Fred Daniel’s house got protected by Flying Squad on day he heard about threats to kill him

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Fred Daniel's house got protected by Flying Squad on day he heard about threats to kill him
FILE: A flying squad unit was dispatched and stationed outside Fred Daniel's home for 24 hours on the day he learnt of an alleged plot by deputy president DD Mabuza to kill him. PICTURE BY Sky News

The police were there to ensure his safety.


Fred Daniel had a police unit stationed at his house for 24-hours to protect him on the day he received information that deputy president David Mabuza wanted to kill him.

This information is contained in his statement when laying a case against Nomfundo Sambo on 1 December 2018.

Daniel said he was busy with the business of the day on 6 November 2018 when he received a call from an unknown number.

He was not able to speak to the person because of a bad line but the person continued making various missed calls.

Later at around 7 at night, Daniel said he saw a missed call from City Press journalist Sizwe Sama Yende and he returned it.

When he got hold of Sama Yende, the journalist asked him if a woman who was trying to get hold of him had found him as she wanted to warn him about his life being in danger.

Daniel said he realised this could have been the person who had been trying to call him all day long.

He then phoned the person who introduced herself as Thandeka Mabuza and said to him that she was the deputy president’s niece living with him in his Johannesburg house.

“She was anxious, soft spoken and said her uncle (Mabuza) had sent two men to Badplaas to kill me. She knew the men and said they were on their way to Badplaas and had contacted a third man to meet them there,” Daniel said while laying the charge against the woman.

He said he immediately put down the phone and took out his shotgun from the safe, informing his wife about the information he had just received over the phone.

He said he switched off the lights inside his house to make sure nobody could see them and shoot them from outside.

Sama Yende had been told about the woman by the spokeswoman of the DA in Mpumalanga, Dumisile Masuku – after the woman went to the DA offices at the legislature.

The reason Masuku thought Sama Yende could have Daniel’s numbers was because Sama Yende had written various articles on Daniel.

Indeed Sama Yende had Daniel’s numbers and gave them to the woman who was calling herself Thandeka Mabuza, so that she could reach out to Daniel and warn him about the danger to his life.

Frightened, Daniel said he then began making calls to various people, including his lawyer, private investigator Paul O’Sullivan and business partners John Allen and former Premier Mathews Phosa as well as top police brass – to discuss the alleged plot.

Thandeka had told them that her father was Mabuza’s elder brother.

She said she was cleaning Mabuza’s study in his Johannesburg house and bumped into a diary in which was written the names of people who were supposed to be killed by Mabuza.

Amongst the names was Daniel, who was apparently going to be killed on that day of 6 November 2018.

“At 20h35, I called Allen to hear if he had been able to alert people about the danger to my life because the best protection against organised crime is to inform as many people as possible as what is going on,” he said.

He said after various phone calls the state was able to get him the Flying Squad to keep an eye around his family while they slept on that night. The unit arrived at around 10 night, and was a promise the police’s top brass made to Daniel to show they took the threats seriously.

The following day 7 November 2020 Thandeka called Daniel and told him that she wanted to speak to somebody she could trust.

“She told me her ‘uncle’ had phoned and sounded angry and suspicious. I told her I would ask O’Sullivan to call her and discuss her safety,” Daniel said.

He said Phosa also called to ask if they slept well and Daniel thanked him for facilitating the police to come protect him the whole night.

The following day 8 November 2018 Thandeka agreed to meet Daniel – in a meeting facilitated by the DA’s Masuku, at a restaurant in Mbombela – where Thandeka agreed to type a statement.

“On our way to print the statement (which became the affidavit) Thandeka asked what is it that I wanted to do with the affidavit. I told him that I wanted to see a Judge and get an interdict. She asked to go with me to the Judge, because he had more evidence that she wanted to tell the Judge and I agreed and requested that it be the next day, and she agreed,” Daniel said.

But the following day 9 November the Thandeka didn’t show up at the high court. 

He tried numerous times to call her but she never picked up his calls until Daniel decided to bring an urgent application against the conspiracy to kill him.

“I sought the relief on the basis of my family’s fundamental rights to be free from forms of violence either from public or private sources,” he said, but the court didn’t want to hear the matter before Mabuza was notified about allegations – therefore postponing it to Monday 12 November.

On 12 November the lawyers of the deputy president called Daniel’s lawyers and asked him to withdraw the application he was making at the high court, because the allegations against Mabuza are a fabrication as the deputy president was outside South Africa when they were made.

Daniel said even his passport – given by Mabuza’s lawyer to Daniel’s lawyer – showed that Mabuza was outside the country from 26 October to 10 November 2018. The allegations against him are for 6 November and an affidavit was made on 8 November 2018.

“It was then that I realised that Thandeka was not who she said she was and that I, Masuku and Sama Yende we were duped by an elaborate conspiracy. 

“The set up was meant to arrest me and charge me for fabricating under oath an evidence implicating the deputy president,” Daniel said, adding they only started comprehending the whole picture when they investigated about the Thandeka and only after finding out her true identity were they able to avert his arrest and protect his credentials as a whistleblower.

Daniel said a white VW Polo that Thandeka jumped into when she disappeared from them at the high court is the one that assisted them avert his arrest.

He took the registration number of the Polo and gave it to O’Sullivan, who told him the car is registered under the name of Nomfundo Sambo from Hazyview.

When they searched for Nomfundo Sambo the discovered the same woman who was calling herself Thandeka Mabuza.

Fred Daniel's house got protected by Flying Squad on day he heard about threats to kill him
Nomfundo Sambo from Hazyview who was calling herself Thandeka Mabuza, is awaiting conviction to charges of fraud, forgery and defeating the ends of justice at the Mpumalanga High Court

Sambo appeared at the Mpumalanga High Court on Tuesday 4 August 2020 to answer for fraud, forgery and defeating the ends of justice and pleaded guilty.

She was arrested on 13 March 2019 when Daniel laid the charges against her.

Daniel said the woman was going to be used as a reverse plot, to get him arrested in a trap set up with the Hawks in order to create a picture of Mabuza being a victim of smear campaigns.

Daniel said the reason for Sambo pleading guilty on 4 August 2020 was because he didn’t want the court to ask more information about the person who hired her to do the dirty tricks on Daniel, why she used a fake name when writing the affidavit, why did she run away and the name of the person who deposited an amount of R750 000 into her bank account.

“The Hawks are asked to investigate whether or not the plan was to lure me to a place where Sambo’s fellow conspirators would have stage a robbery to kill me,” Daniel said in his statement, asking the Hawks to arrest Sambo for defeating the ends of justice, perjury and fraud.

She is coming to court soon to hear the department of social development giving a testimony on her state of mind.

(edited by ZK)

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