'Captain KGB' Tshabalala under investigation for ANC Mangaung conference R50m budget

Pretoria – Crime intelligence officer Morris "Captain KGB" Tshabalala is being investigated for a R50m budget allocated to him during the ANC's 2012 elective conference in Mangaung that "was not properly accounted for".

Tshabalala appeared in the Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane on Friday, where he brought an application for bail following his arrest on Tuesday. 

He has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption after he allegedly defrauded the crime intelligence's secret service account of more than R500 000.

The charges relate to invoices to the tune of R563 005 for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria. The invoices were submitted by "Captain KGB" and authorised by a major general and the sum was paid out in cash.

It is alleged that he bought blinds and curtains for a much smaller amount and pocketed the rest.

Read more here: R500 000 to hang up blinds, curtains

According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Tshabalala sourced a quote from Umwezo Wethu Promotions CC for R270 000, but requested R478 900 to be paid to him from the crime intelligence secret service account.

Head of intelligence operation

He allegedly pocked R208 900 and then received an additional R50 000 kickback from Umwezo Wethu Promotions CC.

In another transaction, he allegedly requested R85 105 from crime intelligence, but only paid the same company R39 500, pocketing R45 605. 

During Friday's bail application, state prosecutor Chris Smith revealed that Tshabalala had also headed an intelligence operation at Mangaung and was in charge of a R50m budget which was not properly accounted for.

"In 2012, he was appointed as the head of an operation named Rapid Deployment Intelligence. The operation was established to conduct intelligence work for Mangaung 53rd ANC conference which took place in December 2012," said Smith reading from an affidavit by IPID national head of investigations Matthews Sesoko.

"He was provided with a budget of about R50m. The budget was not properly accounted for and as a result, IPID and the office of the inspector-general of intelligence will be conducting investigation in this regard," said Smith.

Sesoko's affidavit also revealed that sources claimed that Tshabalala is well protected by politicians and management in the police force. 

1996 armed robbery conviction

Tshabalala's attorney Mpesi Makhanya read his client's affidavit into record. It confirmed that Tshabalala is a crime intelligence operative and that he could lose his job if he is not granted bail. 

He added that Tshabalala is currently involved in a programme within crime intelligence, but said that by law, he could not divulge any of the details. 

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Smith argued that information revealed that Tshabalala had resigned from the police in 2016 so that he could be put into an agent programme and that his handler, who was not authorised to handle agents, worked in the IT department of crime intelligence. 

"The handler confirmed that he was not trained in dealing with agents and he only carried instruction from his superior to pay 'Captain KGB' Tshabalala on a monthly basis," said Smith. 

Tshabalala was convicted in 1996 for armed robbery, but never reported for his prison sentence, going on the run and working for crime intelligence while a fugitive until he was rearrested in 2013.

Smith told the court that Tshabalala was only caught out after he was arrested in Sasolburg in 2013 for a theft case after processing his finger prints revealed that he was supposed to be serving time in prison. 

'Strong case'

According to the State, Tshabalala was then 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.

After being released, he was re-enlisted to the police before resigning to become an agent, according to IPID. 

In his affidavit, Tshabalala said his wife and three children would be left destitute if he remained in custody and asked for a postponement so that he could reply to the State's affidavits. 

Tshabalala was arrested on Tuesday at the Department of Correctional Services where he had gone to see his probation officer. 

IPID boss Robert McBride, who attended court proceedings, told reporters that both IPID and the National Prosecuting Authority believed that the case against Tshabalala was strong.

The matter has been postponed to January 23, 2013.