Ex crime intelligence officer Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala’s bail application postponed, based on new facts, is expected to be heard next week, after his first bail application failed in January.
Appearing in the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria on Friday, Tshabalala’s matter was postponed after his advocate, Annelene van den Heever, was unable to make it to court.
Last week, Van den Heever objected to the heavily armed security personnel watching over her client. She wanted to have the armed guards removed before commencing with the new bail application.
She told the court that she had not been afforded the opportunity to meet privately with her client and that he had been kept in the back of a van “like an animal”.
“His right to be treated equally under law is being infringed,” said Van den Heever at the time.
“We counted no less than 19 armed people at the court.”
Van den Heever added that she was “sick and tired”, because the moment a so-called high profile person entered the courts, “out swarms the police with flak jackets and firearms”.
State prosecutor Chris Smith told the court that there was a security issue, which is why extra security had been brought in. A source close to the Tshabalala investigation said that information had been received that he may try to escape custody, which is why security measures had been increased.
Plot to escape prison
Tshabalala allegedly poisoned himself while detained at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria earlier this month, according to two sources.
This was allegedly part of a plot to escape after hearing his parole had been revoked and that he was now a sentenced prisoner.
We gathered a document from the parole board – dated March 9, the same day Tshabalala allegedly poisoned himself – revoking his parole.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed that he had received reports of the incident and that the directorate had sent a team to the prison to investigate.
Tshabalala has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption. It relates to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices to the tune of R563 005, sourced for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria.
He was previously convicted of armed robbery in 1994 and, while evading his prison sentence for more than 15 years, he joined the South African Police Service.
On the run
Tshabalala claimed that he did not knowingly or intentionally evade his 10-year prison sentence and explained that his legal representatives at the time had told him his appeal had been successful.
Police watchdog, the IPID, however, says Tshabalala never reported to serve his prison sentence, and was on the run. He then joined the police, working for crime intelligence until he was rearrested in 2013.
According to the State, after Tshabalala was rearrested, he was dismissed from the police and spent two and a half years in prison, while allegedly still receiving a salary from crime intelligence.
“Information received from sources is that he continued to receive a salary,” Smith told the court during the first bail application.
After he was released, he was re-enlisted in the police service, before resigning to become an undercover agent for crime intelligence, according to IPID.
The police have dismissed these claims by IPID. Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo previously told a news source that Tshabalala had not been on their system, or payroll, since he was dismissed in 2013.
The bail application, based on new facts, is expected to be heard on March 28.