Sun Sep 24 03:26:00 SAST 2017

Country’s top cop comes out with guns blazing in fightback against accusers

By Graeme Hosken | 2016-12-02 06:32:56.0

07 September 2016. LISTEN UP: Acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General  Khomotso   Phahlane  has introduced a back-to-basics strategy for everything from how police relate to the public to handling crime scenes professionally. Pic: Simphiwe Nkwali. © Sunday Times.

Acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane has hit back at corruption allegations‚ claiming an independent forensic audit report clears him of wrongdoing in alleged corruption at the police’s Forensic Division.

Speaking at a press conference in Pretoria on Thursday‚ Phahlane criticised his detractors‚ saying whistle-blowers wanted to divert attention from themselves by implicating him in wrongdoing.

Phahlane did not issue the full report but released a summary of the outcomes and findings which concluded that the allegations into his wrongdoing were unfounded.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating Phahlane‚ who headed up the forensic division‚ for defeating the ends of justice.

The allegations relate to claims that Phahlane told witnesses not to speak out about corruption in the division.

He’s also alleged to have received millions of rand in kickbacks for awarding a tender to provide services to the forensic division and later allegedly spent the money on renovations to his home.

The report‚ by CPN Forensic and Accounting Services‚ completed two years ago‚ allegedly clears Phahlane of wrongdoing.

On Thursday he slammed those behind the allegations‚ which were first brought to the attention of suspended national police commissioner Riah Phiyega in 2012.

“These allegations have been circulating for years. It is important to set the record straight once and for all‚” said Phahlane.

He said he had received the report a year after it had been completed.

“I cannot say why then. Maybe because the outcomes were not juicy enough.”

Phahlane said the report revealed that the allegations‚ made by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union and police members‚ had been found to be “unsubstantiated”.

“This matter has been rehashed by certain individuals for their own purposes. The allegations were investigated and when those who made them were approached they were unable to substantiate them.

“It turns out that those who made the allegations – the so-called whistle- blowers – were at the time under investigation for misconduct. This was to divert attention from themselves.”

On IPID’’s investigation into him‚ Phahlane said the allegations stemmed from a tender awarded to a supplier before he was appointed to head the forensics division.

“How then could I have been involved? The person who is running the IPID investigation is (independent investigator) Paul O’Sullivan. He appears to be the complainant‚ the whistle- blower‚ the investigator and now the judge in the investigation.

“This has been to create alarm around my house which supposedly cost R8-million. There is no distinction between O’Sullivan and the whistle-blowers.

“I am not some constable for a year. I have 31-year career and I don’t earn ‘stones’. I have a bond for R3-million.”

TMG Digital/The Times


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