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Eugene de Kock theft used as excuse to steal from state, Zondo Inquiry told

The state capture commission has heard how former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza instructed the investigation of former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli to be stopped because he allegedly claimed that Vlakplaas murderer Eugene de Kock was allowed to steal from the state during apartheid and it was their turn now.

A screenshot of former Crime Intelligence official Kobus Roelofse appearing at the state capture inquiry on 19 September 2019. Picture: SABC Digital News/Youtube

PRETORIA - The state capture commission has heard how former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza instructed the investigation of former Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli to be stopped because he allegedly claimed that Vlakplaas murderer Eugene de Kock was allowed to steal from the state during apartheid and it was their turn now.

This was the evidence of Hawks detective Colonel Kobus Roelofse at the public hearings in Parktown on Thursday.

Mdluli was the subject of several investigations into allegations of fraud and corruption related to the abuse of the unit’s secret slush fund.

De Kock, who was released on parole in 2015, was sentenced to life in imprisonment in 1996 for his role in numerous apartheid-era murders. He was also convicted of fraud.

Roelofse recalled a meeting in 2015 with Ntlemeza where he tried to get the former Hawks head’s support in the case against Mdluli.

"He said to me: 'Why are we investigating this? The previous Crime Intelligence stole.' And he referred to one individual that was locked up in the previous regime, he referred to Eugene de Kock. 'You allowed him to do this. It's now our time to do it.'"

A gobsmacked deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Roelofse to clarify what Ntlemeza had told him.

"Just repeat the substance of what he said."

Roelofse replied as follows: "Chair, it basically boils down to what happened in the previous government - people stole. And why am I investigating what is happening now? To something of the effect that it's my time now and our time to eat. I just sat there and thought this is not happening, I'm not hearing correctly."