile corruption investigation.
At the time this occurred, the former top cop was investigating Panday for fraud related to his business dealings with the South African Police Service.
Booysen said he had previously briefed Ngobeni on the evidence unearthed against Panday. He said in June 2010, Ngobeni summoned him to a meeting.
“I was introduced to Panday. He was carrying on like he was the provincial commissioner.”
He said evidence linked Ngobeni to Panday.
“They had a birthday [party] for the husband of the provincial commissioner. This party has been paid for by Panday. It was a lavish party.”
Booysen said despite this intervention, the Panday probe proceeded.