SEX, SARS AND ROGUE SPIES

Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit sets up smear cam­paigns Glenn Agliotti claims he was re­cruited Agents al­legedly try­ing to have Md­luli re­in­stated Love af­fair gone wrong un­cov­ers the unit’s work

CityPress - - Front Page - JAC­QUES PAUW in­ves­ti­ga­tions@me­dia24.com

Aspy’s bed­room con­fes­sions, a ro­mance gone wrong and four years of SM­Ses have blown the lid off a rogue unit within the State Se­cu­rity Agency (SSA). A City Press in­ves­ti­ga­tion has re­vealed the ex­is­tence of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit of the SSA, where rogue agents use state re­sources to con­duct dirty tricks cam­paigns, smug­gle cig­a­rettes and dis­grace top civil ser­vants.

In the wake of the break-up be­tween SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) group ex­ec­u­tive Jo­han van Loggen­berg and Pre­to­ria at­tor­ney Belinda Wal­ter – who ad­mit­ted to him and to his bosses that she was a spy – rogue el­e­ments within the SOU have been ex­posed as:

Al­legedly em­ploy­ing con­victed drug dealer Glenn Agliotti to re­cruit to­bacco smugglers. Agliotti has been caught on two sep­a­rate tape record­ings boast­ing that he could guar­an­tee the al­leged smugglers im­mu­nity from prose­cu­tion.

Try­ing to re­in­state for­mer po­lice crime in­tel­li­gence head Richard Md­luli, ap­par­ently to have a “friend” in a strate­gic in­tel­li­gence po­si­tion. To en­sure Md­luli was not charged, agents be­gan a cam­paign to dis­credit for­mer pros­e­cu­tor and now DA MP Glyn­nis Breytenbach. This cam­paign “ex­posed” Breytenbach as a spy for Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence agency Mos­sad – al­le­ga­tions that were used by her em­ploy­ers at the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity to dis­credit her.

Run­ning a cam­paign against Hawks head Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Anwa Dra­mat for his role in Md­luli’s fraud and mur­der in­ves­ti­ga­tions by leak­ing a po­lice dossier to the me­dia im­pli­cat­ing him in per­lemoen smug­gling and the il­le­gal ren­di­tion of Zim­bab­wean crim­i­nals.

Work­ing to re­place Sars’ top man­age­ment, from act­ing com­mis­sioner Ivan Pil­lay to Van Loggen­berg – be­cause the ser­vice was in­ves­ti­gat­ing to­bacco smugglers with close links to the unit.

City Press is in pos­ses­sion of hun­dreds of SM­Ses, emails and tape record­ings that date from 2011 to 2014. We have heard the record­ings of dis­cus­sions al­legedly held be­tween Agliotti and to­bacco smugglers.

The SM­Ses and emails were foren­si­cally ex­tracted from cell­phones and have been handed over to the of­fice of State Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter David Mahlobo and to Sars’ top man­agers.

City Press ap­proached Wal­ter for com­ment, but she de­clined. Af­ter their break-up, she lodged a com­plaint against Van Loggen­berg with Sars. In the com­plaint, she called her for­mer boyfriend men­tally ill, un­sta­ble, cor­rupt, a patho­log­i­cal liar and a so­ciopath “likened to a pae­dophile”.

Sars asked her for an af­fi­davit to pro­vide proof of her claims so it could for­mally charge Van Loggen­berg. She did nei­ther, but last week with­drew her com­plaint “with­out prej­u­dice”. SPIES GONE ROGUE

City Press has a list of about 15 per­sons con­tracted as agents for the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit and their “as­so­ciates”. Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit “con­tract agents” are paid a monthly salary and “pro­duc­tion bonuses”, but do not ap­pear on the per­son­nel files of the SSA.

The unit works from a house in Pre­to­ria’s eastern sub­urbs, and its mem­bers have ac­cess to the most so­phis­ti­cated lis­ten­ing and track­ing de­vices – in­clud­ing a so-called grab­ber, which can pin­point the lo­ca­tion of a cell­phone.

Among their mem­bers are Wal­ter, for­mer full-time SSA agents, po­lice of­fi­cers, mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence agents and for­mer mem­bers of the Civil Co­op­er­a­tion Bureau, the de­fence force’s death squad dur­ing apartheid.

Two of the unit’s top man­agers have been im­pli­cated in fraud and cor­rup­tion – and the charges against one, Man­disa Mok­wena, date back to her time as a group ex­ec­u­tive head at Sars.

Mok­wena is stand­ing trial in the North Gaut­eng High Court on 43 counts of fraud and money laun­der­ing. Some of her as­sets have also been seized.

In 2009, while she was still work­ing for Sars, an in­de­pen­dent au­dit re­port ac­cused her of be­ing in­volved in mul­ti­mil­lion-rand ten­der ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

She re­signed be­fore fac­ing a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing, was ar­rested soon af­ter­wards and was charged. She is due back in court on Jan­uary 26.

De­spite the charges against her, Mok­wena was ap­pointed as the head of eco­nomic in­tel­li­gence: spe­cial op­er­a­tions of the SSA.

One of the unit’s other bosses, Thu­lani Dlomo, was ap­pointed in early 2012 as the head of spe­cial op­er­a­tions at the SSA.

Dlomo is the for­mer head of se­cu­rity in KwaZulu-Natal’s so­cial devel­op­ment de­part­ment. He re­signed af­ter an in­ter­nal au­dit found he al­legedly in­ter­fered with ten­der pro­ce­dures and awarded dodgy con­tracts to the tune of R45 mil­lion.

The au­di­tors rec­om­mended that he face crim­i­nal charges – which did not hap­pen – and last year the in­spec­tor gen­eral for in­tel­li­gence found there was noth­ing un­to­ward in his ap­point­ment.

Both Dlomo and Mok­wena have top-se­cret se­cu­rity clear­ances. LOVE GONE SOUR

Last year, Wal­ter be­friended Van Loggen­berg, who is sin­gle. She asked him out on a date and a se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship blos­somed be­tween them.

But the pair’s love af­fair took a turn for the worse when Van Loggen­berg dis­cov­ered she was act­ing as a lawyer for the very al­leged to­bacco smugglers he and Sars were in­ves­ti­gat­ing in its Project Honey Bad­ger for tax eva­sion, fraud and money laun­der­ing.

Then she con­fessed to him that she was work­ing as a spy. She promised to quit, but didn’t.

When they broke up in May this year, Van Loggen­berg re­turned to hun­dreds of text mes­sages he’d helped her re­trieve as a favour – and started to piece to­gether the ex­is­tence of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit.

PHOTO: KHAYA NG­WENYA

WATHINTA

ABAFAZI ANC Women’s

League mem­bers sing and dance as they wait for the ar­rival of

Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma,

who ad­dressed the

na­tional Women’s Day cel­e­bra­tions

at King Zwelithini Sta­dium in

Um­lazi, KwaZulu

Natal, yes­ter­day. The event also marked

the 60th an­niver­sary of the Women’s

Char­ter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.