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Booysen presents evidence of plan to remove him from high-profile investigation

Former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday about the case against businessman Thoshan Panday and several other police officers.

A screengrab of former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen gives testimony at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on 17 April 2019.

PRETORIA – Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen has presented evidence which reveals the so-called Cato Manor death squad narrative was part of a carefully orchestrated plan to remove him from a high-profile investigation.

Booysen testified at the state capture commission of inquiry on Wednesday about the case against businessman Thoshan Panday and several other police officers.

He described a sting operation in which Panday’s accomplice, Colonel Navin Madhoe attempted to bribe him with more than R1 million in cash.

The Sunday Times, which broke the Cato Manor story, has since retracted it and apologised for the series of stories which served as the pretext to have Booysen and nearly two dozen police officers suspended and prosecuted.

After Booysen successfully executed a sting operation, investigators intercepted a phone call by their prime suspect, Panday.

Booysen read excerpts from it.

“This thing is getting out of hand with Booysen. Booysen thinks he’s mafia now you know; he thinks he’s above everyone else now. Maybe we need to clip him a bit. We’ll meet and we’ll have a briefing and we’ll decide how we’re going to take care of this guy.”

He was asked what he understood "clipping" to mean.

“Chair, subsequent to that, events unfolded that led to myself being targeted, ostracised, eventually arrested.”

Commission chairperson deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked a follow-up question.

"So you could link that to this clipping of wings that was referred to in the conversation?"

Booysen said: "Definitely."

Booysens' evidence will now turn to the so-called Cato Manor death squad narrative.