'Captain KGB' fights for bail as witnesses lie low

Captain Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala appeared at the Commercial Crimes Court yesterday.
Captain Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala appeared at the Commercial Crimes Court yesterday.
Image: PHIL MAGAKOE

Former police crime intelligence operative Captain Morris "KGB" Tshabalala has put in a new bid for bail and has asked the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court to subpoena witnesses he needs for the application.

His lawyer Annelene van den Heveer yesterday told magistrate Nicca Setshogoe their intention was to proceed with the application, but "ran into great difficulties in accessing people to place facts before the court".

She asked the court to invoke its powers to assist Tshabalala in getting witnesses to court, but state prosecutor Chris Smith undertook to summon the witnesses on the list for the application to proceed when the matter resumes on March 14.

Yesterday, four members of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's national specialised investigation team, armed with semi-automatic rifles, were posted outside court.

Asked about the unprecedented heavy security Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said it was "normal procedure, nothing out of the ordinary".

Tshabalala, who evaded justice for years while working as a crime intelligence operative in Erasmuskloof in Tshwane, was arrested last month for allegedly stealing R563000 from the SAPS secret slush fund meant for operational purposes.

Tshabalala, who is said to enjoy the protection of police top brass and senior politicians, is facing two charges of theft, two of fraud and one of corruption for allegedly using fraudulent invoices to claim money to instal blinds in safe houses in two plush Pretoria suburbs.

For 15 years Tshabalala was on the run from a 10-year sentence for armed robbery committed in Mamelodi in 1994.

He was convicted in 1996, but he appealed the conviction and sentence and then failed to hand himself over to prison authorities when his appeal was dismissed.

Tshabalala is on parole after being released in 2015 from the Groenpunt
maximum security prison for his role in a cash-in-transit heist carried out in Mamelodi in 1994.

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