Trial date set for former Crime Intelligence officer

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Lawyers for former Crime Intelligence officer Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala have indicated they may approach the Constitutional Court, after his trial date was set down for October 1.

State prosecutor Chris Smith on Tuesday asked the Commercial Crimes Court in Pretoria that Tshabalala’s trial be held between October 1 and 4 this year. Smith confirmed that this was the first available court date.

Tshabalala’s advocate, Annelene van den Heever, objected to the “extremely long postponement for trial”, because the “court is overburdened”.

ALSO READ: Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala’s bail application struck from roll

“My understanding is that there are not enough courts to deal with the cases going to trial,” Van den Heever told the court.

“The administration of justice cannot be served in this manner.”

She said that Tshabalala had a constitutional right to a speedy trial and that she would take instructions on whether or not she would approach the Constitutional Court because of the delay.

In March, Tshabalala failed in his second attempt to secure his release on bail, after his application was struck from the roll.

Magistrate Nicola Setshoege removed the matter, as the accused’s defence team was unprepared, for a second time, in the bail application on new facts, and had asked for another postponement.

Prison escape plot

Smith previously told the court that the State had not received any of the new facts that the defence had pinned the bail application on.

“If they don’t provide us with the new facts, then me and the court will be unprepared,” said Smith.

He also told the court that the parole board had revoked Tshabalala’s parole and, as a result, he did not even qualify for bail.

Tshabalala’s attorney, Mpesi Makhanya, told the court that Van den Heever was ill and could not appear in court.

ALSO READ: ‘Captain KGB’ asks for armed guards in court to be removed

Makhanya also told the court that they were dealing with the parole board and that the revocation of his client’s parole did not mean he could not apply for bail.

Earlier in March, Tshabalala allegedly poisoned himself while detained at Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, according to two sources.

It was allegedly part of an escape plot, after hearing that his parole had been revoked and that he was a sentenced prisoner.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed that he had received reports of the incident and that the directorate had sent a team to the prison to investigate.

Convicted of armed robbery

Tshabalala has been charged with fraud, theft and corruption. The charges relate to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices to the tune of R563 005, sourced for blinds and curtains for safe houses in Pretoria.

He was convicted of armed robbery in 1994 and, while evading his prison sentence for more than 15 years, he joined the South African Police Service.

Tshabalala claimed that he did not knowingly or intentionally evade his 10-year prison sentence and explained that his legal representatives at the time had told him his appeal had been successful.

However, IPID says that Tshabalala never reported to authorities to serve his prison sentence, and that he was on the run. He then joined the police, working for Crime Intelligence until he was rearrested in 2013.

ALSO READ: ‘Captain KGB’ allegedly poisons himself at PTA prison

According to the State, after Tshabalala was rearrested, he was dismissed from the police and spent two and a half years in prison, while allegedly still being paid by Crime Intelligence.

“Information received from sources is that he continued to receive a salary,” Smith told the court during the first bail application.

The police have dismissed these claims. Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo previously told News24 that Tshabalala had not been on their system or payroll since he was dismissed in 2013.

The matter has been postponed to October 1, for plea and trial.

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