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Krejcír man’s ‘payola’ claim

2016-04-18 08:00

State’s star witness in murder case has named policemen, politicians, prosecutors, criminals and the ANC as being in cahoots with the mob boss

Czech mob boss Radovan Krejcír allegedly had police officers, politicians, prosecutors, other criminals and the ANC on his payroll, according to an explosive new affidavit.

The affidavit was deposed by Pierre Theron, a member of Krejcír’s inner circle between 2007 and 2011.

The affidavit, signed and dated October 27 2015, and deposed before Lieutenant Colonel Bongani Gininda, lists payments from a bank deposit book allegedly belonging to Krejcír’s Credit Suisse bank account in the European tax haven of Liechtenstein. It forms part of the evidence against Krejcír in his upcoming murder trial.

Krejcír, who has already been convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping, will appear on Monday in the South Gauteng High Court charged with the murder of underworld figure Bassam “Black Sam” Issa. At the same appearance, Krejcír will apply for leave to appeal his previous conviction and ask the court to postpone his murder trial to April 25.

Theron (58) is the state’s star witness in that case.

After he began to suspect that Krejcír was aware that he stole the information, Theron went into hiding.

He struck a deal with prosecutors under section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act and will be indemnified from prosecution should the judge find his evidence credible. He is now in witness protection.

In the affidavit, Theron made startling claims, including that payments were allegedly made to the ANC, suspended ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman and senior police officers. It also lists a payment of R27 million to Mexican druglord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, who last year escaped from prison in Mexico through an underground tunnel and spent more than six months on the run.

Krejcír’s attorney, Cliff Alexander, said his defence team was aware of Theron’s affidavit.

“My client denies the claims in their entirety. We have received information that Theron was paid to make the statement,” he said. “We will prove that Theron is lying during cross-examination.”

In his affidavit, Theron said his relationship with Krejcír began in 2007 in Cape Town after he was introduced to Krejcír by underworld figure Cyril Beeka, who was later killed in a gang-style hit.

“During my association with Krejcír, we didn’t immediately become close pals, but later on during 2010 and 2011, I drove several trips for him shifting cars for him from Johannesburg to Cape Town and from Johannesburg to Durban,” stated Theron.

“I always knew that there were illegal substances in the cars, but I never asked any questions, which resulted in him trusting me to the fullest.”

Theron said that during one of his driving jobs for Krejcír in February 2013, he was given a white BMW 320d to drive from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth and an attache case containing R700 000 in cash to deliver to the “state team that was to prosecute [alleged Cuban druglord] Nelson Pablo Yester-Garrido for the 166kg of cocaine, which was recovered in 2010”. A day after the delivery, the case against Yester-Garrido was “withdrawn under sinister circumstances”.

In the statement, Theron also details how Krejcír would often tell him to “come and visit”, and that they would chat about their families over vodka at a restaurant close to Money Point, Krejcír’s business in Johannesburg.

Theron claimed that it was during lunch one Tuesday at that same restaurant that Krejcír opened up to him about the murder allegations.

“The c**ts say I murdered [private detective Kevin] Trytsman, Mr Cocaine [Chris Couremetis], [strip club boss] Lolly [Jackson], Beeka, [Jackson’s business associate Mark] Andrews, [attorney Ian] Jordaan, [sports-car conversion specialist Uwe] Gemballa, [Russian gangster] Yuri ... but what else can I do? The bastards owed me money!” The affidavit claims these were Krejcír’s words.

Theron, who claims to have spent a considerable amount of time at Money Point, said that while he worked for Krejcír, many influential people came to the office.

“A lot of guys visited Money Point while I was there. Glenn Agliotti ... and others like Shadrack Sibiya, Richard Mdluli. Both Richard Mdluli and Shadrack Sibiya were always making social visits,” he said.

At the time, Mdluli was the head of the police’s crime intelligence unit and Sibiya was the Gauteng commander of the Hawks, which by then was investigating Krejcír for criminal activity.

Theron also claimed that a marked police double-cab bakkie came to Money Point every day, and, when it pulled in, Krejcír would go out and give the passenger a thick roll of R200 notes and the bakkie would leave.

Theron also claimed that shortly before the murders of Issa and Serbian mobster Veselin Laganin, the two visited Krejcír and argued.

“They went into Krejcír’s office and I could hear them arguing in a language that I could not understand. Issa and Laganin then came out of the office walking at a fast pace and Krejcír followed behind and shouted ‘I’ll f***ing kill you both’, in English. They got into their car and left.”

That same week, Krejcír allegedly returned late to the office and told Theron to get out of Johannesburg fast because the “s**t was going to hit the fan” that weekend.

“When I tried to call Krejcír the following day, his phone was off, so I called [his associate] Mike [Grigorov] and Mike informed me that Issa was snuffed [killed] that same morning just after 5am.”

The affidavit hints that, as the police were closing in on Krejcír, he tried to conceal information that could have exposed his dealings.

Theron stated that in 2014, he met Grigorov in Johannesburg and was taken to a flat in Bedfordview. There, he was tasked with repacking “a lot of boxes stacked in one of the rooms”.

“There were about seven of the same kind of books and I took one and opened it. It was a bank deposit book with pink duplicate pages. On the front of the book, it had the following written: ZL-327/42806, Helvetia, credit de Suisse, Zurich 2010-2013. On the inside of the back page in pen, it said ‘Vaduz, Liechtenstein’. The date on each deposit slip was scratched out with a black koki pen. The names and amounts were not tampered with,” reads the statement.

He stole one of the bank books and a few weeks later was picked up on the side of the N4 highway near Witbank while hitchhiking to Johannesburg, but one of Krejcír’s men asked about the missing book.

“I nearly had a heart attack because I knew the other missing book was in my suitcase, which was in the car. I was able to keep my pose and answered fiercely that he should take me back to the flat and let me find the book that was supposedly missing.

“I always carry a writing pad with me in my luggage, so I copied all the payments from the specific book and then I restacked some of the boxes so as to give the impression that I had looked for the book.

“The next morning at 4.30am, I showed him that all seven books were there. I could see that he was relieved and he said that he knew that someone was making a flop. He thanked me for my decent work and gave me R2 000 for the road.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo confirmed that Theron was a key witness in the upcoming murder trial against the Czech fugitive.

He refused to comment on whether individual police officers were being investigated for receiving payments from Krejcír.

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December 8 2019