Tshwane - Acting National Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane on Thursday tore into police watchdog Ipid and “a foreigner”, forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan for what he termed a violation of processes in the ongoing investigations relating to the construction of his upmarket Pretoria house.
“We respect the mandate of Ipid to conduct investigations against any member of the SA Police Service … and I’m not an exception. If there is any wrongdoing, I am to be investigated by Ipid and I’ll comply. What I take exception to is when there is a serious abuse and violation of processes,” Phahlane told reporters in Pretoria.
He said the violation of process can be evidenced by the “bringing in characters like Paul O’Sullivan to lead investigation”.
“That is irregular. That is uncalled for and unthinkable. You can never imagine that kind of a situation in this country. Worse, Paul O’Sullivan is facing criminal charges before the courts. He is facing a myriad of investigations that are pending against him. And you bring him to the house of the acting national commissioner. You allow him to take photographs of the house of the acting national commissioner,” said Phahlane.
“He himself [O’Sullivan] has written an email to me saying he is surveilling my house. Is that not a violation of one’s privacy? Is it not a compromising of one’s security? Any Tom, Dick and Barry can investigate anyone?”
Phahlane said he would give full cooperation to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) “if there was to be a legitimate investigation”. The police chief said he has a bond of R3 million for the construction of the controversial Pretoria property, unlike the R8 million alleged to have been spent.
“I do take serious exception a at the insults directed at me. Someone stands in front of your house, looks at it and values it at R8 million. What criteria did he use to evaluate the house? What interest is he having in the value of my house - as if I’m a constable that was appointed a year ago. I’ve been serving this organisation for 31 years and I was not earning stones. I’m being remunerated as a public servants,” said Phahlane.
“The house was not build for cash. It was build with a bond which is in existence. Some foreigner looks at your house and says this African person doesn’t deserve to be in here. He is the one that must explain the R5 million additional [money] that he is placing there. I’m not going to explain a cent because I’m not aware of such an amount [R8 million] being spent on the house.”
It emerged last week that Ipid was investigating Phahlane and the acting police chief was expected to make a warning statement.
The probe relates to the upmarket house Phahlane built in the Sable Hills Waterfront Estate, north of Pretoria, and his ability to afford the house reportedly valued at R8 million. The career policeman allegedly tried to derail the investigations by contacting witnesses. The original document was opened by O’Sullivan.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini told African News Agency that his institution would decide whether to comment on Phahlane’s remarks after attaining a full record of the police chief’s statements.