A prison inmate has reported three Hawks officials for allegedly trying to strong-arm him into implicating the head of the National Prosecuting Authority in South Gauteng, Andrew Chauke, of accepting a bribe.
The allegation comes after Chauke decided to prosecute the North West deputy commissioner, Major General Ntebo Mabula, and nine other members of the Organised Crime Unit for the alleged torture of two suspects.
Chauke was also interviewed for the post of national director of public prosecutions on Thursday evening.
In emails dated October this year, which the Mail & Guardian has seen, Chauke is disturbed by the allegations and requests an urgent investigation by the NPA.
“Please open an inquiry and have the police make a follow-up on this disturbing story. This is very urgent and please call me asap. Your urgent assistance will be much appreciated. This also happened to me before, I think sometime in 2003/4/5. I just hope this time the NPA officials are not involved like before,” reads the email.
The allegation about the Hawks officials was made by criminal accused Jermaine Prim, who got his girlfriend to write to Chauke last month to inform him about it.
The spokesperson for the Gauteng NPA, Phindi Mjonondwane, confirmed the email had been received. Moses Dlamini, the spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, confirmed that it was investigating allegations “that police officers may be involved in attempts to falsely implicate a senior NPA official in corruption. The investigation is in its early stages,” Dlamini said.
A source familiar with the investigation said they were taking the claim seriously because those implicated are close associates of Mabula.
“It is unsettling that, just after Chauke makes the decision to prosecute Mabula and his gang, Prim is then allegedly threatened to make statements against Chauke. I am not saying Prim is legit, but this is serious enough to warrant a thorough investigation,” the source said.
According to an affidavit by Prim, dated a week ago, the three, whose names are known to the M&G, approached him earlier this year when he was being taken to the Roodepoort magistrate’s court.
Prim is accused of vehicle theft and for impersonating the former head of the NPA, Shaun Abrahams, and is awaiting trial.
In July, IOL reported that Prim had allegedly used a cellphone with an identity-manipulating app to pose as Abrahams in a bid to dupe prosecutors into dropping charges against him.