‘I think the body could be Kiana’
ANC accuses Plato of involvement with Cape Flats gangsters Distraught mother believes grisly find could be missing daughter, 8
IN THE latest twist in a toxic cocktail of politicians, gangsters, secret recordings and drug dealing, the ANC’s provincial secretary has accused Community Safety MEC Dan Plato of using NGOs to influence parole board hearings to release gangsters he favours from prison.
The allegation is contained in an affidavit by Songezo Mjongile handed to police yesterday with a controversial dossier of information the ANC claims is proof of Plato’s involvement with Cape Flats gangs.
The affidavit was handed to Weekend Argus last night after the ANC claimed it had a cellphone recording allegedly exposing a plot by Plato to discredit his political opponents and a top police officer by implicating them in criminal activities.
The ANC alleges one of the gangsters it says Plato regularly consorts with, apparently for peace talks, recorded his conversation with the MEC.
Mjongile yesterday lodged a complaint against Plato at the Cape Town Central police station of defeating the ends of justice and/or perjury.
Reporters waited for hours at Western Cape police headquarters yesterday for ANC members to hand over their dossier. When Mjongile arrived with a file he was told to go to a police station to get a case number before an investigation could begin.
It took several more hours to get the complaint opened.
Mjongile’s affidavit charges that Plato’s actions are “influencing the prison parole board to release gangsters” he (Plato) favours.
In support of his claim Mjongile attached a letter from a local NGO addressed to the parole board and dealing with the parole conditions for a gangster the NGO says was involved in peace processes.
In his affidavit Mjongile claims Plato is known to regularly meet gangsters after their release and to encourage them to manufacture information that falsely implicates his political opponents.
In terms of Plato’s oath of office, he added, Plato was using information that he should have handed over to police to discredit his political opponents.
Mjongile claims further in the affidavit that Plato’s mission was to meet known gangsters to manufacture information that ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman, ANC MPL Max Ozinsky and police MajorGeneral Jeremy Vearey were involved in drug dealing.
Mjongile denied the ANC was spying on Plato, saying they had happened upon the recording which “exposes the illegal activities the MEC is involved in” and could not ignore the information on it.
Earlier yesterday Mjongile said they believed Plato had breached his obligations by orchestrating and co- operating with a private NGO to draft an affidavit by a self- confessed gangster and convicted criminal to use in his bid to implicate senior ANC members and police in criminal activity.
Regarding the cellphone recording, Mjongile said lawyers were transcribing the recording, which would be released in due course.
Although the ANC did not want to reveal the contents of the recordings, highly-placed insiders told Weekend Argus that on the recording Plato says he will use the affidavits from the former gangster as part of a smear campaign.
The ANC also claims the NGO which compiled the gangster’s affidavit received Western Cape government support and resources.
Weekend Argus has a copy of this affidavit by the gangster who claims to have been an informer for various police officers at the same time as having been close to certain leading gangsters.
The affidavit contains several bizarre and unsubstantiated allegations about Fransman and Vearey.
Last night Plato hit back, saying he welcomed any investigation into his work.
“I think what the ANC is upset about is information contained in a document that a member of the public brought to my attention. I received this document via registered mail – it is not my document, I am only the messenger.
“The person wanted the contents of that document and the allegations investigated, so I personally handed it to the public protector to investigate, trusting that it would be done in an impartial manner,” he said.
He defended the move, saying that when the public brought complaints or allegations of criminality to his office, he had a duty to act.
Plato said it seemed the ANC did not want him to focus on his role of police oversight.
“They are trying to distract me – it will not work. I will carry on with my oversight role in this province,” he said.
Ozinsky, meanwhile, said Plato had shown him an affidavit last week in which a selfconfessed gangster alleged that he, Fransman and Vearey attended a meeting in April 2009, during which drugs were exchanged for guns.
“I do not know the gangster who has made these allegations, and I deny ever being in such a meeting,” he said.
“One can only guess as to the reasons why the gangster would want to peddle such lies. I am also concerned that the MEC would repeat such lies without attempting to verify whether they are true or not.”
Ozinsky said he would be taking further action on the matter. THE SHATTERED mother of missing eight-year-old Kiana Williams, who has been missing for nearly two months, believes the body found in a partially built brick house in Grassy Park is that of her daughter.
“It’s too long now. I think it is Kiana,” Emily Williams said yesterday, the day after the body was found, apparently by two vagrants.
Kiana went missing on June 4. She was being cared for by her grandmother and her mother’s boyfriend, while her mother was in hospital giving birth.
Pedro Thomas, who lives with his family and runs his aluminum business next door to the property where the body was found, told Weekend Argus yesterday that he received a call from the Grassy Park police around 10am on Thursday morning.
The police told him they had received a call from a neighbour to say two vagrants had informed her of a body found inside the partially built house next door. The police asked Thomas to check to confirm the allegation.
Thomas said he was about to go through the house when the police arrived on the scene, and discovered the body in one of the rooms towards the back of the building.
“You could see hair and a head sticking out,” Thomas said.
The body was covered in a grey blanket, with tyres stacked up above it, and Thomas said a policeman told him it was the body of a female, and that the house was “now a crime scene”.
“The size of the body could very well have been that of an eight-year-old,” Thomas said.
But he said it would be very difficult to be certain of the identity, since the body was very swollen and in a decomposed state. He said the body was clothed, but “very scantily dressed”.
Speaking later outside her shack in Riemvasmaak, an informal settlement on a dirt road about 1km from where the body was found, Kiana’s 32- year- old mother said she learnt of the find on Thursday. “A boy came running. He said ‘Emma, they found your daughter, your baby, in a building structure and they say it’s your daughter’.”
Williams said she immediately went down to the building, but was not allowed to enter by police to see whether it was Kiana.
They told her to wait for them to come to her, because the body was already partially decomposed.
“They say it’s female. They think it’s Kiana, but I must try not to think it’s her,” she said.
Breaking down in tears, Williams said she had last seen Kiana on June 4, on the day she went to hospital. Kiana had not been very happy.
“I was in labour at that time so I had to force her to go to school. She dressed herself and went to school.”
Williams has three other children, Karen, 13, Kamuzi, 3, and her baby Mikhail, who was born six weeks ago, the day Kiana went missing.
Williams said there were no leads as yet, but that she believed “it’s not one person, it’s more than one” who were responsible.
“They didn’t have to kill her,” she said between sobs.
Provincial police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said the body had not yet been identified, but that an inquest docket had been opened and the body has been sent for a post- mortem and identification.
LOOKING FOR ANSWERS: Missing eight-year-old Kiana Williams’s mother Emily says she feels sure the body found a kilometre away from her home is that of her daughter, who went missing nearly two months ago.
GRISLY FIND: Two vagrants found a decomposed body here, wrapped in a grey blanket and covered in old tyres.
DEATH SCENE: The shell of the unfinished house in Jacana Lane in Grassy Park where a badly decomposed body was found on Thursday. Suggestions are that it may be the body of missing eight-year-old Kiana Williams.
WELCOMES PROBE: Dan Plato
IS IT HER? Kiana Williams