JOHANNESBURG, May 31 – The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on Wednesday lashed out at acting police commissioner Lt-General Khomotso Phahlane over a planned raid of the Ipid offices by the police.
IPID head Robert McBride said his office “received reliable information” that the national intervention unit (NIU) was on standby to carry out the raid.
“If the information is true, this is yet more evidence of a systematic campaign to try and derail the investigation against General Phahlane, who is being investigated for various allegations including corruption, defeating the ends of justice and money laundering,” McBride said in a statement.
“It is shocking that police resources would be used to shield a suspect just because of the position he holds. The audacity to abuse power and disregard for the rule of law for personal interest is staggering. This is reminiscent of similar conduct by the same policemen, who arrested [former senior National Prosecuting Authority prosecutor] advocate Gerrie Nel and others to protect their masters.”
The Ipid and Phahlane have been at loggerheads over an investigation by the police watchdog into allegations of corruption by Phahlane. The Ipid was investigating how Phahlane paid for a home in a luxury estate believed to be worth R8 million and cars worth R4.3 million. He is also accused of paying police service providers through bags of cash from the boot of his car.
The two were subsequently summoned to Parliament last week to respond to claims of interference in investigations against police officers, allegedly spearheaded by Phahlane.
Appearing at the portfolio committee on police, McBride accused Phahlane of interfering in Ipid’s probe into him. In turn, Phahlane accused McBride and the Ipid of not being independent and letting private investigator Paul O’Sullivan run their probe.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said at the time that he was exploring legal options after receiving a request from Ipid to place Phahlane on suspension or leave while an investigation into his alleged relationship with police service providers is underway.
– African News Agency (ANA)