Top cop's luxury car fleet comes under the spotlight

2017-01-25 14:00
Acting police commissioner General Khomotso Phahlane during a meet and greet at Mall of Africa (Iavan Pijoos, News24, file)

Acting police commissioner General Khomotso Phahlane during a meet and greet at Mall of Africa (Iavan Pijoos, News24, file)

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Watch as IPID enters acting police chief's property for raid

2017-01-19 16:51

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) conducted a search and seizure raid on Thursday on the private residence of Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.WATCH

Johannesburg - The police watchdog's investigation into the lavish lifestyle of the country's top cop appears to be expanding into his and his wife's R4.3m fleet of luxury cars.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is apparently widening their lifestyle probe into Acting Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane to include the six vehicles he and his wife Beauty bought in the last two-and-a-half years. Beauty is also a career police officer.

In addition, investigators have taken a warning statement from Jolanta Komolodowicz, the person who sourced an R80 000 electronic sound system on Phahlane's behalf.

Last week, IPID carried out a search and seizure raid on Phahlane's home at the exclusive Sable Hills Waterfront Estate and removed the sound system allegedly sourced by Komolodowicz - the director of Crimetech Laboratories.

The company had obtained a multi-million rand tender to supply chemical and forensic supplies to the SAPS.

Komolodowicz previously told The Citizen that Phahlane visited Crimetech's offices in 2012. Impressed by the decor, he had asked her who her decorator was. Komolodowicz replied she had decorated the offices herself.

"General Phahlane then asked if I would be willing to advise him on decorating the house he was busy building. I agreed to advise General Phahlane in a strictly business arrangement for which I have been remunerated."

READ: IPID inside estate to raid acting top cop's home

Money in car boot

Komolodowicz told News24 she was no longer allowed to speak further about the sound equipment or what she told IPID, but she stuck to what she had told The Citizen.

The vehicles under investigation include Range Rovers, a Toyota Hilux and a Mercedes Benz, and are estimated to cost around R4.3m. News24 understands that at least four of the cars are being financed for around R2m in total.

News24 reported in 2016 that IPID was investigating Phahlane over a property which allegedly cost R8m for the land and construction. A portion of the R8m was paid in cash.

IPID investigators probed alleged cash payments to a contractor totalling R700 000. The money was allegedly in plastic shopping bags in the boot of a car.

READ THIS EXCLUSIVE: This is police chief's controversial house

IPID is now apparently looking at the purchase of:

  • A grey Land Rover Discovery bought in August 2014
  • A grey Range Rover Sport bought in October 2016
  • A white single cab 3.0 diesel 4x4 Toyota Hilux bought in January 2016
  • A beige Volkswagen Amarok bought in April 2015
  • A silver Volkswagen Polo bought in February 2016
  • A E250 CDI Mercedes Benz bought in January 2015

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer said the allegations were factually inaccurate and were an attempt to defame and humiliate Phahlane.

She also indicated that Phahlane would fight back in court.

"As in the instance where it was widely and inaccurately reported that the acting national commissioner had received a sound system as a corrupt gift and the fact was that he had paid for it himself, the allegations in the leaked story relating to vehicles are misleading and false," De Beer said.

READ: Investigation an assault on character and integrity - Phahlane

Investigators threatened

Phahlane claims he produced proof of payment for the sound system, showing the money was transferred from his personal account to the service provider.

IPID also obtained a warning statement last week from Phahlane in relation to an allegation that he had attempted to defeat the ends of justice while they were working on the investigation.

Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan opened the original case against Phahlane in January 2016. He alleged then that the bond Phahlane had registered for the R8m property was considerably lower than the value of the house, which he had built in 2011 and 2012.

News24 has seen a badly-written SMS, from an unknown number, sent to one of the IPID investigators and O'Sullivan, which contains threats against those involved in the probe.

"This is a warning to u. we r aware that u workin fo a big foreign spy paul salivan who is funded by his masters. . . u must stop now. we know where u stay and ur family. U must either choose to die with him [sic]," it reads.

Phahlane previously said that while he respected IPID, he found it unfortunate that the investigation was being conducted through the media. He attacked O'Sullivan's involvement in the investigation and called him a foreigner.
 
* Do you have information for our investigative journalists? Send an email to tips@24.com

Read more on:    police  |  ipid  |  khomotso phahlane  |  pretoria

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