Phahlane moved back to head foren­sic ser­vices


ACT­ING na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Kho­motso Phahlane has been re­moved from this po­si­tion by Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma in the wake of al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion against him.

Phahlane was moved back to his po­si­tion as head of foren­sic ser­vices, and re­gional po­lice com­mis­sioner Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Le­setja Moth­iba has been ap­pointed the new act­ing na­tional com­mis­sioner.

How­ever, Phahlane was then re­quested im­me­di­ately by Po­lice Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula to give rea­sons why he should not be sus­pended from his po­si­tion as head of foren­sic ser­vices.

Mbalula noted that the depart­ment had acted quickly against Phahlane fol­low­ing the al­le­ga­tions against him.

But he said due process had to be fol­lowed be­fore ac­tion could be taken.

Mbalula also said the po­lice would have a per­ma­nent head by Au­gust, as sus­pended com­mis­sioner Riah Phiyega’s con­tract ends on June 10.

Moth­iba told the me­dia in Par­lia­ment he would fo­cus on fight­ing crime.

He said he would be meet­ing the min­is­ter to dis­cuss the way for­ward. “We know the min­is­ter pre­sented his bud­get vote last week. My role is to fight crime and pro­vide a ser­vice to the peo­ple of this coun­try,” said Moth­iba.

Mbalula said there were se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct against Phahlane which im­pacted on his fit­ness to hold of­fice.

“The al­le­ga­tions against Phahlane raise ques­tions of con­duct that are in­con­sis­tent with ex­pec­ta­tions that South Africans have of those who hold lead­er­ship po­si­tions in our po­lice ser­vice,” he said.

Mbalula said he had in­formed Zuma of the neg­a­tive im­pact Phahlane’s pres­ence con­tin­ued to have on the po­lice. He said the po­lice’s job was to fight crime in the coun­try and not to be side­tracked.

Mbalula added that the al­le­ga­tions against Phahlane were se­ri­ous and posed a threat to the In­de­pen­dent Po­lice In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate (Ipid).

Phahlane has been in­volved in a fight with Ipid, with both par­ties ac­cus­ing the other of wrong­do­ing. The fight re­sulted in heated ex­changes in Par­lia­ment two weeks ago, and Mbalula will re­turn to Par­lia­ment next week to give an update.

Ipid ac­cused Phahlane of set­ting up a spe­cial unit from North West to ha­rass its in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

But Phahlane hit back, ac­cus­ing Ipid of flout­ing the law in its probe and us­ing pri­vate in­ves­ti­ga­tor Paul O’Sul­li­van.

Mbalula said he would meet the top brass of the po­lice and provin­cial com­mis­sion­ers to­day to brief them.

Speak­ing out against the abuse of po­lice re­sources, he said they would not tol­er­ate what Phahlane did as al­leged by Ipid.

“We will never al­low state ma­chin­ery to be mis­used to ad­dress nar­row in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests. We must in­ter­vene and be de­ci­sive when state re­sources are mis­used,” he said.

This was in ref­er­ence to claims by Ipid that Phahlane was us­ing his of­fice to set up a unit from North West to in­tim­i­date of­fi­cials in­ves­ti­gat­ing him.

Phahlane de­nied this in Par­lia­ment and said the unit was look­ing into his safety af­ter he had been at­tacked dur­ing a rob­bery in Joburg in June last year.

OUT: Kho­motso Phahlane

IN: Le­setja Moth­iba

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