Could a raid on IPID's offices be imminent?

2017-05-31 17:49
Khomotso Phahlane (File, Netwerk24)

Khomotso Phahlane (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Police watchdog IPID is expecting the police’s national Intervention Unit to raid their offices as part of what they believe is a counter attack to their ongoing investigation into Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

News24 understands the raid will be an attempt to prove that the allegations Phahlane made in Parliament where he alleged that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is not independent and is being controlled by outsiders.

Phahlane called IPID “OPID” in reference to forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan.

Also read: IPID vs SAPS: Stepping over the thin blue line

IPID denied this and maintains that if a raid does happen, it will be on the instructions of Phahlane who they believe is interfering in their investigation into him.

Last week IPID launched an urgent application before the Pretoria High Court to interdict Phahlane and a team of detectives from the North West who have charged the two investigating officers in the Phahlane corruption and money laundering case.

The members of the North West team are themselves the centre of at least seven investigations by IPID on allegations of torture and murder.

IPID said in the court papers that a police officer who is being investigated by IPID should not be allowed to in turn investigate any IPID official.

An affidavit by IPID executive Robert McBride in the court papers revealed that they have referred their Phahlane case to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Police spokesperson Major General Sally de Beer, however, said they were unaware of such an action, referring to the raids that could take place.

'Power abuse'

But IPID is convinced the raid is being planned.  

“It is shocking that a suspect in an investigation could stoop to such levels to shield himself from a legitimate investigation,” said IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini. “The audacity to abuse power and disregard for the rule of law for personal interest is staggering.”

In a press statement, IPID said the raid was on the instruction of Phahlane and that the National Intervention Unit was on standby for the raid.

McBride said it was shocking that police resources would be used to shield a suspect just because of the position he holds. He said this was reminiscent of similar conduct by the same policemen, who arrested Advocate Gerrie Nel and others "to protect their masters".

IPID said they will not stop their investigations as the allegations are serious and they have so far found merit in them. IPID said they would safeguard their independence and is committed to investigating without fear, favour or prejudice.

Spokesperson for the police minister Vuyo Mhaga said Minister Fikile Mbalula would not necessarily be aware of a planned raid on IPID’s offices.

“This standoff between the police and IPID, the Minister cannot really be seen as getting involved. He cannot interfere on matters between units,” Mhaga said.
 

 

Read more on:    police  |  ipid  |  khomotso phahlane  |  robert mcbride

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