Court rules in favour of IPID in case against North West police officials

2018-06-28 18:42
Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Magistrate's Court. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled in favour of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) which sought to stop South African Police Service (SAPS) members who have a personal interest in cases from investigating the police watchdog's members.

The ruling was delivered on June 21, following arguments. The written judgment was, however, released on Thursday.

"No member of the South African Police Services may oversee or conduct an investigation, or render assistance with an investigation, in respect of a matter concerning a member of the [IPID] in which he or she has personal interest or a financial interest or any other interest which might preclude him or her from exercising or performing his or her powers, duties and functions in an objective manner," the court said.

The High Court also ruled that if during an investigation it appears to a member of the SAPS that a matter concerns a financial or other interest of that member, they should immediately and fully disclose the fact and nature of that interest to the national commissioner of police. They should also withdraw from any further involvement in that investigation.

In heads of argument, IPID said it was unlawful for police officers to conduct investigations in which they have a personal interest against IPID officers who are investigating them.

The police watchdog sought the declaratory relief against the investigation of three IPID investigative officers by a team of SAPS detectives in the North West, led by the North West deputy commissioner, Major General Ntebo Jan Mabula.

SAPS members investigated for torture, murder

The IPID officials who were charged, Mandlakayise Mahlangu, Temane Binang and Mantsha Raphesu, have been leading the investigation into corruption and money laundering charges against former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. 

An affidavit by IPID executive director Robert McBride had formed part of the papers in the court application. In it, he makes startling allegations about a North West police detective team that is investigating Mahlangu and Binang in what is known as the Kameeldrift case.

READ: Phahlane off the hook, after corruption case withdrawn

Most of the members of the North West team are also being investigated by IPID for various serious offences, including torture and murder.

The respondents include Mabula, Phahlane, North West police commissioner General Baile Motshwenyane, North West provincial head of commercial crimes investigation Brigadier Daniel Pharasa Ncube, the minister of police, provincial commander of the Special Crimes Unit Lieutenant Colonel Ismail Dawood, provincial head of organised crime Brigadier Matome Kgorane and provincial police services Colonel SM Reddy.

However, it was ordered that Mabula, Ncube, Dawood, Kgorane and Reddy be removed with immediate effect from the investigation in the Kameeldrift case, where criminal charges were brought against Mahlangu, Binang, attorney Sarah Jane Trent and forensic consultant Paul O'Sullivan.

Read more on:    ipid  |  khomotso phahlane

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