PROS­E­CU­TOR IN HID­ING

Six months of death threats

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MASHUDU SADIKE

AJOBURG pros­e­cu­tor is liv­ing in fear after re­ceiv­ing a se­ries of death threats sus­pected to be from a Bangladeshi mafia mem­ber bay­ing for her blood over a case she was han­dling.

The case in­volved one of the as­so­ciates of the Bangladeshis, Iqbal Hos­sein. Speak­ing ex­clu­sively to The Star from her se­cret hide­out, Rose Malatsi, a re­gional court con­trol pros­e­cu­tor at the Boks­burg Mag­is­trate’s Court, nar­rated her six-month-long or­deal.

“I had to flee my home in Jan­uary. Since then my house has been bur­gled and my car sprayed with death threat mes­sages,” said Malatsi, who has been em­ployed by the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) for the past 10 years.

One of the threat­en­ing notes, which The Star has seen, reads: “Leave our brother, take him off (sic) jail or we will kill you.”

The se­cond note, which was placed at the back of her house, reads: “Leave our brother, take him off jail, we know where you stay.”

It was at this point that Malatsi de­cided to flee her home and take refuge at a friend’s house.

“Once, I ar­rived home to find that my house had been bro­ken into and my cur­tains set on fire,” she said.

Malatsi has re­ported the at­tacks to the Brak­pan po­lice sta­tion (case num­ber 184/02/17).

Gaut­eng po­lice spokesper­son Lieu­tenant-Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini said: “Note that po­lice give feed­back to the vic­tim(s) of crimes re­gard­ing the reg­is­tered cases and progress of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Malatsi ac­cuses her im­me­di­ate su­per­vi­sor, South Gaut­eng Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions An­drew Chauke, and NPA boss Shaun Abra­hams of fail­ing to pro­tect her, de­spite her alert­ing them about the threats to her life.

“Both Abra­hams and Chauke know about my plight but have done noth­ing tan­gi­ble. These people are out there and I fear that they want me dead,” she said.

Both Abra­hams and Chauke said they were aware of the case and re­ferred The Star to NPA spokesper­son Lu­vuyo Mfaku.

Mfaku said: “It is in­cor­rect to as­sert that the NDPP (Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions) has not done any­thing in re­spect of the mat­ter. The head of ad­min­is­tra­tion in the of­fice of the na­tional di­rec­tor, after hav­ing con­sid­ered the mat­ter, ad­vised Ms Malatsi in writ­ing about the out­come of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The head of se­cu­rity in the of­fice of the na­tional di­rec­tor and SAPS mem­bers con­ducted threat as­sess­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions and ad­vised Ms Malatsi of the out­come. “There was no le­gal ba­sis to op­pose bail. The mat­ter was, how­ever, struck off the roll on May 23 after the court re­fused a fur­ther re­quest for a post­pone­ment due to out­stand­ing and in­com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

Malatsi in­sists that de­spite the case be­ing struck off, the vic­tim­i­sa­tion hasn’t stopped.

She said her or­deal started in Jan­uary when two Bangladeshi na­tion­als came into her of­fice, ac­com­pa­nied by a po­lice of­fi­cer, to re­quest ad­vice on a pro­tec­tion or­der against one of their own, who they ac­cused of steal­ing a lump sum of money and in­tim­i­da­tion. The name of the po­lice of­fi­cer is known to The Star, but is be­ing with­held for le­gal rea­sons.

Malatsi said: “I im­me­di­ately or­dered the po­lice of­fi­cer to open a docket and ar­rest the al­leged thief. He was ar­rested the fol­low­ing day, and I en­dorsed in court that the ac­cused should not re­ceive bail be­cause he is a flight risk.

“After re­ceiv­ing a phone call from the at­tor­ney of the ac­cused dis­cussing the case, the se­ries of death threats then fol­lowed.”

On Fe­bru­ary 11, Malatsi dis­cov­ered lis­ten­ing de­vices in her car and im­me­di­ately phoned a ve­hi­cle track­ing com­pany to in­ves­ti­gate. The com­pany tracked her car to Hei­del­berg, but it was in Pre­to­ria.

The case has at­tracted the at­ten­tion of foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tor Paul O’Sul­li­van, who she en­listed to help her, as well as DA mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Glyn­nis Breyten­bach.

O’Sul­li­van sent an email to Abra­hams ask­ing them to in­ter­vene and pro­tect her. Mfaku said Abra­hams has del­e­gated a se­nior of­fi­cial to han­dle the mat­ter.

FEAR­FUL: Rose Malatsi, an NPA con­trol pros­e­cu­tor based in Boks­burg.

BUMPER WARN­ING: A threat writ­ten on Malatsi’s car.

ALARM­ING: A lis­ten­ing de­vice found in the car of pros­e­cu­tor Rose Malatsi.

WARN­ING NOTE: A death threat left un­der a brick in the back­yard of Malatsi’s home.

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