Police watchdog strikes deal with police

Former acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane .
Former acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane .
Image: SIMPHIWE NKWALI/Sunday Times.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) have struck a deal‚ barring SAPS from investigating the police watchdog’s three investigators who are probing allegations of corruption against axed acting-National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane‚ unless approved by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Ipid head Robert McBride had urgently approached the Pretoria High Court for an order ensuring that police investigations of Ipid’s trio of investigators – Mandlakayise Mahlangu‚ Temane Binang and Mantsha Raphesu – were conducted by SAPS members not currently under Ipid investigation.

The three are part of the police watchdog’s team of investigators probing allegations of corruption against Phahlane.

McBride objcted in his affidavit to the fact that that the three investigators have had criminal charges laid against them‚ in relation to the conduct of the Phahlane investigation.

Other than Phahlane‚ the respondents in the matter included new National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sithole‚ North West Deputy Provincial Commissioner Major-General Jan Mabula‚ Provincial Head of Commercial Crimes Investigations Brigadier Daniel Pharasa Ncube‚ Commander of the Special Crimes Unit Lieutenant-Colonel Ismail Dawood‚ Provincial Head of Organised Crime Brigadier Matome Kgorane‚ Provincial Police Services Colonel SM Reddy‚ Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane‚ and Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula.

Mabula‚ Ncube‚ Dawood and Kgorane‚ who are part of the North West team investigating the Ipid trio‚ are the subject of an Ipid probe into allegations including contempt of court‚ kidnapping‚ defeating the ends of justice‚ torture and assault‚ related to their alleged meddling with the Ipid probe into Phahlane.

According to a draft agreement that was made an order of the court‚ Sithole and North West police top brass agree that any “…further conduct of the SAPS investigations against [McBride or his investigators Mahlangu‚ Binang and Raphesu] shall be under the direction of – and at the written instruction of – the National Director of Public Prosecutions [Shaun Abrahams]”‚ pending a decision on the main application.

The parties also agreed that the application be referred to the roll for special motions on the earliest date available.

McBride has maintained that the counter-investigations by the North West team were used by Phahlane to harass and intimidate his investigators‚ and to frustrate their investigations into Phahlane’s alleged corrupt dealings.

The allegations of corruption against Phahlane relate to his purchase‚ from a SAPS service provider‚ of an R80‚000 sound system for his multimillion-rand Sable Hills Waterfront Estate home on the banks of the Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria.

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