As the shackles around his ankles were unlocked after yesterday’s court proceedings, former crime intelligence operative Morris “Captain KGB” Tshabalala let out a big smile.
Tshabalala succeeded in his second bail application in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, where he faces charges of fraud, corruption, and theft relating to the submission of alleged fraudulent invoices totalling more than R500,000 for blinds and curtains, and pocketing more than R200,000 from the deal.
These were for safe houses in Pretoria.
He was granted R5,000 bail after it was revealed Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) investigator Cedrick Nkabinde’s credibility may be in doubt, Magistrate Nicola Setshogoe ruled.
In his previous appearance last month, Tshabalala’s attorney, Mpesi Makhanya, testified that Nkabinde, who was suspended from his duties in May, called him in the morning of the court appearance in June.
Makhanya explained that Nkabinde offered to help with the release of Tshabalala, as the charges laid against him were political.
But Nkabinde, who was set to testify yesterday after denying the claims in an affidavit last month, did not show up.
In an e-mail he sent to court on Tuesday, he listed various irregularities in the conduct of Ipid, stating that he does not feel safe in their hands.
He told state prosecutor Chris Smith that he was afraid and wished not to be transported by Ipid to the court.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said in a statement yesterday: “It is important to note that Nkabinde contacted Tshabalala’s attorney in June 2018 long after his suspension.
“The Ipid feels vindicated in suspending him.”
Ipid said it was confident that the case against Tshabalala was ready for trial, and it did not believe these recent revelations would affect the prosecution.