Phahlane wins defamation case

Pretoria - The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has found in favour of former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane in his defamation suit against Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and its secretary, Steve Matsemela.

Phahlane instituted a civil claim against the union, Matsemela, and three other warrant officers after they released a statement to the media at a press conference in which they alleged that Phahlane was involved in corrupt practices at the SA Police Service forensic laboratory in Silverton before he was promoted to acting national commissioner.

Among the allegations made in 2012, were irregular appointments, the theft of drugs and rhino horn and the doctoring of crime statistics.

At the time, Phahlane instituted an investigation into the allegations made.

READ: Phahlane 'unshaken' by corruption allegations

A report cleared him of any wrongdoing in 2016.

Phahlane said statements which implied he was implicated and responsible for the mentioned corruption were defamatory and unfounded.

Judge Ramarumo Monama found on Friday that all defendants had defamed Phahlane, and ordered that the defendants pay R350 000 as compensation.

He further ordered that the union and other defendants publish a written retraction and apology is to be issued at a press conference to be held at a venue in Johannesburg before or on August 1, 2017.

The retraction and apology must also be provided to The Pretoria News, The Times Newspaper, The Sowetan Newspaper, SABC and eNCA television channels.

Monama also ordered the defendants to pay costs of the suit.

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