Charges brought against him to divert attention from probes, says former general
Hair-raising stories of trumped-up charges, seven-figure bribes and deeply rooted corruption reaching into the highest ranks of government are just part of a tell-all book by former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss General Johan Booysen.
While the book, Blood on their Hands, was released in September, Booysen and author Jessica Pitchford were at the GFI Gallery last night for the official Port Elizabeth launch.
Booysen gave some insight into the numerous cases brought against him in connection with the so-called Cato Manor death squads, and how information about these cases was leaked to the press to incriminate him and members of his unit when they started investigating highranking police officials and their corrupt connections to prominent businessmen.
“Criminal elements within the SA Police Service, colluding with prominent businessmen, were at the heart of the cases againstme and my team,” Booysen said.
For most of the past five years he has been suspended, appeared in court numerous times, and faced drawn-out internal disciplinary hearings, only to have the charges against him withdrawn every time.
“During my suspension a number of investigations I started against KwaZulu-Natal politicians were withdrawn. “Fortunately, in the brief period I was back in the office I was able to complete my investigations and hand them over to the National Prosecuting Authority [ NPA].”
“Unfortunately, the NPA is also corrupt and those cases are lying on a-high ranking official’s desk gathering dust,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that there are so few pockets of excellence left. It is becoming more and more difficult to find trustworthy people.”
Investigative journalist Pitchf o rd said she had not known what to make of the story when she met Booysen and they started working on the book.
“At first I thought he was a complete nut. “He started talking and all these stories came pouring out, and at the time I just saw him as the leader of the Cato Manor death squad.”
“But over time it all started to make sense.”
Booysen estimates that litigation brought against him has cost the taxpayer in the region of R30-million, as all cases have been dismissed with costs.
That is aside from the R10- million civil suit he has filed against the state.
Asked whether he believed all the cases against him could be traced back to the Presidency, Booysen smiled and said: “This goes all the way to the top.”