One of the protesters at Stephan Hofstatter’s controversial book launch, expressing his views



On Sunday, 11 December 2011, the ‘Sunday Times’ newspaper’s headlines screamed ‘SHOOT TO KILL’ and ‘INSIDE A SOUTH AFRICAN DEATH SQUAD The journalist responsible with the story were, Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi WaAfrika and Rob Rose.

In the article, detectives working at the Durban HAWKS’ Violent Crime Section at Cato Manor, were accused of committing extra-judicial killings. The articles imputed that I was running a death squad.

The article led to an ‘investigation’ that saw thirty Cato Manor detectives, including myself being arrested. A long and arduous legal battle ensued, costing the tax-payer millions, and laying waste the lives of dedicated policemen.

In 2019 all the charges were dropped against us by the National Director for Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi, after a damning report by four senior Advocates from the National Prosecuting Authority, revealed how rogue prosecutors and police officers had ‘fabricated’ cases against us. But not before other media started to question our prosecution. Veteran journalist, Ed Herbst aptly quipped at the time, ‘These articles [Sunday Times] had more holes than a hundred meter of chicken wire’.


The rogue prosecutors had no evidence when I was arrested. When I impugned the prosecutor’s decision in the High Court, they expediently dug up three statements from individuals they purportedly used to procure my prosecution. One was dead! He died, ironically whilst in their ‘protective’ custody. He was also a murder accused in Empangeni. The other two were ex police Colonel, Rajen Aiyer and Greek citizen Aristides Danikas.

*1 Court finding re Danikas, Aiyer and dead person <CLICK

Rajen Aiyer has since been fired from the police for dishonesty and is presently standing trial on numerous serious criminal charges, inter alia, corruption, extortion and defeating the administration of justice. *2 Aristides Danikas fled the country after defrauding a fellow employee and illegally moving assets from his business to his father in Greece. He now purports to be a whistle-blower in Greece. Uncapturedsa exposed Danikas as a fraud. read *3 Some of the possible charges Danikas face in South Africa are Money Laundering, in terms of the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, Foreign Exhange Act, and crimes listed in legislation administered by the South African Revenue Service, as listed in schedule 1 of the SA Revenue Services Act.

*2Aiyer facing prison <CLICK

*3 Danikas exposed as fraud <CLICK See letter from bank and affidavit from Joanides in this link

During the review application, the High Court in Durban held that none of Danikas, Aiyer or the deceased, implicate me in the offenses I were charged for. Moreover, the court held that the then Acting NDPP, Nomgcobo Jiba lied under oath, in the review application. *1 What is clear, the prosecutors had had the statements of all three individuals, but never intended to use it, for obvious reasons. The outcome was predictable. The court rejected all three statements.


Crooked elements within the police’s Crime Intelligence Unit, duped journalists from the ‘Sunday Times’ to contrive articles, as part of an elaborate stratagem to protect their political masters from criminal investigations. Susan Smuts, legal editor for the ‘Sunday Times’, admitted that Colonel NH Singh, from Crime Intelligence provided ‘information’, relating to some of the stories. (Satchwell report). The ‘Sunday Times’ later retracted the story and tendered a public apology to me.*4 NH Singh was also the author of the ‘Ground Coverage’ report wherein outlandish allegations were made against me. Some of it later formed the basis of the allegations against me by the journalists and rogue prosecutors. The report was ‘declassified’ by controversial Crime Intelligence boss, Richard Mdluli Mdluli, who procured the document in an attempt to stifle a corruption investigation against him, by showing it to then President, Jacob Zuma. The document detailed a plot by politicians to oust Zuma. I was somehow linked to one of the apparent errant politicians, Bheki Cele. Senior ANC official, Tokyo Sexwale dismissed the document at the time as ‘fake’ and a ‘fabrication ‘drafted to sow maximum confusion within government.

*4 Apology of Sunday Times <CLICK Unedited article of Booysen in Sunday Times <CLICK

Hofstatter and WaAfrika were dismissed and stripped of the Taco Kuiper award which they won on the back of the Cato Manor story. *5 One of the journalists, Rob Rose, met me and explained how he got duped into having his name added in the byline of the story, by Hofstatter. I sensed that he regrets getting dragged into the Cato Manor story.  He had the courage and decency to take responsibility. I respect that.

