DPP has forensic probe

2015-03-18 00:00

AN independent forensic audit of top police brass, key members of the ­provincial Supply Chain Management Unit and their relationship with ­controversial businessman Thoshan Panday has been submitted to the ­Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether or not to pursue criminal charges.

The audit, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, was commissioned by the police during the course of a fraud and corruption investigation into ­Panday in 2010.

The investigation centred on contracts that were awarded to companies owned by Panday, who pocketed millions for brokering accommodation for police deployments.

The audit, which went out to tender and cost the taxpayer R1,93 million, was included in the original fraud and corruption dockets.

Charges against Panday and Supply Chain Management police officers Navin Madhoe and Aswin Narainpersad were withdrawn.

The National Prosecuting Authority also declined to prosecute KZN police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni, for her alleged role in trying to halt the investigation into the businessman, and whether or not he had paid for a birthday party for her husband Lucas.

However, last month the police’s own graft busting unit, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), made recommendations that Ngobeni, Madhoe, Narainpersad and a fourth officer be suspended and face a departmental probe.

Now with IPID pursuing fresh ­action, The Witness can reveal that the report has been submitted for consideration to the Director of Public Prosecutions for decision.

This after The Witness submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act application, which was denied because of where the report now sits.

The acting director of IPID’s Litigation Advisory Services, Viceroy Maoka, had denied the request for the full

report, which has never been made public.

“This office has considered your application. Unfortunately, the matter has been placed before the office of the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) for decision, and this office is not in a position to provide you with the information you have requested,” he wrote.

Who would face prosecution could not be confirmed at the time of going to press.

News of the forensic audit report first surfaced in an affidavit by KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen, filed in court when he obtained an order interdicting national police commissioner Riah Phiyega from sacking him last year.

In the affidavit, Booysen alleged that, apart from police investigations which revealed a connection between Lieutenant-General Ngobeni and Panday, an audit done by PricewaterhouseCoopers linked the two.

Police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said yesterday that the internal process to determine whether or not Ngobeni, Madhoe and Narainpersad would be charged departmentally was yet to be finalised.

• jeff.wicks@witness.co.za

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