‘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

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - WARDA MEYER warda.meyer@inl.co.za SHIREEN MUKADAM

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.

shireen.mukadam@inl.co.z

PIC­TURES: WILLEM LAW

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

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