Police watchdog organisation Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has reportedly reopened murder, torture and kidnapping investigations against a team of 21 police officers allegedly formed by acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane.
The Times reported on Friday, the team of men, who range in rank from warrant officer to major-general, are former members of the Klerksdorp Organised Crime Unit and are currently under the employ of the North West detective services division.
The crimes the policemen are suspected to have committed apparently date back to 2006 and include the murder of four robbery suspects.
“The men in Phahlane’s team, says an Ipid source, are the ‘go-to guys’ when cops at the top of the heap are in trouble with the law.
“Some of them were allegedly used to intimidate prosecutors by former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi during his corruption investigation and trial,” the report stated.
The acting national police commissioner, accused of corruption and money-laundering by the Ipid, is said to have announced the formation of the team shortly after he identified private investigator Paul O’Sullivan as a “a security breach” at his luxury Pretoria home for photographing the house.
O’Sullivan is a complainant in Ipid’s probe against Phahlane.
“Ipid has recently become aware of new torture allegations against these officers, which are now also being investigated.
“The murder and torture investigations, like those against Phahlane, were not investigated when they should have been,” Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini told the paper.
He said the body was also investigating members of the team for intimidating people who might testify against Phahlane.