Johan Booysen says he tried to lobby former president Jacob Zuma to try and convince his son Edward to stop his business dealings with a controversial Durban businessman.
The former KwaZulu Natal Hawks boss appeared at the Zondo commission on Wednesday.
He told the commission about the Hawks KwaZulu Natal investigation into corrupt procurement of accommodation for SAPS officials during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
The bookings for the accommodation were done through Thoshan Panday’s companies at inflated prices.
His unit was investigating Panday and his companies and had raided his offices and home in 2010.
Panday’s bank accounts were later frozen as part of the investigation.
Booysen said in June 2010 his secretary had received calls from a man who introduced himself as former president Jacob Zuma’s brother and that he sought a meeting with Booysen.
Booysen said he made it clear to his secretary that he would only meet this man if he booked an appointment through his office. So a meeting, which took place in the first week of June, was arranged.
The former general said he was in his office chatting to a friend when Edward Zuma walked in. He said he realised that Edward had lied about being a brother to the former president and was actually his son.
Booysen said his friend knew Edward and they all shared pleasantries.
Edward proceeded to ask that Booysen unfreeze Panday’s bank accounts which had R15 million.
Booysen said he asked Edward what interest he had in the case, and Edward told him that he was an investor and was unable to receive dividends from Panday as his account had been frozen. Edward said he had invested R900 000.
Booysen said he told him that he could not unfreeze the funds as that would corrupt, he told Edward he had to approach Panday and ask for his investment back.
“I said to him what his interest in the money and he said he was a silent partner with Panday. I told him to go and approach Mr Panday and tell him you want your R900 000 back and take your money and don’t ever look back again,” said Booysen.
“I made it clear to him that I cannot unfreeze the money because that would make me complacent the commission of a crime and that would be corruption in itself,” he said.
The commission also heard how Booysen tried to lobby the former president in an effort to persuade him to speak to his son about his dealings with Panday and implication on of his request that Panday’s funds be unfrozen.
Booysen said he first travelled to Zuma’s home in Nkandla with a friend who knew Zuma. He said he did not go into the homestead and waited outside as his friend spoke to Zuma.
When they left, his friend relayed that Zuma had declined to get involved in the matter.
Booysen said he asked the same friend to travel with him back to Nkandla and speak to Zuma about the same matter. Booysen said this time he did go into the homestead, but the issue of Edward was never discussed.
When they left, Booysen’s friend told him that it is best that they go and speak to Khulubuse Zuma, the former president’s nephew, who was at the same homestead at the time.
Khulubuse told Booysen and his friend that he would speak to Edward about the matter.
Booysen said his efforts were fruitless.
Edward has denied that he visited Booysen with an attempt to persuade him to unfreeze the funds. Booysen said this is a lie.
The inquiry continues.
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