State Capture would not have been possible without the ‘capture’ of the criminal justice system with the backing of rogue policeman, prosecutors and journalists.
In the process alleged corrupt police officers and businessmen, with political connections, evaded justice for almost a decade.
But the slow wheels of justice seem to have gained some traction under the leadership of Advocate Shamila Batohi of the National Prosecuting Authority.
One such instance is the arrests of the erstwhile Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonye Ngobeni in KwaZulu-Natal, along with politically connected businessman Thoshan Panday and other senior police officers.
They escaped justice, courtesy of their political connections and at the expense of thirty dedicated policemen, mostly from the Cato Manor Organized Crime office and the closing of arguably one of the most effective crime fighting units in the country.
Today, almost a decade later, the slow wheels of justice seem to have caught up with the reprobates.
Most of the felonious cabal have had their comeuppance in one way or another.
On the other hand, all criminal charges, levelled against the thirty innocent police officers, have been dropped.
It emerged that rogue prosecutors plotted with rogue police officers to prosecute the thirty detectives on spurious charges.
Those who now face criminal charges, emanating from this ignoble saga are:
All of them are standing trial on an array of charges.
In an uncanny twist of irony, Major General Jan Mabula is himself under investigation for torturing suspects in a criminal investigation, something he falsely accused Cato Manor detectives of doing.
Others prosecutors from this ignominious cabal, who are currently under criminal investigation for offenses emanating from the persecution of the innocent Cato Manor officers are:
On a separate front, disgraced Hawks Head, Berning Nlemeza, who eviscerated the Hawks and who also persecuted the Cato Manor officers, along with Police National Commissioner Riah Phiyega, were removed from their positions.
Both were held to be unfit to hold office.
Ntlemeza was demoted before he was given the boot.
The ‘journalists’ Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi WaAfrika who established an unholy alliance with the cabal were ultimately sacked by the ‘Sunday Times’ and had to return the ‘Taco Kuyper awards which they won on the back of the false Cato Manor Story.
Anton Harber, an adjunct professor in journalism at Wits University, published a book recently ‘So, for the record’ in which he excoriates Hofatatter and WaAfrika for the way they enabled State capture. One of the examples cited by Harber is the debunked Cato Manor story.
It has been a long and arduous struggle.
Ultimately it ruined the careers of many loyal and dedicated civil servants.
In a evil endeavour to protect their corrupt political and business puppet masters, those mentioned above sold their souls to the highest bidder at the expense of dedicated and loyal civil servants.
Schadenfreude? (pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune) – Guess not.
But those who were the architects of their own demise and who are now facing the music cannot expect sympathy either.