Acting national police commissioner and the head of police watchdog IPID exposed some shocking details in Parliament‚ which included death threats and attempts to “capture” IPID.
SAPS’ Khomotso Phahlane and IPID Executive director Robert McBride shocked MPs as they exchanged serious allegations against each other during a tense meeting of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police.
Phahlane and Mcbride were summoned by the committee in the wake of claims that Phahlane had been interfering in IPID’s investigation into his alleged corrupt dealings with SAPS service providers.
The committee has now called on police minister Fikile Mbalula to intervene in the saga and he’s also expected to appear before the committee in the next two weeks to report on the matter.
The complaint had been laid with IPID by police union POPCRU and private investigator Paul O’ Sullivan.
IPID’s chief director of investigations Matthews Sesoko detailed how investigators on Phahlane’s case received death threats in the form of text messages from numbers that could be linked to SAPS members.
Sesoko also detailed how Phahlane had asked witnesses not to co-operate with the investigation and how he had “unlawfully” gained access to a list of witnesses in his case – pointing to possible intimidation of witnesses.
He also said that a SAPS unit from the North West‚ headed by Major-General Ntebo “Jan” Mabula‚ had specifically been brought in to “actively counter” the investigation.
McBride said he and several other IPID members linked to the case were now all actively being investigated by the police.
But Phahlane said he would comply with any “competent authority” conducting an investigation but insisted that IPID was far from independent.
“It should be renamed OPID- for O’Sullivan’s Police Investigative Directorate‚” he said.
Phahlane told MPs that his private bank statements‚ plans to his house and other evidence relating to the case had been shared with O’Sullivan‚ claiming IPID had been “captured”.
The committee was shown emails in which O’Sullivan threatened him and an exchange of text messages between O’Sullivan and McBride dating back several years.
In one email‚ O’Sullivan warns Phahlane that he will be “all over you like a badly fitted suit” if he did not go after Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir.
In another‚ he claims he will go after Phahlane’s wife after he has dealt with him.
He said he had been “lucky to survive” an attack in a Johannesburg spa late last year.
McBride also indicated that Phahlane should be placed on suspension to allow IPID to conclude their investigation‚ but Phahlane said there was no need for him to be sitting at home.
MPs from across the political spectrum‚ expressed concern with what they had just witnessed.