News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
9 Sep 2017
5:20 am

Phahlane demands his money, apology for defamation

Virginia Keppler

The court ordered Popcru members to eat humble pie.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 14: Former Acting National Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane opens up about his recent beauty spa attack during an interview on June 14, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Phahlane says when the two gunmen confronted him, like a policeman, he had to defend himself. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Lisa Hnatowicz)

Former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Kgomotso Phahlane yesterday appeared briefly in the High Court in Pretoria to oppose an application of leave to appeal brought by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and four of its members.

The application follows a judgment by the high court on June 30 when Popcru, the union’s secretary, Steve Matsemela, and three other members were ordered to pay Phahlane R350 000 compensation in a defamation case against them.

The court also ordered them to tender a public and written apology to be published in leading newspapers by the end of August.

Popcru and the other members alleged there was corruption within the forensic services under Phahlane’s leadership which they said dated back to 2012.

The defamatory allegations included corruption, drugs and rhino horns that went missing.

A few days before the deadline on which they had to make the public apology, Popcru brought an application for leave to appeal and, on the day of the deadline, the others also brought their applications. The applications were postponed until later this month.

Phahlane told Saturday Citizen he was at court to oppose their applications.

“In my view, there are no prospects of success for Popcru and the others,” he said.

“These were the same allegations [forensic investigator] Paul O’Sullivan and [Ipid head] Robert McBride were making,” Phahlane said.

When asked what he was doing with his free time, he said he was doing very well.

“I know I offend some people when I say I am in a very good space after a long time and I am much more relaxed.

“I am enjoying myself. I am also much more focused and energised and am busy with my studies.

“When the time comes, I will fly the country’s flag high again,” he said.

Phahlane said he also appreciated the time he now spent with his family.

“I attend to my kids more and spending quality time with my family means a lot to me.”

Phahlane was removed from his post as acting national police commissioner when his contract expired on June 1.

He still receives his monthly salary. He faces allegations of corruption by Ipid and has not returned to his post as forensic services divisional commissioner. –