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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

Police spent R100m on cars that they do not use – report

Police crime intelligence has not done undercover work in two years as the vehicles gather dust.

Police crime intelligence spent R100 million on vehicles only for them to gather dust and remain unused.

The cars which include Audi A3s and A4s luxury sedans, Golf GTI’s and Ford Everest remain parked at the police intelligence headquarters in Pretoria.

The City Press reports that R12 million was spent on Ford Everests during the 2020/21 financial year.

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The 80 unmarked cars were requested by intelligence officers responsible for carrying out undercover operations.

Costly vehicles idle

The publication reports that most of the vehicles are unregistered and have now forfeited their factory-issued warranties due to standing idle for over a year.

“Those vehicles were never allocated to anyone and remain idle at the head office. Another purchase was R70 million for Volkswagen Amarok bakkies, Audi A3s and A4s and Golf 8 GTIs.

“Just like the Everests – which had their warranties forfeited because they had not been serviced, as prescribed during the purchase – these ones will have a similar fate,” the newspaper quoted a source in the unit.

Vehicles not being allocated has been a major concern within the crime intelligence community, with some officers accusing the unit’s leadership of behaving detrimentally towards the unit while claiming to be cutting costs.

The unit hasn’t done much work and owes utilities at safe houses.

“There hasn’t been a meeting for undercover operations this entire year. Rent at the safe houses hasn’t been paid, forcing some undercover agents to work at police stations, which has blown their cover

“Getting claims paid to informers is also a challenge,” another source privy to the developments told the publication.

The insider added that while cost-cutting measures are always said to be the priority, both crime intelligence head Major General Dumisani Khumalo and chief financial officer Philani Lushaba have been crisscrossing the country in the police service’s private jet, instead of using commercial airlines.

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Spending linked to ANC

The financial affairs of the crime intelligence unit have taken centre stage, with some suspecting that its funds were being preserved for political campaigning ahead of next year’s general election.

An affidavit from suspended crime intelligence secret services account chief financial officer Tiyani Hlungwani, which was handed to Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, laid bare some of the dodgy dealings in the unit.

Hlungwani revealed a plan to spend an inflated R45 million on the acquisition of a so-called “grabber” communication surveillance device during the ANC’s elective conference in December 2017.

The funds were allegedly intended for buying votes for then-elective conference contender Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma against the current party president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

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