19 January 2017

South Africa: IPID Conducts Raid On Acting Top Police Chief's Home

Photo: News24
Paul O'Sullivan (Screenshot).

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) conducted a search and seizure raid on Thursday on the private residence of Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.

News24 learnt that the police watchdog obtained a search warrant from a senior judge in the Pretoria High Court to seize R80 000 worth of electronic sound system equipment as part of a corruption and defeating the ends of justice investigation into Phahlane.

The acting police commissioner met with IPID investigators on Thursday morning in order to make a warning statement in relation to the defeating the ends of justice investigation.

News24 understands this relates to the acting commissioner allegedly telling the manager of the Sable Hills Waterfront Estate not to co-operate with investigators.

After obtaining the statement investigators made their way to the estate. Four IPID vehicles stopped outside and negotiated with estate security to be let inside. An SAPS vehicle parked across the road apparently to monitor the situation.

After about 15 minutes investigators, dressed in blue bibs proclaiming their titles, were allowed in. A Tshwane metro police vehicle also arrived and went inside. An hour later all the vehicles left.

Original complaint by O'Sullivan

News24 reported last year that IPID was investigating Phahlane over an allegedly R8m property for which large cash payments were made.

IPID investigators probed alleged cash payments to a contractor totalling R700 000. The money was allegedly in plastic shopping bags in the boot of a car.

Forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan opened the original case against Phahlane in January 2016. He alleged that the bond Phahlane registered for the property was considerably lower than the value of the house, which Phahlane had built in 2011 and 2012.

News24 has seen a badly-written SMS allegedly sent to one of the IPID investigators and O'Sullivan which contained threats against those involved in the probe.

"This is a warning to u. we r aware that u workin fo a big foreign spy paul salivan who is funded by his masters. . . u must stop now. we know where u stay and ur family. U must either choose to die with him [sic]," it reads.

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed one of their investigators had received death threats related to the probe. IPID was taking the threats seriously and would identify the source.

Linked to supplier

News24 understands the investigation looked into an R80 000 home theatre system installed in Phahlane's house. The person who sourced the electronic equipment on Phahlane's behalf was allegedly a director of Crimetech Laboratories, Jolanta Komolodowicz.

Crimetech supplied forensic equipment and chemicals to the police when Phahlane was divisional commissioner for forensics.

Komolodowicz previously told the Citizen that Phahlane visited Crimetech's offices in 2012. Impressed by the decor, he had asked her who her decorator was. Komolodowicz replied she had done it herself.

Phahlane's spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, rejected any suggestion of wrongdoing.

Phahlane previously said that while he respected IPID, he found it unfortunate that the investigation was being conducted through the media. He questioned O'Sullivan's involvement in the investigation, and called him a foreigner.

Source: News24

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