Home News More bombshells as offender ‘spills beans’

More bombshells as offender ‘spills beans’

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More shocking revelations have emerged after an offender convicted of the murders of Danielskuil DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies and his business partner, Jeffrey Nouse, threatened to expose “ANC top dogs” who allegedly masterminded the killings.

An inmate has threatened to “expose” high-ranking ANC members who allegedly masterminded the killings of Danielskuil DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies and his business partner. File picture: Simone Kley

MORE shocking revelations have emerged after an offender convicted of the murders of Danielskuil DA councillor Johannes Baaitjies and his business partner, Jeffrey Nouse, threatened to expose “ANC top dogs” who allegedly orchestrated the killings.

A day before he was due to be sworn in as a DA councillor at Kgatelopele Local Municipality in 2016, Baaitjies was brutally shot at as he tried to escape from the boot of a moving vehicle.

The Hawks’ investigating officer at the time had related how the investigation was fraught with political meddling and intimidation.

The accused in the matter – Zoniselo Richard Magawu, Tshame Frank Baxane, Thompson Mncedisi Mphondomisa, Matthews Legodu and Richard Hasane – are currently serving time for the murders, ranging from 18 years to double life sentences.

The charges against a sixth accused, Paulus Mgcera, were withdrawn following the death of a witness.

The Hawks recently interviewed one of the accused in prison after he submitted an affidavit in January.

The DFA also revealed on March 28 that key ANC leaders in a local region and the Northern Cape province were seeking legal advice and intended to open criminal charges following a series of WhatsApp messages that sought to implicate them in the “political killing” of Baaitjies.

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A criminal case was opened by a senior ANC member at the Kimberley police station in response to the allegations on March 28.

Other ANC leaders indicated that they had obtained legal advice and had forwarded the WhatsApp messages and statements compiled by the offender to their lawyers.

An affidavit signed by the offender, dated January 11, fingers “ANC top dogs” in plotting to kill Baaitjies in order to regain control of Kgateleopele Municipality.

“The urgency of his (Baaitjies’) killing was to prevent him from being inaugurated on August 18, 2016.”

The offender alleges that one of the witnesses was killed before he could testify in the trial.

He also stated that R5 million was offered to the hitmen, while he was allegedly promised a position in the mayor’s office.

He explained that Nouse, who was an “innocent bystander”, became a casualty as instructions were issued that “there should be no eyewitnesses”.

The offender stated that he disagreed with the murder, as Baaitjies was hard-working and loved by the community.

“It was clear that these people had already conspired about this killing and that all they required was the hired gun.

“They had decided that they could rely on me to get people who could do it.

“Truth be told, I never killed anyone in my life nor was I ever part of a plan to kill. I requested that we abandon the killing. Baaitjies was not a threat … I said we must leave him to occupy the position for five years while the ANC works hard to regain the confidence of the people.”

He said he was shocked to learn about the shooting.

“I handed myself over to the police when I heard that they were looking for me.”

He claimed that following his arrest, promises were made that his legal costs would be covered, on condition that he did not implicate anyone.

“I have called these ANC leaders on their cellphones, begging them to assist and keep their promises. They think that if I am in here, they will not be prosecuted. That is why they keep on lying and cutting ties. I also asked my family to communicate with these people through different platforms, but to no avail.

“I sent different people to the ANC leaders, informing them that I will be helping the police and families of the deceased to reveal the truth.”

Former Hawks detective and retired SAPS member Lieutenant-Colonel Dolf Lourens, who was the lead investigator in the murders, said he was not surprised by the latest exposé.

“During the investigation, the accused refused to divulge much information. Once promises fall flat and funding is aborted, accused persons are eager to spill the beans. The accused will have to produce credible evidence to prove the allegations,” said Lourens.

He confirmed that a high-ranking politician had funded the bail applications of the accused, which added up to a “substantial amount”.

“Senior management in the Province and nationally were intent on micro-managing the investigation. Attempts were made to remote-control the outcome. My bosses became agitated when the accused were denied bail. At short notice, I was instructed to provide a report because the same politician who had funded the bail application wanted details of the evidence contained in the docket against each of the accused.”

Lourens added that just as he was about to execute the arrest of one of the accused, he received a phone call informing him that one of his subordinates should be the one to arrest the man.

“It appeared as if the accused was tipped off as we were sent on a wild goose chase. He wasn’t at his workplace in Danielskuil. We eventually tracked him down in Kimberley, where he was attending a Salga meeting. My superior dejectedly held his head in his hands when he learnt of the arrest and muttered that head office would have him transferred.”

Lourens stated that a television from the Hawks’ Organised Crime unit was set up for Northern Cape High Court Judge President Pule Tlaletsi to view video footage during the trial.

“The following day I was instructed to return the television as the brigadier wanted to watch DSTV at work.”

He pointed out that on that particular day, the brigadier in question was in Pretoria attending a course.

Lourens stated that in the face of overwhelming evidence, he refused to back down or bow to pressure from his office.

“I am willing to testify on what transpired. However, based on the high level of interference and intimidation that I was subjected to, I strongly doubt whether the allegations will be taken seriously.”

Hawks provincial spokesperson Warrant Officer Nomthandazo Mnisi confirmed that the Hawks had interviewed an inmate who had forwarded information relating to the murder of Baaitjies.

“We are currently trying to verify the allegations as contained on the information note. We are not in a position to indicate if the allegations are correct or not,” said Mnisi.

She added that they were unaware of the allegation that R5 million was offered for the hit.

Mnisi also pointed out that any complaints against the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation or its members should be referred to the Office of the Judge Complaints unit for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

“There is a designated judge appointed to deal with complaints by members of the public against the DPCI and DPCI members of any political meddling in their investigations. If there was any political pressure on the investigation officer, the same applies. No reports have been submitted to the designated judge, therefore the office is not aware of any political meddling.”

She explained that communication officers and senior managers within the SAPS, due to the nature of their work, “sometimes” had television sets in their offices.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Sergio Kock stated that the Kimberley SAPS were investigating a case of extortion.

“No arrests have been made as yet. Anyone with information can call Detective Warrant Officer Cecil Abrahams on 082 495 4646. The investigation continues,” said Kock.

The chairperson of the Northern Cape Civics Organisation, Ross Henderson, advised that the allegations warranted a thorough investigation.

“If the authorities fail to investigate, I will not hesitate to lay a complaint with the Hawks watchdog. The truth will come out as it is difficult to silence a prisoner who is trapped in a corner. Too often whistle-blowers are intimidated, while there is a reluctance to take high-ranking politicians to task,” said Henderson.

ANC provincial secretary Deshi Ngxanga stated that the claims were untrue.

“The truth is that neither the ZF Mgcawu region nor the provincial executive committee of the ANC ever gave such instructions. The police must investigate the matter as individual’s names are being dragged through the mud,” said Ngxanga.

He added that anyone who was caught on the wrong side of the law would be requested to step aside.

“No leader can give such instruction.”

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