Suspended top cop Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane’s lawyers have threatened legal action against the Independent Police Investigative Directive (Ipid) for “unlawfully” raiding his Pretoria home this week.
The Citizen has obtained a letter authored by BDK Attorneys detailing several breaches of procedure, which allegedly arose in the process of obtaining as well as executing the search and seizure warrant by Ipid. The lawyers claim not only was the warrant itself unlawful – being vague and “overboard” – but that Ipid officers broke the law and seized items that had nothing to do with the investigation.
The warrant sought seizure of “all computer hardware and software and all optical and magnetic storage devices which are used to generate and/or produce information and/or documents”.
According to the lawyers, the state seized Phahlane’s electronic property, regardless of whether any information contained in it had any bearing on the investigation. It was also alleged officers failed to produce a copy of the supporting affidavit for the warrant.
Notable in the letter was Phahlane’s claim that officers mistreated his children.
“Our client also takes extreme exception to the unlawful manner in which the persons executing the warrant treated their children, including three minor children,” the letter reads.
Ipid raided Phahlane’s home, Keith Keating’s Forensic Data Analysts offices and home, car dealer Durand Snyman’s office and home, Colonel Johann Potgieter’s home of the Saps Technology Management Services and Phahlane’s sister’s house, where a vehicle was seized.
This was part of their investigation into allegations of fraud and money laundering against Phahlane, who was suspended earlier this year. Last month Ipid sent a letter to then acting police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba, with new allegations.
It claimed to have evidence suggesting Phahlane and his wife, Beauty, a brigadier at Saps’ Technology Management Services, got cars by Snyman. The cars were allegedly paid for by a man who is a service provider for Saps. Phahlane has denied the claims, saying he had two cars for 18 months sponsored by Snyman and has since returned them.