Shock­ing twist in cop killing

Sunday World - - Front Page - MZWANDILE kaBI­ZOK­WAKHE

SUN­DAY World can to­day re­veal ex­plo­sive in­for­ma­tion about the mur­der of top cop Tirhani Maswanganyi, who was killed while in­ves­ti­gat­ing po­lice in­volve­ment in cig­a­rette smug­gling syn­di­cates.

Maswanganyi ’ s fam­ily wrote a let­ter to national po­lice com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Riah Phiyega on Fri­day in which they claimed that:

Se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers were in­volved in the mur­der.

The le­gal fees for one of the men ac­cused of killing Maswanganyi were paid for by crime in­tel­li­gence.

The fam­ily said they saw doc­u­ments prov­ing that the po­lice’s crime in­tel­li­gence unit had footed le­gal bills for one of the ac­cused.

In­de­pen­dent of the fam­ily, Sun­day World has been able to ver­ify the claim that le­gal fees have been paid by po­lice crime in­tel­li­gence.

Mem­bers of the fam­ily spoke to Sun­day World on con­di­tion that they were quoted col­lec­tively in­stead of as in­di­vid­u­als. Two rel­a­tives are po­lice of­fi­cers.

We be­came sus­pi­cious when in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­tin­u­ously broke their prom­ises to us,” said the fam­ily. We were told that we’d be briefed on the case as mile­stones were reached. This didn’t hap­pen – in­stead we learnt about what was hap­pen­ing from ru­mours in the cor­ri­dors and the me­dia.

“This was con­fus­ing and led us to be­lieve that the in­ves­ti­ga­tors were de­lib­er­ately ex­clud­ing us be­cause high-rank­ing of­fi­cials were in­volved in the mur­der.

“We then got wind that crime in­tel­li­gence was pay­ing the fees for the de­fence and we were ask­ing our­selves: Crime in­tel­li­gence is the state, so why would the state fund the case against the state?

“We re­solved to write this let­ter to ask her (Phiyega) to in­ves­ti­gate the in­volve­ment of the crime in­tel­li­gence unit in this mat­ter with im­me­di­ate ef­fect, ” they said.

Maswanganyi was the clus­ter com­man­der for the Joburg area and his close al­lies in the po­lice told Sun­day World that at the time of his mur­der he was in­volved in an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of cig­a­rette smug­gling.

His body was found in the veld near Ham­man­skraal, Tsh­wane, his hands and feet bound. He had a chest wound.

Phiyega ’ s spokesman, Solomon Mak­gale, ac­knowl­edged re­ceipt of the let­ter.

I can con­firm that we have re­ceived a let­ter from the fam­ily rais­ing a num­ber of con­cerns. We have a very se­nior team in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter.

“Given the se­ri­ous­ness of the con­cerns raised by the fam­ily, we will ar­range a meet­ing dur­ing the course of this week to see how we best ad­dress the con­cerns they have raised,” said Mak­gale.

Four men have been ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the mur­der.

Sun­day World was in­formed by sources close to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that the first to be ar­rested was a sol­dier and that he had con­fessed to the crime.

It is be­lieved that the sol­dier then pointed out the crime scene to the po­lice.

He told the po­lice that cell­phones had been burnt to de­stroy ev­i­dence and that con­doms had been planted at the scene to cre­ate the im­pres­sion that Maswanganyi had been with a pros­ti­tute.

Maswanganyi ’ s two cell­phones were miss­ing.

All four ac­cused re­main in cus­tody, and will ap­pear in court again on Thurs­day for a bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

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