Oscar’s cell raided in Krejcir mob drama
Searches reveal how gang boss ’runs crime operations from prison’
OSCAR Pistorius has been drawn into a top-level police probe into mobster Radovan Krejcir’s prisoncell dealings with the criminal underworld.
The Sunday Times can today reveal shocking details of Krejcir’s crime operations, apparently run from prison — and the alleged involvement of top-ranking police officials in a string of crimes linked to the Czech gangster.
Police confirmed yesterday that the disgraced Paralympian’s cell at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria was raided by correctional services officials before dawn three months ago.
Pistorius — according to officials who were part of the raid and investigating Krejcir — was targeted because of the close ties he had forged with Krejcir during his 10 months in prison.
On May 15, prison officials raided Pistorius’s cell. On June 25 they searched the cells of Krejcir and two of his co-accused in a murder case.
They confiscated six memory sticks, a memory card, three sim cards, an iPhone and four other cellphones. A hard drive with unspecified content was taken from Pistorius’s cell in the hospital wing of the prison.
Although nothing incriminating has yet been found on the hard drive, the development is potentially bad news for Pistorius, whose parole will be reconsidered next month.
Police officials said Pistorius’s hard drive was with the police’s forensic unit.
Pistorius was jailed last year for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.
In March this year, cellphone footage surfaced of the athlete and Krejcir playing soccer on the prison grounds.
“We know Oscar and Krejcir were spending a lot of time together in prison, so we wanted to get to all of those who seemed close to Krejcir,” said a senior police official.
Pistorius was set for release two Fridays ago, but in a surprise move, Justice Minister Michael Masutha blocked his release two days before it was due, saying proper parole procedure had not been followed.
A parole review board will meet on September 18 to decide on his release.
Anneliese Burgess, spokeswoman for the Pistorius family, said: “We have no knowledge of the specifics around this issue, but know there is absolutely no way that Oscar would do anything that is against prison regulations or be in possession of anything that had not been vetted by prison authorities.”
On Monday, Krejcir was found guilty of kidnapping, attempted murder and attempted drug dealing related to a botched drug deal.
His five co-accused — businessman Desai Luphondo, taxi boss Siboniso Miya and Hawks warrant officers Samuel “Saddam” Maropeng, Jeff Nthoroane and Lefu Jan Mofokeng — were also all found guilty of kidnapping Bhekithemba Lukele in June 2013. Sentencing proceedings start this week.
On Thursday, police opened two more cases in Gauteng against Krejcir arising from the June raid: interfering with a police investigation and defeating the ends of justice.
Sources close to the investigation said police had requested correctional services to conduct the raid after intercepting telephone conver- sations between Krejcir and one of his outside associates tasked with killing witnesses to the murder of drug trafficker Sam Issa.
Issa was gunned down in Bedfordview in 2013, apparently over debts worth millions owed to his suppliers.
Correctional services spokesman Manelisi Wolela yesterday insisted the raids had never taken place, saying: “We dismiss the allegations as incorrect and misleading.”
However, police spokesman Lieu- tenant-General Solomon Makgale confirmed the June 25 raids, saying: “There was a high-level investigation into Krejcir’s extensive network of police contacts.”
He confirmed that new cases had been opened against Krejcir, and that prison officials had confiscated several electronic devices.
“The regular searches of the cells of these individuals by prison officials assisted us in establishing that there was a plot to kill Paul O’Sullivan, Colonel Ximba, witnesses in the Sam Issa murder, a taxi owner from Newcastle and the investigators.
“Other items were also found on Oscar Pistorius. There is no evidence at this stage to link Pistorius to any criminality, but we are still awaiting analysts’ reports about the contents of the items confiscated.”
He said investigations into Krejcir’s links to crimes and the in- filtration of police were ongoing.
“From day one, it was clear that the only reason Krejcir was still free was because of protection by criminal police members. Krejcir managed to infiltrate the entire criminal justice system, particularly the Hawks and crime intelligence. The team risked their lives in the process of uncovering the criminal deeds of Krejcir and his henchmen.”
He said the team was investigating more than 30 police officials — from constables to lieutenant-generals — with suspected links to Krejcir.
Preliminary police analysis of the equipment found in Krejcir’s cell is believed to have revealed highly sensitive information on one of the memory sticks.
“He had the kind of information that ordinary policemen won’t have. Between the movies on the memory
We know Oscar and Krejcir were spending a lot of time together in prison
stick, we found a detailed fingerprint analysis in a case he is linked to,” said a police official.
“Now ask yourself, how did someone in prison get access to such sensitive information?”
Krejcir’s lawyer, Piet du Plessis of BDK Attorneys, said yesterday that his client’s cell had been searched on many occasions.
On Krejcir possibly being in possession of police information, Du Plessis said: “Mr Krejcir . . . will have access to the information in order to prepare for his case. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Du Plessis said he was unaware of the two recent cases opened against Krejcir. “No one bothered to inform me or my client.”
According to the official, investigations homed in on two high-ranking police officials, Lieutenant-Colonel Leslie “Cowboy” Maluleke and suspended Gauteng Hawks boss General Shadrack Sibiya, who are alleged to have tampered with evidence in a kidnapping case linked to Krejcir.
In a case opened on Thursday, the two face charges of kidnapping, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, corruption, armed robbery and defeating the ends of justice.
Last month, an inquiry implicated Sibiya in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans. The inquiry found he had interactions with Maluleke during critical stages of the operation.
Two Zimbabweans died in police custody in Zimbabwe, one disappeared and another was said to have been tortured after Hawks officials led by Maluleke allegedly took them over the Beit Bridge border post at Musina with forged deportation papers in 2010 and 2011 and handed them over to Zimbabwean officials.
Sibiya declined to comment yesterday, saying: “I know nothing of that sort. No comment.”
When asked for comment, Maluleke asked to be called lat- er. When called again, his phone went unanswered.
According to a police statement seen by the Sunday Times, Sibiya and Maluleke threatened kidnap victim Boston Ndlovu to get him to withdraw his case.
In the statement, one of the investigating officers details how Ndlovu was kidnapped and assaulted and how one of Krejcir’s associates, Ronnie Bvuma, demanded a R500 000 ransom. A police trap was set and Bvuma was arrested. Others managed to escape.
Bvuma later died during a bomb blast at Krejcir’s Money Point gold exchange business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg.
Other details found on Krejcir’s memory stick include confidential police evidence relating to the murder of Krejcir’s former debt collector, Phumlani Ncube. Ncube was killed after he apparently swindled Krejcir out of R50 000 on the sale of Krugerrands.
Krejcir and ex-crime intelligence sergeant Nandi Nkosi, and one Welcome Nkanyiso Mafunda, are charged with Ncube’s murder.
Ncube was apparently arrested by a policeman on Louis Botha Avenue in Hillbrow in July 2013. His bullet-riddled body was found near a farm in Heidelberg. The investigation into Ncube’s murder is expected to further expose the extent of Krejcir’s criminal network.
Between the movies on the memory stick was fingerprint analysis in a case Krejcir is linked to