Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane on Wednesday said he was never approached or informed of an investigation of defeating the ends of justice against him.
“The acting national commissioner was shocked to learn through reports circulating in the media that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is conducting an investigation of “defeating the ends of justice” and have issued a warning statement against him in relation to this matter,” SAPS said in a statement.
“Lieutenant General Phahlane was at no stage approached and/or informed of any investigation against him by any authority competent to conduct such investigations, including Ipid. It is thus strange that allegations of interference with witnesses have been made through the media without the acting national commissioners having been approached with the particulars of any such matter.”
The South African Police Service (SAPS) said that this was contrary to the established practice and procedure of obtaining warning statements following an engagement with the person under investigation by a competent investigation authority.
On Wednesday, it was reported that IPID was investigating Phahlane and the acting police chief was expected to make a warning statement.
The probe reportedly relates to an upmarket house Phahlane built in the Sable Hills Waterfront Estate, north of Pretoria, and his ability to afford the house worth about R8 million. He allegedly tried to derail investigations by contacting witnesses. The original document was opened by forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan.
On Wednesday, the SAPS said that it was “unthinkable that a civilian, namely Paul O’Sullivan” would be the lead investigator as could be deduced from media reports.
“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. The South African Police Service respects the mandate of IPID to investigate any member of the SAPS, irrespective of rank or title,” the police said.
“The Acting National Commissioner will, despite the malicious attempts to harm and damage his reputation and integrity, commit his full cooperation with the investigators but was saddened that news of such an investigation was leaked to the media before he had an opportunity to learn the details of the investigation and provide his version.”
The SAPS urged all members to not be shaken or diverted from their resolve to ensure they serve communities.
The Ipid could not be contacted for comment.
African News Agency