*5 Hofstatter stripped of award with colleagues <CLICK


Hofstatter maintains that the Cato Manor story was well researched and documented. Having read the book by journalism Professor, Anton Harber, ‘So, For the Record’, it seems that Hofstatter had virtually attained celebrity status at the ‘Sunday Times. Media outlets were clamoring for his services. He had won the ‘Taco Kuiper Award’ for investigative journalism in South Africa and was nominated for the international ‘Global Shining Light Award’ in Rio de Janeiro.

During a live radio broadcast interview between Jacques Pauw and Eusebius Mc Kaizer on 702 radio, Hofstatter invited himself into the studio for a tet a tet with Pauw. It was vintage Hofstatter. He obfuscated, deflected, was evasive, argumentative and shamefully, blamed his colleagues for the ill-fated articles. Pauw destroyed his argument right there. It was a public execution of Hofstatter’s inflated ego. But then came the coup de grace. Jacques reminded Hofstatter that he previously told him when the stories were published, he could not even remember his name in the byline of the story the following day, because he was going through very personal difficulties’. Hofstatter was flummoxed. He had just publicly committed ‘ego’ suicide, by hijacking Mc Kaizer’s program for his own benefit.

Reliable sources told uncapturedsa that the personal difficulties emanated from a not so discreet frolic on his visit to Rio de Janeiro. Uncapturedsa knows the identity of the journalist who accompanied him to Rio.

Hofstatter’s demeanor on the show is cringeworthy to watch. It is reminiscent of previous encounters with him. Only this time, he could not retreat to his newsroom to embellish and tailor his story.*6

*6a Studio confrontation Hofstatter obliterated by Pauw and Mc Kaizer. <CLICK to watch the show.

*6b Shambles at Hofstatter’s book launch<Click

Fame turned to notoriety, as the trilogy of stories he co-wrote, The Cato Manor Death Squad story, The SARS Rogue story and the Zimbabwean Rendition story started to unravel. Hofstatter was played and had become a pawn in an elaborate scheme by rogue operators in the Intelligence fraternity, to counteract corruption investigations against corrupt politicians and their business associates. Former HAWKS spokesperson, Macintosh Polela said at the time he has names of journalists that were paid to report false information. *7

*7 Journalists paid to write false stories alleged by HAWKS spokes person <CLICK

Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibija, from the HAWKS, Johann van Loggenberg and Ivan Pillay from SARS and myself, including those associated with our investigations, were vilified and ostracized, courtesy of rogue Intelligence elements, trading false information with Hofstatter and his team.

Hofstatter could not resist the temptation of ‘reporting’ a potentially award-winning story. He spent more than a year, according to him, in KwaZulu-Natal, desperate to find evidence to corroborate the lies which rogue Intelligence operators ‘leaked’ to him. He got entangled in a web of deceit of criminals in the underworld of the taxi industry, rogue cops and corrupt businessman. It was a classic case of confirmation-bias journalism. To exacerbate his conundrum, how would he justify spending thousands of rands of the ‘Sunday Times’, over the course of more than a year, on a story that had more holes in it, than a hundred meters of chicken wire? The incentive to proceed with their concocted story is pretty obvious.

According to Mary de Haas, violence monitor in KZN, she introduced the journalists to actors in the ongoing taxi-war saga in KZN, who in turn gave them information about Cato Manor. The very thugs that were involved in the ongoing taxi violence conflict! Hardly a trustworthy, let alone reliable, source by any stretch of the imagination. *8

*8 Rebuttal of Mary de Haas <CLICK

They also met with a corruption suspect, Toshan Panday at the Gateway Shopping mall in Durban-North, to find dirt on me. Panday claimed that he had obtained incriminating evidence against me, which was provided by a rogue cop, Rajen Aiyer. (#a) Panday unsuccessfully enlisted the services of another police official at Mountain Rise police station, Captain Pipes Hafajee,(#b) to assist WaAfrika in finding evidence against me. According to WaAfrika there was video material of me using the police helicopter to block a vehicle so that my detectives could shoot the occupants. Hofstatter later denied it, but it came out during the Satchwell inquiry.

