The affordable education loan option
Cape Town - Western Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer is to meet Community Safety MEC Dan Plato on Tuesday to discuss a Hawks investigation into corruption allegations made against the police chief by crime intelligence officers.
Plato said he would attempt to persuade Lamoer to make a public statement to distance himself from the “serious allegations” – provided they were not based on fact.
He said such a statement was critical for public confidence to be restored in the province’s top cop, while the investigation continued.
A senior police officer has hit back at crime intelligence officers who made criminal allegations against Lamoer and national commissioner Riah Phiyega.
The officer contacted the Cape Argus on Tuesday, saying he was doing so “without an official mandate” and asking that his name be withheld, alleged that the corruption case was unfounded and an attempt to ruin Lamoer’s reputation.
Lamoer had fallen foul of the officers by trying to expose high-level corruption in the crime intelligence unit, the source said.
Details of the case against Lamoer, on which a docket was opened at the Bishop Lavis police station, were leaked to the DA’s spokeswoman on police, Dianne Kohler Barnard, last week.
Kohler Barnard subsequently submitted parliamentary questions to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa about the allegations.
It has since emerged that the Hawks have been investigating Lamoer on allegations of corrupt dealings with a Parow businessman – an investigation that has included phone taps.
Lamoer has refused to comment.
The businessman at the centre of the allegations has denied there has been any wrongdoing in his relationship with Lamoer. He is bringing a civil suit against the crime intelligence officers who, he alleges, tapped his cellphone and accessed his financial records.
The police source said: “It is easy to open a case docket. All you need to do is make a statement at a police station. There is absolutely no fact-checking necessary for a docket to be lodged for investigation. Yet, once the case docket is opened it can be used to do considerable reputational damage to the person being accused.”
The officer said that a group of crime intelligence officers in the Western Cape wanted to see Lamoer taken “out of circulation” to prevent the commissioner from following through on police investigations into crime intelligence corruption.
The source said the same officers had been behind a headline-grabbing affidavit, written by former gangster Pierre Wyngaardt, that implicated high-level Western Cape police in corruption earlier this year. In August, the provincial Director of Public Prosecutions, Rodney de Kock, called Wyngaardt “unreliable” and refused to take further steps to investigate the claims.
Kohler Barnard alleges that her questions to Mthethwa were leaked to Lamoer, who subsequently discussed the corruption investigation with Phiyega
in a phone conversation intercepted by crime intelligence, recordings of which have been heard by the Cape Argus’s sister paper, the Sunday Tribune.
In the tapes, Phiyega tells Lamoer that she has received information about the corruption probe from suspended crime intelligence boss Chris Ngcobo and Hawks chief Anwar Dramat.
In light of this conversation, crime intelligence has accused Phiyega of “defeating the ends of justice”. A docket on this allegation has been opened at the Bishop Lavis police station.
“The national commissioner had no legal right to discuss the investigation with Lamoer, and the police need to answer for that,” said Kohler Barnard.
“Minister Mthethwa needs to speak out on this issue and make recommendations about what action is to be taken against the commissioner.”
Kohler Barnard says Phiyega should be suspended while the Hawks’ investigation is under way.
Crime intelligence’s head office had not responded to the Cape Argus’s queries at the time of going to print.