Hawks investigating deputy president Mabuza’s “niece”

The Hawks are investigating a Mpumalanga woman who accused Deputy President David Mabuza of plotting to kill an eco tourism businessman, Fred Daniel, for money laundering.

This emerged during the woman’s appearance at the Nelspruit regional court where she applied for bail on Wednesday

The investigation officer in the case, Lieutenant colonel Peter Mhlongo opposing bail told the court that the accused, Nomfundo Sambo (32), is facing other charges and is being investigated on a case of money laundering by the Hawks.

According to Mhlongo, huge amounts of money, about R700 000, were deposited and immediately withdrawn from Sambo’s account, even though she earns just R2500 where she works.

In an sworn affidavit, in which Sambo calls herself Thandeka Mabuza, a niece to the deputy president, she claimed that she stumbled on Mabuza’s diary detailing a plot to kill Daniel.

She claimed that this occurred while helping at Mabuza’s house in Johannesburg on November 5, 2018.

Subsequent police investigations revealed that Mabuza was out of the country at the time of the alleged offence.

Daniel had previously secured an interim protection order against Mabuza after the latter allegedly waged a smear and sabotage campaign against the Daniel.

The Carolina magistrate’s court lifted the interim court order last year.

Meanwhile, when the Hawks arrested Sambo last month, she was allegedly in possession of equipment stolen during a house robbery.

Mhlongo opposed Sambo’s bail application.

“The reason we reject bail, there’s a likelihood that the accused will evade attending court or trial.

“After arresting the accused on March 13, 2019, I asked about her passport, she told me that the passport was robbed from her in December. But it came to light that the accused’s passport was actually handed back to her after another case of her in court on February 22 2019.”

“The accused has not also surrendered back the ID book of Thandeka Mabuza whom she impersonated. If this court came to decide otherwise and give her bail I would suggest that she be given a bail of R20 000. The reasons are that the accused is also being investigated by my office (Hawks) for money laundering. The accused had large sums of monies deposited and withdrawn from her account. When asked about the monies she told us that the money is from her winnings in Emnotweni Casino.

“We have since asked for information from the casino to verify the claims,” Said Mhlongo.

Sambo conducted her own defence, and during cross-examination, she asked if Mhlongo’s investigation had not found that Fred Daniel had personally written the affidavit on his laptop.

“What if I can tell you that the affidavit was written by Fred Daniels in his laptop?” she said.

Mhlongo refuted the allegations and told the court that they trust the affidavit because it bore the name and ID number of Thandeka Mabuza whom she allegedly impersonated.

He also said that the affidavit in question was written in Sonpark in Mbombela and commissioned at the Sonapark post office.

Sambo also questioned Mhlongo how he expected her to raise the R20 000 bail which he had suggested while she was earning R2500. To which Mhlongo said that he based it on the huge deposits made on her bank account.

The bail application continues this morning at the Nelspruit Magistrates court.

Sambo is also also facing a charge armed robbery in the same court for possession of equipment stolen during an armed robbery.

The official name of the Hawks is the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation which targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crime referred to it by the President or the South African Police Service.

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