Krejcir, the cop and the ‘free’ Hilux
Extraordinary written statements used by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in 2012 to extradite George Louca on suspicion of murdering strip club owner Lolly Jackson contain damning new claims of a mutually beneficial relationship between former top cop Joey Mabasa and alleged gangster Radovan Krejcir.
Krejcir, a fugitive from Czech justice, is on trial on charges that include assault, kidnapping and murder.
Among the claims are those in a sworn statement signed in May 2011, in which an investigator attached to the Hawks’ anti-corruption unit states that Mabasa, then the head of crime intelligence in Gauteng, “appeared” to have “acquired” a R300 000 silver Toyota Hilux Double Cab from Krejcir’s company, Groep Twee Beleggings, in August 2009 “without paying any money” for it.
In allegations contained in separate statements used in the application:
- It is said that Krejcir could call Mabasa if he ever “needed help” and that the Czech provided Mabasa with “information”;
- It is claimed that Krejcir introduced Louca to Mabasa;
- Mabasa is said to have gone to the Harbour restaurant in Johannesburg’s Bedfordview, where he told Krejcir about Louca’s phone call and that he had confessed to killing Jackson;
- Mabasa and two police colleagues are said to have driven in convoy from the restaurant to the Jackson murder scene with Krejcir and three of Krejcir’s associates; and
- It is claimed they were the first people on the scene, after the owner of the house unlocked the garage. It is claimed that Mabasa identified Jackson’s body, which was wrapped in a duvet, and that he waited at the crime scene until police investigators arrived.
Further corroboration of old allegations
Allegations that Mabasa and Krejcir had a dubious relationship are not new. In 2010 an amaBhungane investigation revealed that Krejcir’s wife, Katerina Krejcirova, and Mabasa’s wife, Dorcas, had established a company in October 2009.
Krejcir has claimed that the link between the two women was innocent and that the company, Radlochron, never traded.
Mabasa said he and Dorcas were separated – a claim that is challenged by the Hawks investigators’ 2011 statement, in which information obtained from the department of public transport, roads and works revealed that Mabasa resubmitted forms on his wife’s behalf after she failed to attach a copy of her drivers’ licence during the transfer of the Hilux in August 2009.
Mabasa is alleged to have completed the new forms “using the wife’s details, and … attached his driver’s licence for change of ownership from Groep Twee to Mrs Mabasa’s name”, according to the investigators’ statement.
“Mrs Mabasa is neither a director nor member of Groep Twee Beleggings,” reads the statement.
It adds that bank statements provided no evidence that any payments or monthly instalments on the car were ever made by Joey or Dorcas Mabasa to Groep Twee or to a bank.
Krejcir-linked entities probed
Groep Twee is one of several Krejcir-linked companies under investigation by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), which claims Krejcir owes up to R60-million in unpaid taxes and penalties.
Last year the Pretoria high court granted Sars a final preservation order against all Krejcir’s and his wife’s assets. Krejcirova is the sole director of Groep Twee Beleggings, although Sars claimed that Krejcir handled all business dealings himself.
The company is now under a curator’s control, meaning that Sars can scrutinise the web of the Czech’s business entities and trace any hidden assets.
Krejcir claims he has no business interests and that his mother and wife support him financially.
Louca has also been linked to Groep Twee by Sars and in the NPA’s extradition application. He allegedly represented himself as Groep Twee’s owner to a Kempton Park car dealership “during July 2008 to April 2010” when he bought three cars.
The cars, including the Hilux, with a combined valued of just over R1-million, were allegedly paid for by Groep Twee by electronic transfer.
Basis for Louca extradition application
The South Gauteng director of public prosecutions, Andrew Chauke, who signed an affidavit in December 2011, set out the state’s claims against Louca in the official application to the Cyprus government for Louca’s arrest and extradition.
Louca, who goes by the name George Smith, fled to his home in Cyprus in May 2010, not long after he allegedly murdered Jackson, a charge he denies.
Louca’s alleged role “in connection with the purchase and distribution of three motor vehicles” forms part of charges of corruption, defeating the ends of justice and money-laundering against him, Chauke states in his affidavit.
Three other incidents linked to Louca as the basis for the extradition request were “the retrieval of R1-million in connection with an unlawful application for asylum for Radovan Krejcir”, possession of suspected stolen property and charges linked to Jackson’s murder.
Mabasa and Krejcir’s association, which led to the former’s departure from the police, also formed an important part of Chauke’s affidavit.