They were desperate to make the lies stick. They had no qualm to plot with a suspect in a multi-million-rand criminal, corruption investigation, to discredit me at the expense of a high-profile criminal investigation. They took the word of a corruption accused, Colonel Navin Madhoe, to falsely accuse me of not handing in evidentiary material. Satchwell report.

#a & #b Evidence obtained from Crime Intelligence which is recorded.

Hofstatter claims that he interviewed forty witnesses, yet none made statements to the police, according to what are in the dockets. His pet excuse is that his sources must remain ‘anonymous’ claiming that witnesses were being murdered, which is hogwash. Witnesses could’ve been placed on the witness protection program. To this day, Hofstatter cannot provide the identity of a single murdered witness. It is a convenient and effective way to avoid scrutiny of his stories. Hofstatter, WaAfrika, Aiyer and Danikas claim that they too were threatened, but cannot provide any evidence to support their claims.


Hofstatter penned a diatribe on his blog wherein he takes issue with Professor Anton Harber’s criticism of the ‘Sunday Times’ articles in his book ‘So, For the Record. In a rather verbose tirade, he disingenuously links dots where no dots exist. He has seemingly not learnt anything from the calamitous Cato Manor, SARS and Zimbabwe rendition stories. To exacerbate matters, he introduces more falsehoods in his latest rendition.

Danikas apparently told him that I had told him that Cato Manor shot the suspects because they ‘killed whites’. This lie can be disproved on two levels. Danikas himself does not say that in his statement to the police and, not a single suspect that was shot, were sought for the murder of whites.

According to HOFSTATTER : “I remember his [Booysen] exact words: “They’re killing whites. They’re destroying the country. We have to do something about it and that’s how we’re getting confessions. We get the job done.” (sic)

According to a statement of DANIKAS to the POLICE: ‘I recorded the event secretly and showed it to Booysen soon afterwards. He just laughed and said, ‘that’s how things are done to get results’ (sic) Hoffstatter’s subliminal suggestion is obvious.

Hofstatter continues. ‘Booysen’ had ‘set up’ the Cato Manor unit as an elite task team’. The truth is, Cato Manor was a subsection of the Durban Organized Crime Unit, established by Police’s head office, not me. It seems Hofstatter still does not ‘fact check’ before he writes. Or maybe he did, but typically, chose to perpetuate the lie anyway.

He writes about a video, depicting a suspect that is tortured by Cato Manor detectives. There is no evidence that the video is indeed of Cato Manor detectives. According to a Facial Recognition Expert with many years’ experience, the video is of poor quality and too unclear to make a positive identification of any person. Hofstatter ought to have pursued this avenue, but then again, he knew it would not fit his narrative, because it is impossible to identify any-one in the video.

*8b https://stephanhofstatter.com/torture-videos/

Danikas’s video. Note graphic content!! Not for sensitive viewers!! According to an experienced Facial Recognition Expert, the footage is of poor quality and inadequate for identifying specific individuals.

Hofstatter writes that Danikas will be used as a witness, contradicting an e-mail from the prosecutors that he would not be used as a witness, because the prosecutors suspected that Danikas himself had committed offenses and that there were questions about his credibility. *9

In one of his Danikas praise singing renditions, posted on his blog, Hofstatter post photos of ‘two’ scenes which he says Danikas photographed, and imply the bodies were moved by myself or Cato Manor detectives. There are several problems with this proposition. The photos he posted is from one scene, not two, as he suggests. He gives no context or explain what the photos are meant to show. He does not say when the body was moved. Was the body, depicted in the photos, moved before the official photographer arrived, or during the processing of the scene? – in which event moving the body would’ve been perfectly normal. Danikas, never handed these photos to the investigators as attachments to his statement. He tailors his story as time goes by and aspects of his statement are refuted. But it does not deter Hofstatter from repeating Danikas’ falsehoods.

The latest fabrication of Danikas, which Hofstatter repeats, is that ‘incriminating’ photos were obtained by Danikas while he repaired a computer at Cato Manor’s office. It is nonsense. Work on police computers are performed by SITA, who are contracted to SAPS. An employee from SITA, Vishen Subramaniam, stole crime scene albums from one of the computers and added personal photos of a detective at Cato Manor. Subramaniam admitted it during a separate investigation. He was promised a hundred-thousand rand for the photos, but only received five-thousand rand for it. He gave it to Rajen Aiyer. It then found its way to suspects in a criminal investigation, who mistakenly thought I could be blackmailed, with what was essentially innocuous crime scene photographs taken by police photographers. Subramaniam was fired by SITA because he sold the photographs which potentially compromised a police investigation.

