Challenge to Phahlane-linked warrants fails

2018-08-04 09:02
Keith Keating and Khomotso Phahlane. (File)

Keith Keating and Khomotso Phahlane. (File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

A challenge to the validity of a search and seizure warrant related to an investigation into an alleged cars for tenders scam possibly implicating former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and police supplier Keith Keating, failed in the South Gauteng High Court on Friday.

"For all those reasons I am not satisfied that the applicants have made out a case for the relief they seek and that the application falls to be dismissed," ruled Judge Jody Kollapen.

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.

Technical problems

A corruption case against Phahlane, his wife Beauty and co-accused, Durand Snyman was withdrawn in the Commercial Crimes Court in June after the State's application for a further postponement was denied.

The period in question in the warrant includes 2014, when Phahlane was division head of the police's forensics department. Part of the investigation was to establish how Phahlane paid for his cars and his house in Pretoria.

The applicants 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).

READ: A look back into the case against Phahlane

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.

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.

Kollapen settled that by saying the commissioner of oaths had clarified the gender issue, and other issues raised, and decided that the commissioning process was not invalid.

Civilian involvement

Next was a challenge to the IPID and three civilians being allowed to be part of the search and seizure operation. The applicants had submitted that only the police could do this job.

Kollapen found that the Section 24(2) of the IPID Act does allow for IPID investigators to be part of search and seizure operations.

Kollapen said that although it was concerning that some police work had been assigned to three civilians listed on the warrant, he accepted that sometimes specialist help was required. One was a valuator for Phahlane's house, and two were Treasury advisors from Bowman Gilfillan who would help decide whether documents would be relevant.

De Bruin had challenged why he was on the warrant because he had no link to the alleged crimes, and said the warrant contained the identity number of his daughter who lived in Potchefstroom.

Kollapen pointed out that the man had received a car from Keating, which he had registered the car in his daughter's name, and that is why he had been included on the warrant.

Kollapen also awarded costs against the applicants, for two counsel, plus for two counsel at an earlier hearing related to the matter.

Read more on:    saps  |  ipid  |  khomotso phahlane  |  keith keating

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

And the Paws24 and Hill's winners are ...

Find out who the winners of our Paws24 pet pics and Q&a competitions are...

 

Paws

Keep your family and pets safe from rabies
5 scientific benefits of owning a cat
Why we love cats
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.