Former Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange together with three other senior officers appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court yesterday on fraud and corruption charges.
She was joined by majors-general Nombhuruza Napo and Ramahlapi Mokwena, Brigadier James Ramanjalum, and service provider Tlalefang Manthata.
The five were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) early yesterday.
The directorate’s spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “The arrests relate to procurement irregularities relating to emergency [blue] lights amounting to more than R60 million.”
It was revealed in court, however, that the total figure was actually R84 million.
This was another case which Ipid have cracked with the lawful assistance of Forensics for Justice (FoJ), said FoJ founder and forensic consultant Paul O’Sullivan.
“By way of just one example, these people created an expense of R120 000 per vehicle for blue lights and sirens,” said O’Sullivan. “This is more than 10 times the actual cost.”
De Lange retired last week after more than 35 years of service, telling Eyewitness News last week that it was a voluntary decision. In June, it was widely reported that she had been asked to vacate the Gauteng commissioner post.
KwaZulu-Natal’s commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni retired at the same time as De Lange.
Ngobeni was suspended in May 2016 after she was accused of misconduct. This followed claims that service provider Thoshan Panday paid for a birthday party for her husband.
Panday, accused of defrauding the SA Police Service by inflating hotel-room prices for police guests during the 2010 Fifa World Cup to the tune of R60 million, is a business partner to president Jacob Zuma’s son, Edward.
It is alleged Panday, helped by Colonel Navin Madhoe, offered former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major-General Johan Booysen R2 million to back off, backdate evidence, and then throw out the case.
When Booysen refused, the “Cato Manor death squad” narrative by the Sunday Times began, effectively ending his career.
O’Sullivan noted there were at least another 30 police generals under investigation.
“We have a simple message for all of them: you can run, but you cannot hide. Justice is coming your way.”
The five accused were released on bail.