*9 E-mail from prosecutor contradicting Hofstatter <CLICK

Hofstatter contradicts himself in the space of a few paragraphs in the same iteration. In an apparent attempt to disprove a point Professor Harber made in his book, he writes he never showed me any pictures during our interview. Earlier in the same piece, regarding the same interview, he writes ‘we raised a photo of Booysen arriving on a scene of a Cato Manor shooting….’

Hofstatter then writes it was not necessary to investigate Booysen’s suggestion to check the entries of the police helicopter’s logbook, because he did not plan to write about the helicopter flight in the first place, but then says he had written in the article that Booysen arrived in the helicopter “minutes later” [after the shooting]. He then writes that he consulted ‘a’ logbook, which indicated Booysen landed ‘forty-five minutes’ later. On the one hand he says he was not going to write about it, but then says he wrote about it. He says he did not deem it necessary to check the logbook, but then says he did. Confusing indeed.’

In any event, there is only one logbook for the aircraft. Entries in the logbook corresponds with data on the helicopter’s computer and cannot be manipulated. The helicopter’s logbook indicates, ninety minutes, not forty-five minutes.

Realizing that he got caught out lying about the helicopter flight, Hofstatter now conveniently downplays the importance of the actual time it took me to get to the scene in Howick. It is very relevant, because during our interview, he alleged I was part of the actual operation, which the logbook demonstrate was not the case. It is also relevant, given Panday’s attempt to find ‘a docket’ at Mountain Rise police station, because according to WaAfrika, I used the helicopter to block a vehicle while Cato Manor shot at it. # Realizing the discrepancies in his initial report, he now expediently deflects, claiming the ‘time of my arrival’ is not relevant, ‘but the fact Booysen flew there.’

# Evidence recorded at Crime Intelligence.

Hofstatter persists in perpetuating another Danikas lie, that Booysen and his men waited for a suspect to bleed out, before contacting an ambulance and then keeping the paramedics at bay, until the suspect was dead. A journalist, worth his salt, let alone an ‘award winning one‘ would’ve interviewed the paramedics, consulted their documentation and compared it with my cellphone data-which incidentally I did, after Danikas’ fables came to light.

He suggests that firearm cartridges from a scene were ‘pocketed, presumably to conceal the use of excessive force‘. His assumption defies logic. The projectiles (bullets) that hit the suspects and the car, could surely not have been undone?

He attempts to negate my reliance on postmortem reports as opposed to what he was told by ‘witnesses’, writing that ‘experts’ told him that in some instance postmortems were ‘sloppy.’ He doesn’t say what the expertise of the ‘expert’ he spoke to has. There may have been different scientific opinions by pathologists, regarding certain aspects of the postmortem, but I have never heard of a ‘sloppy’ postmortem. Hofstatter’s position is preposterous. He prefers to believe individuals who may have a vested interest in the case over what trained expert medical doctors found. Hofstatter is either making this up or he spoke to a quack.

In an astonishing revelation, Hofstatter writes that one of the ‘witnesses’ to a ‘killing by Cato Manor’, who he interviewed, was a relative of his co-reporter, WaAfrika. Foreshadowing predictable questions pertaining to the credibility of a witness, who just incidentally happens to be related to his colleague, Hofstatter proffers a long-winded justification why the witness can be believed. Hofstatter is conspicuously, yet unsurprisingly silent, whether the ‘witness’ made a statement to the police or not.

Hofstatter is alive to the fact that, the ballistic expert that he purportedly spoke to, and on whose version, he places his wager, Colonel Mangena, was discredited by Advocate Nasir Cassim SC, during my disciplinary hearing and his evidence was rejected on the same grounds in another disciplinary hearing of Cato Manor member detectives. He expediently ignores that Rajen Aiyer, whose falsehood he prefers to belief, has been fired from the police for dishonesty and is presently standing trial on various criminal charges in Durban, Pinetown and Krugersdorp. Notwithstanding, they all still remain the highwater mark for Hofstatter’s lamentations.

