Suspended cop 'offered to help Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala'

Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria yesterday to apply for bail over charges of fraud, theft and corruption.
Morris 'KGB' Tshabalala appeared in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria yesterday to apply for bail over charges of fraud, theft and corruption.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Former intelligence officer Morris "KGB" Tshabalala's defence team has maintained that a suspended investigating officer made contact with them to assist Tshabalala to be granted bail.

This came out during his bail application in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court in Pretoria yesterday.

Tshabalala is facing charges of fraud, theft and corruption relating to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices for R563005 for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria.

His instructing attorney, Mpesi Makhanya, told the court that Cedric Nkabinde, the suspended Independent Police Investigative Directorate officer who was no longer working on the case, made contact with him on June 20 and told him that "KGB" could be released on bail.

During cross-examination that was led by Tshabalala's advocate, Annelene van dan Heever, Makhanya told the court that Nkabinde said his client should be released on bail because the matter was political in nature.

"He called me and said, 'my brother, I wish you could assist that brother (Tshabalala) because that man is supposed to be out on bail. The case of that man involves a lot of politics and I would love for you to request for me to testify in court'," Makhanya said.

Makhanya said he was shocked by the suspended officer's call and told his counsel about it. "My counsel suggested that I call him back and arrange for him to come to court and give testimony.

"But Mr Nkabinde informed me that he couldn't because he was in KwaZulu-Natal."

While confirming that he called Makhanya on the day in question, Nkabinde, through an affidavit that was read out in court by state prosecutor Advocate Chris Smith, refuted the allegations.

"I contacted his (Tshabalala) attorney to confirm whether he would be appearing in court for logistical purposes in the morning. After a few hours I received a call from Mr Makhanya and he told me that there were a few discrepancies in an affidavit that I previously submitted to court," Nkabinde's statement read.

"I informed him that I was in KwaZulu-Natal and would not be able to testify in the matter unless I was instructed to do so by the court."

Magistrate Nicca Setshogoe postponed the matter to August 2 when Nkabinde is expected to testify. Tshabalala was arrested in Pretoria in December.

Despite having two criminal convictions for armed robbery and master-minding a cash-in-transit heist, Tshabalala had the highest police clearance and was employed by the crime intelligence unit.

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