Central figure in the cars for police tenders saga threaten ConCourt action

2019-05-23 19:12
Keith Keating. (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

Keith Keating. (File, Jan Gerber, News24)

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Police supplier Keith Keating has lost his bid for leave to appeal against the validity of a search and seizure warrant related to an investigation into an alleged cars for tenders scam - possibly implicating him and former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. 

"The application for leave to appeal is dismissed with costs on the grounds that there is no reasonable prospects of success in an appeal and there is no other compelling reason why an appeal should be heard," reads an order issued by the Supreme Court Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, dated May 21. 

Keating challenged the validity of the search warrant in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria which he lost. Last year, High Court Judge Jody Kollapen ruled that he was not satisfied that the applicants have made a case for the relief they sought. He dismissed the application.

At issue was a warrant needed to conduct the searches and seizures that would form part of a fraud, theft, corruption, racketeering and money laundering investigation under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

Kollapen made it clear he was not ruling on whether anybody was guilty or not, but just on the validity of the warrant issued on December 1, 2017, for the search and seizure operation that was conducted on December 4, 2017, News24 reported. 

Outcome welcomed

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Moses Dlamini welcomed the SCA's decision. 

"The IPID is pleased with this outcome," he said. 

"It has always been our contention that the search and seizures were done properly and that the appeal was just a delaying tactic which had no merit from the beginning," Dlamini said.  

Keiting told News24 on Thursday, that he intended approaching the SCA President in terms of section 17(2)(f) and if this fails, he will approach the Constitutional Court. 

He said the judgment was "wrong in law and not consistent with relevant case law". 

"Although there is nothing to hide from the search and seizure, this matter is one of principle to protect the rights of all citizens as the law has been violated and that we require protection under the Constitution," he said.

The period in question in the warrant includes the year 2014, when Phahlane was division head of the police's forensics department.

READ: Dodgy deals: More than 20 police officers linked to contracts with controversial supplier

Part of the investigation was to establish how Phahlane paid for his cars and his house in Pretoria.

The applicants in the matter were Keating, his company Forensic Data Analysis (FDA) which won police contracts, car dealer Durand Snyman, and Christo De Bruin, a friend of Snyman.

The respondents were the Senior Magistrate IP Du Preez who authorised the warrant, the Minister of Safety and Security, Colonel Kobus Roelofse of the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation in the police, Colonel J Du Plooy, and the executive director of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Roelofse had justified the application for a warrant in an affidavit saying it was needed for searches related to an investigation into a R45m police forensics contract that had been recommended in a day, in favour of Keating's FDA. An extra R7m unaccounted for in the tender was allegedly paid to Keating's company, bringing the total to R52m.

Free cars

He was investigating whether Keating moved money via Snyman's bank account, through the dealerships, and then to some police officers who got free cars or over-inflated trade-ins on their private vehicles, allegedly to influence tenders.

The applicants had raised technical problems with the warrant, and had argued that this made the searches and seizures unlawful.

They questioned the vast amounts of documents including bank statements and contract files allowed to be examined and seized at a number of listed addresses, including Phahlane's private home.

They had submitted that the affidavit for the warrant was not commissioned and signed properly, and that the commissioning officer had stated that a "she" had come for the affidavit to be signed and stamped, and not a "he", which would have been Roelofse.

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Read more on:    ipid  |  keith keating  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  courts
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