‘Blue lights fraud’ case involving SAPS bigwigs to be heard in November

Former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, right, and the police's supply management head Ravichandran Pillay are pictured in the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court, 1 March 2019. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and his 11 co-accused have been charged with fraud, theft, and obstructing or defeating the course of justice.

The so-called blue lights fraud matter, where former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane is one of the accused, is set to go to trial in November.

Phahlane and his 11 co-accused have been charged with fraud, theft, and obstructing or defeating the course of justice in relation to a R191 million tender awarded to a private company to install emergency warning lights on police vehicles.

The other accused in the matter are: General Deliwe De Lange, Major General Nombhuruza Napo, Lieutenant General Ramahlapi Mokwena, Brigadier Ravichandran Pillay, Brigadier James Ramanjalum, Thomas Marima, Maetapese Mulaiwa, Judy Rose, Samantha Andrews and businessman Vimpie Manthatha, along with his company Instrumentation for Traffic law Enforcement Pty Ltd.

According to a statement by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigative Directorate, the specialised commercial crime court based at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday postponed the matter for trial.

Trial date

A spokesperson, Sindisiwe Twala, said the trial has been set down for 16 November to 10 December 2020.

It was previously reported that Manthatha’s company, Instrumentation Traffic Law Enforcement, was awarded a contract in 2016 to supply and install blue lights, sirens and radios in police vehicles. Manthatha allegedly supplied fraudulent tax clearance certificates to SAPS in tender documents.

Since then, the accused were arrested on different dates. De Lange, Mokwena and Ramajalum were arrested in 2018.

Phahlane and Pillay were arrested in 2019.

It was also reported that it’s not the first time Phahlane has found himself in the dock.

In 2018, he and his wife were arrested and charged with corruption, fraud and money laundering for accepting hefty kickbacks, including vehicles, allegedly in exchange for the awarding of lucrative forensic equipment supply tenders to Forensic Data Analysts, owned by Keith Keating.

However, in November of that year charges against the two were provisionally withdrawn in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.




today in print

today in print