Judgment was reserved yesterday in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (Ipid) bid to block what it cited as unlawful interference in its investigations into allegations ranging from corruption to murder and torture.
Ipid has accused former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane and North West police members of unlawfully interfering in these investigations.
In the High Court in Pretoria yesterday, Ipid applied for an order declaring it unlawful for any police member to undertake or oversee an investigation of an Ipid member if the police member had a personal interest in it, or was the subject of an Ipid investigation.
Ipid also wants to prevent North West police members from undertaking or overseeing the investigation into Ipid officers and ensure it’s done by police officers with no personal interest in it.
Ipid contended the North West police’s investigation of Ipid investigators, who were probing them for alleged crimes, was unlawful and the officers were breaching their duty to act impartially and that the Ipid officers were entitled to a fair investigation.
Phahlane, who is facing prosecution, Major-General Ntebo Malala and other North West police members opposed the application.
They argued there was no genuine conflict of interest as the cases Ipid was investigating against them were trumped up “cold cases”, instituted at the behest of private forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan.
Ipid said there were strong prima facie cases for prosecution against Phahlane for corruption, fraud and money laundering and the North West police officers on a range of criminal charges.
They were also being probed for alleged torture, murder, assault, kidnapping and intimidation.
Ipid said that McBride, its principal investigator and O’Sullivan had all received anonymous death threats since the investigations began.
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