The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has reportedly ordered acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane to stay away from any investigation involving its officers, News24 reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, a letter of demand sent on behalf of the police watchdog by law firm Adams & Adams to Phahlane and the provincial commissioners for Gauteng and North West, on May 12, alleged the top cop used his position to illegally obtain documents related to the Ipid’s corruption and defeating the ends of justice probe against him.
Phahlane as a suspect in the case was not supposed to have access to the documents.
The letter also stated that the law firm represented Ipid officers Mandlakayise Mahlangu and Temane Binang, who are the lead investigators in Phahlane’s case with the watchdog. The pair have been charged and summoned to appear in court at the end of the month following a criminal case the acting police commissioner opened earlier this year.
This related to the Ipid’s investigation against Phahlane, which was prompted by a complaint from forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan, detailing a string of corruption allegations stemming from the policeman’s time as the head of the SA police service (SAPS) forensics department.
In February, Phahlane lodged civil proceedings against Ipid director Robert McBride, O’Sullivan and his assistant, Sarah Jane Trent, including other parties in his personal capacity in retaliation to the Ipid probe.
The letter from Adams & Adams, according to the News24 report, accused Phahlane of gaining “access to confidential documentation” that formed part of the Ipid’s criminal investigation against him.
Among its demands included requests from him to ensure no police officers facing Ipid investigations become involved in any counter-investigation into Ipid officials, and all communication relating to the assignment of the case against the Ipid officers to the North West police detective team for investigation to be disclosed.
Phahlane had been given until May 15 to respond to the demands or face legal action from the law firm.