Acting Police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane has reportedly accused forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan of invading his privacy and breaching his security.
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TimesLive reported on Friday that the top cop – who is under investigation for defeating the ends of justice by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) in relation to the upmarket house he built in an estate in Pretoria north – said it was “unthinkable” for a civilian to be a lead investigator in the probe against him.
“He has invaded the privacy and security of the acting national commissioner, seemingly collaborating with officials charged with the critical function of conducting investigations against any SAPS member,” his spokesman, Brigadier Mashadi Selepe, told the news site.
It emerged on Wednesday that O’Sullivan had opened the original docket against Phahlane earlier this year in January alleging that the bond the top cop registered for the property in the exclusive Sable Hills Waterfront Estate was valued considerably lower than the value of the house, which Phahlane built in 2011 and 2012.
However, O’Sullivan has denied the accusations levelled against him, saying he was not leading the investigation against Phahlane.
“It’s ludicrous to suggest I invaded his privacy. He was nowhere near the place. I did not go into his house. Many people go into that estate on a daily basis,” he said.
It is understood that Ipid had been interviewing witnesses to gather information on how Phahlane had managed to afford the construction of his residence, said to be worth about R8 million.
Apparently, he tried to derail investigations by the police watchdog organisation by allegedly contacting witnesses after he learned that Ipid was probing his property, according to sources close to the investigation.
Ipid is also allegedly looking into alleged cash payments to a contractor amounting to R700 000. The money was allegedly stuffed into plastic shopping bags and transported in the boot of a car.
Phahlane maintains he has never been approached or informed of any investigation against him by any “competent authority”.