Besieged Acting Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane says he is squaring up for a legal battle against the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and private forensic investigator Paul o’Sullivan.
This, after a year-long Ipid investigation, prompted by a complaint by O’Sullivan, detailing a string of corruption allegations stemming from the policeman’s time as Saps’s forensics head.
Phahlane allegedly received kickbacks from service providers during this time.
Phahlane told The Citizen yesterday the public should “watch this space” as court proceedings by the Saps were already under way. He said police had evidence of sinister activities between Ipid and the private investigator.
“He is working with elements of Ipid. We have proof of him being all over the place there taking statements,” he said, saying that he believed these “elements were not happy with him and wanted him out of service”.
“He (O’Sullivan) claims all government entities are corrupt, except Ipid. Isn’t it ironic that that is the one he is working with?”
Earlier this month, police raided the acting commissioner’s home after obtaining a search warrant in connection with allegations of corruption and defeating the ends of justice.
“It’s terrible to be reading about your own affairs in the newspapers and listening to people spreading inaccurate information to serve their own agendas,” he said, adding that the scandal was putting a strain on him personally. “While it can’t take the focus away from what one is supposed to be doing, it does take up time continuously responding to media enquiries and so on.”
Asked for comment, O’Sullivan promptly challenged the acting commissioner to “bring it on”.
He said claims by Phahlane that he was pushing an agenda against him were not new and had been made by other top police officials he had investigated, including former police commissioners Jackie Selebi, Bheki Cele and Riah Phiyega.
“That’s rubbish. I don’t work for anybody’s agenda and it’s a bit like déjà vu.
“What he’s coming out with, was the same with Selebi. Selebi also launched an application to stop an investigation.”
Phahlane questioned the investigator’s motives.
“In all instances, who is the main person? It’s Paul O’Sullivan. He is so instrumental in all of this and you may ask yourself the question: does he have the interest of the country at heart? If he has, then why would he want to peddle information and go to places like the UK and say what he is saying.”
Phahlane has also lashed out at the DA after it announced it would hand over a forensic report to Ipid, which it claims is evidence of further alleged corruption by the top cop. This is the same 2013 report released last month, which the acting commissioner said cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Yesterday, he said it was ironic that the Saps released the report and made it available in 2014. “Two years someone says they are releasing this information.”
Phahlane is also embroiled in a legal battle against police union Popcru over the allegations ranging from procurement irregularities, fraud and allowing state money to be used to pay for a birthday party.
The union’s spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, said yesterday that the matter was still in litigation.