Hofstatter’s version of the timing of the ‘Sunday Times’ article, as opposed to what I said, is dispelled by ex ‘Sunday Times’ journalist, Buddy Naidu. Naidu also lambasted Ray Hartley, the then editor of the newspaper. *10b

*10b Lambasting Hofstatter, his team and Ray Hartley

Hofstatter told Professor Harber that he recorded the interview with me but had ‘lost‘ the recording. He did indeed record the interview, but it obviously did not accord with what he told the Professor, so it conveniently went missing. It did not occur to him that I recorded the interview myself, which I handed to the Professor because I had nothing to hide.

Hofstatter refuses to accept the views of a plethora of his peers in the media, such as Mike Robertson (a former editor at Sunday Times), Jacques Pauw, Eusebius Mc Kaiser, Ed Herbst, Marianne Thamm, Buddy Naidu etcetera. He somehow seems to think that he knows better than Judges and senior Advocates. It would benefit him before he comments again, to first read the judgement of Justice Trevor Gorven regarding Danikas, Aiyer and the deceased ‘witness’ and while he is at it, to read the De Kock report.

Non-Governmental Organizations, Corruption Watch the Institute for Security Studies, Accountability Now and Open Secrets, have either made submissions to the Zondo Commission or have produced articles on the matter. *10 *11. It should serve Hofstatter well to study it, before opining on the matter again.

Concluding his diatribe, Hofstatter writes he is convinced that the Cato Manor Unit’s ‘action still merits a thorough professional investigation, not tainted by political manipulation.’ Rather cynical, considering the investigation already comprised a Major General, two Brigadiers. a number of Colonels, Captains and Warrant Officers, a dedicated ballistic expert, a private ballistic expert, a private pathologist, a dedicated cellphone expert, a team of investigators from the Independent Investigative Directorate and no fewer than eight prosecutors, spending more than four years and hundreds-of-thousand -rand. His proposal for a ‘political manipulation free investigation’ is laughable, given evidence at the Zondo Commission that Minister Nathi Mthethwa interfered with the first investigation, unlawfully calling for our arrest. If anything, the political interference he refers to was to get rid of myself.

*10 Submissions Corruption Watch and Institute for Security Studies re Sunday Times stories par 57 & 116 <CLICK

*11 Adv Paul Hoffman from Accountability Now <CLICK


The following casualties lie strewn in the wake of Hofstatter’s debunked story.

PROSECUTORS: Nomgcobo Jiba, Lawrence Mrewbi (dismissed), Moipone Noko (resigned on the eve of her disciplinary hearing), Gladstone Maema, Anthony Mosing, Raymond Mathenjwa and Mahlubi Ntlakaza (facing disciplinary hearing)

JOURNALISTS: Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi WaAfrika (dismissed and stripped of Taco Kuiper journalism award*2)

The biggest casualties though are the victims of violent crime in KwaZulu-Natal. The closure of the Cato Manor Violent Crime section saw a dramatic increase of violent crime in KZN. Cash-In-Transit heists and ATM bombings were virtually non-existent in KZN before 2011. Police murders and political murders were solved at a rate of sixty to seventy percent. All this changed after the closure of Cato Manor Violent Crime Section. The blood of those victims is on the hands of Hofstatter and WaAfrika including the then Editor Ray Hartley, *12 who enabled the toxic cabal at the Sunday Times to spawn under his watch. So too the rogue prosecutors and policemen/woman such as Riah Phiyega, Berning Ntlemeza and Jan Mabula.

Less we forget the Cato Manor detectives who died after the Sunday Times’ story culminated in their arrests. Captain Eva, Captain Auerbach, Warrant Officers Thabethe and Ganeshan.


Phiyega and Ntlemeza were removed from office. Mabula’s application for a renewal of his contract was declined by the minister of police and is presently under investigation for the murder of Solly Nengwane in 2006.

Hofstatter is deliberately obtuse or delusional from drinking his own’ ‘KOOL AID‘. No wonder then, when Hofstatter applied for a job at Transparency International, of all places nogal, his application went straight to the garbage bin.









During February this year 2024, the Press Council found that several senior, prominent journalists had erred in articles they respectively wrote, which were published, therefore violating some of the Press Councils’ codes.

