Ipid bat­tles SAPS, Hawks

Bat­tle grows fiercer as an Ipid in­ves­ti­ga­tion into jobs for pals at the SAPS heats up

CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO abram.mashego@city­press.co.za

Ten­sions have ratch­eted up even fur­ther be­tween the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid), the SA Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS) and the Hawks af­ter the seizure of three com­put­ers used by se­nior Lim­popo po­lice of­fi­cers that were con­fis­cated dur­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged pro­vin­cial po­lice-jobs-for-pals scan­dal. The on­go­ing fight be­tween the law en­force­ment agen­cies – which has seen claims of high trea­son, con­spir­a­cies, plots and coun­ter­claims – moved to the Polok­wane High Court this week where Lim­popo pro­vin­cial com­mis­sioner, Ma­jor Gen­eral Nneke Jimmy Led­waba, ap­plied for the re­turn of the three com­put­ers that Ipid seized in De­cem­ber.

In their search-and-seizure war­rant, Ipid ap­plied to con­fis­cate the com­put­ers of pro­vin­cial hu­man re­sources head Ma­jor Gen­eral Hlaudi Mo­rakaladi, who is a close as­so­ci­ate of Hawks head Ma­jor Gen­eral Mthandazo Ntle­meza, as well as two other se­nior po­lice hu­man re­source of­fi­cials.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion fol­lowed two crim­i­nal com­plaints laid by po­lice of­fi­cers in the prov­ince’s Westen­berg re­gion, who al­leged that job can­di­dates’ in­ter­view scores were al­tered to ben­e­fit those close to se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers in Novem­ber last year.

Ac­cord­ing to Ipid’s found­ing af­fi­davit, the case cen­tres on the post of head of labour re­la­tions, a job with the rank of full colonel. The post was ad­ver­tised, sev­eral can­di­dates were in­ter­viewed and a high-scor­ing can­di­date was rec­om­mended.

In his re­spond­ing pa­pers, Led­waba said Ipid should re­turn the com­put­ers be­cause they are used in the po­lice’s day-to-day op­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Led­waba, Ipid’s war­rant was un­law­ful as it was non­spe­cific.

The case was fi­nalised af­ter an out-of-court set­tle­ment and Ipid agreed to hand back the com­put­ers af­ter they had fin­ished down­load­ing and copy­ing the in­for­ma­tion on their hard drives.

How­ever, three se­nior Ipid of­fi­cials told City Press that the body was in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether a se­nior of­fi­cial changed the can­di­date’s scores on the com­puter and al­lo­cated the post to an­other can­di­date.

City Press has learnt that the al­leged jobs-for-pals scan­dal came to light af­ter one of the in­ter­view panel mem­bers re­fused to sign off on the al­tered scores and blew the whis­tle.

The panel mem­ber, whose name is known to City Press, al­legedly told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he was pres­surised into sign­ing off on the new ap­point­ment that was given to the sec­ond-high­est-scor­ing can­di­date, who was al­legedly favoured by the chair­per­son.

Ipid is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion and fur­ther al­le­ga­tions that po­lice jobs and pro­mo­tions in the prov­ince were sold for amounts rang­ing from R10 000 to R40 000, de­pend­ing on the se­nior­ity of the rank ap­plied for.

“Some em­ployed their fam­ily mem­bers and used the po­lice as an em­ploy­ment agency,” said one Ipid in­ves­ti­ga­tor.

Shortly be­fore the high court could hear the ur­gent court ap­pli­ca­tion, the SAPS and Ipid reached an out-of-court set­tle­ment. In terms of the set­tle­ment, the po­lice watch­dog may down­load in­for­ma­tion from the com­put­ers and use IT ex­perts to an­a­lyse a num­ber of ap­point­ments that they be­lieve could be ir­reg­u­lar.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is now ex­ac­er­bat­ing the bit­ter re­la­tions be­tween Ipid, the SAPS and the Hawks that have led to se­nior of­fi­cers open­ing cases against one an­other.

Ipid head Robert McBride and his team are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing charges of cor­rup­tion and de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice against act­ing po­lice com­mis­sioner Kho­motso Phahlane, who is al­leged to have bought a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand house. A large pro­por­tion of the pur­chase price was al­legedly paid for in cash.

Phahlane de­nies this and is yet to make a warn­ing state­ment to Ipid, while the Na­tional Prose­cut­ing Author­ity (NPA) is mulling over whether or not he should be pros­e­cuted. The docket is now with the di­rec­tor of pub­lic pros­e­cu­tions for north Gaut­eng, Si­bongile Mziny­athi.

Ipid is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing Ntle­meza for de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice in re­la­tion to threat­en­ing SMSes al­legedly sent to Ipid in­ves­ti­ga­tors. The direc­torate is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing se­nior Hawks mem­bers on charges of kid­nap­ping, as­sault and in­tim­i­da­tion in a case opened by SA Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) deputy di­rec­tor Vlok Syming­ton.

City Press has also learnt that the NPA has de­cided to pros­e­cute the Hawks of­fi­cers in­volved in Syming­ton’s case, in­clud­ing Ntle­meza’s right­hand man and head of the Hawks’ unit for crimes against the state, Bri­gadier Nyameka Xaba, who also in­ves­ti­gated Fi­nance Min­is­ter Pravin Gord­han. The NPA has also or­dered that Ipid ob­tain state­ments from Syming­ton and Sars com­mis­sioner Tom Moy­ane.

The Hawks, in turn, have also upped their fight against McBride. Two weeks ago they sum­moned him to make a warn­ing state­ment re­lat­ing to a case of de­feat­ing the ends of jus­tice dat­ing back to when he was the head of the Ekurhu­leni Metro Po­lice.

The po­lice re­ferred City Press’ en­quiries to Ipid, which did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

TALK TO US What are the crime trends in your neigh­bour­hood? Has crime gone up while the po­lice and Ipid have been fight­ing in­ter­nal wars?

SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word Ipid and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50

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