2003: Modus of Operandi of the Cato Manor death squad and controlling the media

Being under the protection of a unit with a notorious reputation had its advantages. As an example we were able to get out of frequent speeding fines with the intervention of Booysen. People and organizations respected and feared us. We were enjoying VIP treatment in night clubs, casinos and luxury restaurants all around the province.

Most of the members had expert gunsmith knowledge and were in possession of duplicate State firearms, that they used to swap out after a shooting incident. Frequently they were in possession of stolen firearms that could be placed in a dead suspect’s hand after an extrajudicial killing by the Cato Manor unit members.

Because my personal firearm was stolen, Booysen thought of a way to bypass the strict regulations  and allocate me a Z88 State firearm, by assigning me to “special duties” with the unit. Many State firearms were allocated to me, including a Beretta firearm, that was hard to secure by a low ranking reservist, as a reward for my good work with the unit. That type of a weapon, only high-ranking officers were normally allocated to.

Racism within the unit’s Afrikaner and Indian high ranking Officers, was a major motivation behind gross Human rights violations, extra judicial killings and torture of African suspects.

The modus operandi of the unit’s approach to wealth and influence was as follows :

Director Booysen was frequently sponsored by wealthy businessmen. An example was a wealthy businessman who owned an electronic surveillance business specialising in polygraph testing in Umhlanga area outside of Durban, KZN. The businessman was in a partnership with South African president Zuma’s son, in trading diamonds.

I was told by warrant officer Mossie Mostert, that the same person, who he described as “a dodgy Indian businessman” approached Booysen after he got into trouble for allegedly making a fraudulent insurance claim after a home burglary. The docket was allocated to the Cato Manor Unit, with Mostert appointed as the investigating officer. Mostert told me that when he investigated the alleged burglary, he found the door had been tampered with from the inside.

Mostert also told me that when he took the docket to Booysen he was instructed by him to cover it up. The insurance company refused to pay out, but no criminal charges were ever laid against the businessman. Mostert further disclosed to me that this Indian businessman was President Zuma’s son close friend and business partner and that they were trading diamonds together. Here is an email that I wrote to a journalist back in 2009, disclosing such information just a few months after I went into exile in Greece.

Two months later Booysen received a Breitling watch worth thousands of rands from the very same businessman as “a Christmas gift”. I know that because Booysen came to my store and asked my opinion about it. He told me “I know that this Indian businessman has a dodgy reputation, and everyone tells me to stay away from him, I only know him for a few months, and he gave me a R10 000 Breitling watch as a Christmas gift ”

I advised him to stay away and not to accept such a gift. His reply was “I will just declare it to my office as a gift, therefore I am in the clear”. Later on, Booysen made that same businessman a police reservist and he managed to get him access to police contracts on polygraph tests. He jumped the ranks and was made a captain, and was allocated a high calibre automatic R5 rifle, that he kept at his private home in Umhlanga. At his private parties he often used to discharge it for entertainment while under the influence.

When the businessman was stopped at a police traffic check, while driving his private luxury Range Rover under the influence, without number plates and equipped with blue lights, a police siren and strobe lights, he got arrested. Booysen had to intervene so that the businessman could escape heavy criminal charges. In fact, Booysen used the same polygraph company and the polygraph examiner to manipulate the outcome of the polygraph tests and to prove that Booysen’s unit’s members were not corrupt. Later on, the businessman sponsored Booysen and his wife, with traveling to the USA among other benefits. Booysen told me at a function to celebrate his daughter’s birthday that the cost of the function was “sponsored” by the same businessman.

After two years of training and active duty, I was gaining vast experience on crime scene investigations, police criminal procedures and combat training. It was at that point of time I started to identify the units modus of operandi, as a recipe for disaster. Many of the corrupted members were running an illegal side cash business, such as VIP protection, contract killings, extortion and trafficking stolen goods. Dodgy businessmen were protected by those corrupt members and their illegal activities were covered up by Booysen himself. In exchange those members including Director Booysen, were living lavish lifestyles, sponsored by dodgy businessman . Booysen and the rest of the members often demanding “free” or cost price purchasing of goods from wealthy businessman, in exchange for their “protection” from the African criminals. He often called it “A FAVOR FOR A FAVOR” policy. Booysen knew that if the authorities ever followed the money, he might be compromised, so he made sure that there was no paper trail.  The movie “The Godfather” came to mind.

Controlling the media

While I was at crime scenes, I was allowed to take photos of dead suspects and the aftermath of shootings, as a crime scene investigator before anyone else processed the scene. Furthermore the members of the Cato Manor unit, frequently  visited me at my computer store, for upgrades, repairs and to download their private collection of “trophy photos” from their phones and digital cameras to CDs and computers.

Director Booysen had given me a list of journalists from The Daily News, The Beeld and The DailySun. The instructions were that I would only pass private photos of dead suspects and crime scenes to those specific journalists that enjoyed a personal relationship with Director Booysen. He explained to me that this was a two-way relationship with the newspapers, since  the journalists were publishing “favorable stories” about the Cato manor unit in return for exclusivity on crime scene pictures by Director Booysen. This was a typical example of the media capture by corrupt police officials.


Issue of Z88
Return of Z88
Return of ALL State Owned Equipment

Return of Equipment
Return of Equipment 2

Trophy Photos