A journalist friend asked my opinion regarding the media. I told him in my view, whereas anecdotal and empirical evidence exist that journalists at times act in bad faith it is equally true that present day journalists are under increasing pressure to remain actual, because of the advent of social and on-line media. When an event occurs, journalists have little time to fact-check their stories and determine the motives of sources. Journalists are also human. It is natural for mistakes to slip into a story.

Another factor is that some journalists become complacent. Some develop an aura of ‘superiority’ which manifest in arrogance, or an inflated ego, that inevitably leads to mistakes in their reporting.

At the time the ‘Sunday Times’ now debunked ‘Cato Manor Death Squad’ stories were written by Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi WaAfrika, other media reported on the story too. The story occupied the headlines for months.

To the credit of most media at the time, many started to question the veracity of the story. One journalist, Niyantha Singh, who wrote for the ‘Sunday Tribune’ at the time, was one of the first mainstream journalists whose reporting of the story took a different angle. As time went by the media increasingly became suspicious of the ‘Sunday Times’ story.

It was the resignation of one of the ‘Sunday Time’s’ journalists, Pearly Joubert, which culminated in the emergence of a Pandora Box at the newspaper.

One publication that stood out at the time, was the glossy monthly magazine ‘Noseweek’. Ironically the editor of the magazine Martin Welz previously worked at the ‘Sunday Times’. He published a series of articles in ‘Noseweek’, written by journalist Paul Kirk, in which the Hofstatter’s ‘Death Squad’ story was systematically dissected and ultimately succinctly debunked. This put ‘Noseweek‘ on a collision course with Hofstatter.

Weltz and Kirk were eventually proven right. The ‘Sunday Times’, to the credit of their new editor, Bongani Siqoko, withdrew the ‘Cato Manor’ story and tendered an apology. Siqoko essentially had to salvage the paper’s credibility after the damage caused by Hofstatter, WaAfrika and the previous editor, Ray Hartly.

After the debacle of the ‘Cato Manor; SARS Rogue, and Zimbabwe rendition stories by Hofstatter and WaAfrika, the South African National Editors’ Forum, SANEF, commissioned an enquiry into Media Ethics and Credibility. It was chaired by retired Judge Kathleen Satchwell. A former editor of the ‘Sunday Times’. Mike Robertson opined at the time that the ‘Cato Manor’ story ‘was serious bad journalism exacerbated by arrogance on the part of the journalists. Par 8.17 It could not be summed-up better.

Full report available on-line



  1. The trail of deceit destruction and manipulation of innocent people’s livelihoods and the mental anguish they endured must never go by unpunished

    Danikas must face jail time for his abuse of trust and deception that directly or indirectly caused the death of innocent policemen

    Karma will win in the end and these rogues who humiliated defrauded de humanised real good Top cops into retirement shame on you

  2. Congratulations to Gen Booysen and his team for never standing back and continuing to fight for the truth and justice.

  3. All this because Danikas and Hoffstater needed to pump up their greed filled egos They both should be lynched How do we know the recordings are real and not shows put on my Danikas in an attempt to give credence to his outlandish claims

  4. This is the best evidence anyone has produced which encumbers all the lies and deception the news has caused. We must be in a position to reverse the roles of all involve. There however must be some compensation for the false accusations, and mental health of all those who or innocent. Grateful for Booysen standing up to the criminal elements, and siding with his men, women, colleagues and any body the legal system in the whole group. The news papers are always blame. Where is the news today. You are all our hero’s.

  5. Typical roque thugs in their failed attempts to discredit honest hardworking men that was doing a sterling job.

  6. Shame on you Hofstatter who sided with the criminals in all of these cases. I salute you Gen Booysen and the men and women with their families, for all your perseverance, in fighting for justice, so that the truth can be shown, and bring the criminals to book. May the criminals rot in hell. These thugs have ruined many lives of people, which was valuable to SA. This kind of expertise and skill takes years to build, one cannot just replace them. Hence SA is paying now, thanks to these criminals, DONT let these criminals ruin our beautiful country. Stronger Together.

  7. The fabricated evidence by rogues over the years did not prove anything against the successful Cato Manor Police Unit.
    The yournalists had a field day of spreading the unfounded information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *