Phahlane case report will be key
A FORENSIC report in the R84 million fraud matter against former top cop Khomotso Phahlane looks set to form the basis of the State’s case against the former national commissioner.
This came as the defence told the court that a date for the trial was imminent in the long-running matter.
The State’s case against Phahlane and other senior officers related to alleged tender irregularities in 2016 during the bidding process to install, among others, blue lights, sirens and radio equipment in Gauteng police vehicles.
The other accused are former Gauteng police head General Deliwe de Lange, Major-General Nombhuruza Napo, who is Gauteng’s current deputy police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Ramahlapi Mokwena, national divisional commissioner for supply chain management, Brigadier Ravi Pillay and Brigadier James Ramanjalum, SAPS head of procurement.
Yesterday at the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, sitting in Palmridge, State advocate Richard Chabalala said the delays in the matter, where the last appearance was in December, was to allow the prosecution to complete a forensic probe on the accused.
This followed a “searchand-seizure” operation on the home of Vimpie Manthata, whose company, Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, allegedly fraudulently won the lucrative tender in 2016 by using a bogus tax-clearance certificate.
Manthata charges were provisionally withdrawn in December last year.
“An unsigned report has been received from (law firm) ENSafrica. The reason why it is a draft report is because ENSafrica is a third party.
“The report has been given to the defence. If there is any exculpatory evidence or any comments which the defence wishes to add, they can do so,” Chabalala said.
“On the next date of appearance, the State will make copies of the charge sheet and the docket available to the defence,” Chabalala added.
The prosecutor had said in December last year that the “search-and-seizure” operation carried out in July last year on Manthata’s premises had allegedly garnered more evidence for the prosecution.
Chabalala did not reveal the nature of the new evidence.
Yesterday, Kineil Muthray, legal representative for Napo and Pillay, confirmed receipt of the ENSafrica forensic report, and that the prosecution had agreed to make copies of the charge sheet available to the defence.
“This will give the defence time to study the docket and charge sheet, and thereby set a date for trial,” Muthray said.
This was agreed upon by Phahlane’s lawyer Piet du Plessis, who also spoke on behalf of the other accused.
The matter returns in May.