Referring in his affidavit to the investigator’s statement, Chauke made the following claim: “The investigations thus far revealed that police commissioner Mabasa has not made any payment for the purchase of the vehicle mentioned and thus received unauthorised gratification.”
More serious allegations of an inappropriate relationship surfaced in the wake of Jackson’s murder.
Juan Meyer, a former business associate of Krejcir’s, previously claimed that Mabasa and Krejcir held meetings at a Sandton hotel and that the Czech gave the policeman bags apparently full of cash. Both men denied the claim.
Mabasa was eventually moved from his crime intelligence post to head office in Pretoria.
Rumours circulated in the media that police were investigating the relationship, but nothing has materialised.
Quiet exits and golden handshakes
In October 2011, police management quietly sent Mabasa packing with, among other sweeteners, a R1.1-million golden handshake. Two months later Chauke signed his affidavit, which contained new evidence of Mabasa and Krejcir’s dealings.
Since his forced return to South Africa in February last year, Louca, who was diagnosed last month with stage four lung cancer has claimed Krejcir killed Jackson, a claim that Krejcir rejects.
The Sunday Times has reported Louca’s claim that Krejcir shot the Teazer’s boss after an argument over R740000.
According to Louca’s statement, published by the newspaper, the argument was sparked by Jackson’s concerns that Krejcir had taken his money without putting the equivalent in euros in an offshore bank account, according to a deal the two allegedly reached.
Louca claims he called Mabasa, not to tell him he had killed Jackson but that he had witnessed Krejcir shoot and kill the strip club owner.
In the statement he signed in November last year, Louca states: “Mabasa knew of the problems between Krejcir and Jackson, having already been approached by Jackson to intervene and assist in facilitating a meeting with Krejcir.
“I, too, had spoken with Mabasa about the need for a meeting to be arranged between Krejcir and Jackson to resolve their problem.”
George Louca at the Kempton Park magistrate’s court. Louca claims that Krejcir, and not he, killed strip club boss Lolly Jackson, a claim that Krejcir denies. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
Mabasa allegedly front row and centre
Despite this, Chauke attached at least three statements to his affidavit in which Louca was implicated. The statements were made by Krejcir and two associates who claim they were at the Harbour restaurant when Louca arrived looking for Mabasa.
Bouncer-turned-businessperson Cyril Beeka, a close associate of Krejcir’s at the time, was allegedly also at the restaurant. Beeka was later killed in a drive-by shooting in Cape Town in 2011. No one has been charged with his murder.
Although there are discrepancies between the three May 13 2010 statements, they all mention Mabasa and the visit to the crime scene.
In his statement, Cypriot Michael Arsiotis, who described himself as Krejcir’s “PA”, says he knew Mabasa, “because we helped him a few times”. He did not elaborate.
Arsiotis, who has apparently left South Africa, says: “General Mabasa came to the restaurant and told us that George [Louca] phoned and said that he killed Lolly.”
Mabasa allegedly asked where Louca had been living. “General Mabasa followed me in their car to the house in Edleen [a Kempton Park suburb],” Arsiotis claims.
Alleged witnesses first at crime scene
A second statement by a man who described himself as Krejcir’s driver gave a similar version of events, although it included details about Jackson’s body and injuries. He noted that he “felt for puke” on Jackson “but could not feel any”.
“I could see no cartridges lying around nor could I see anyone in the house, so I left through the garage, as I [had] come in,” he states, before adding that he did not want to contaminate the crime scene.
Krejcir also states “commissioner Mabasa came to the Harbour restaurant and we all went to the house together”.
He says in his statement that, when the garage door opened, he “saw a blanket with brown shoes sticking out. I knew those shoes as Lolly’s shoes. I went outside the yard and stayed there [until] the police took over the scene”.
“I give the commissioner information”
Krejcir adds that he was introduced to Mabasa through his lawyer in 2009. “If I need help with my problem,” Krejcir says, an apparent reference to his fear of kidnapping, “I can call him [Mabasa]. I was introduced at my house in Kloof Street.
I also gave the commissioner information. I introduced commissioner Mabasa to George [Louca] because commissioner Mabasa had a problem with a person working with him.”
Krejcir’s lawyers said they could not comment on the statement or on the claims as the case is sub judice. He is expected to testify as a state witness.
Attempts to reach Mabasa were unsuccessful, although a family member told amaBhungane the claims were old and never proved.
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