Cape Town - Police raided the Paarl home of former acting Western Cape crime intelligence head, Brigadier Mzwandile Tiyo, on Monday - a move slammed by his attorney Richard Brown as an act of victimisation.
Tiyo was the complainant in the case against national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, who was investigated for allegedly defeating the ends of justice after she allegedly tipped off Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer that crime intelligence and the Hawks were investigating him.
Phiyega was not charged but soon afterwards Tiyo was removed from his position.
Lamoer has been accused of having a corrupt relationship with Cape Town businessman Salim Dawjee.
He, Dawjee and Brigadier Joe van der Ross, together with a married police couple, brigadiers Sharon and Kolindren Govender, face more than 109 charges including corruption, racketeering and money laundering.
Lamoer and his co-accused appeared in the Goodwood Magistrate’s Court on Friday and were each granted R5 000 bail. They are expected to appear again on June 12.
Brown believes Tiyo is being
victimised for his role in the investigations that led to the court appearance last week.
Brown added the police raided his client’s home under the pretence that the police’s vehicle clearing unit had to “establish whether or not my client was using a false licence plate for his vehicle”.
Brown said Tiyo was involved in a collision, in 2013, and the police recorded his number plate at the time. It was apparently the false one.
“The raid was apparently to confirm his number plate and his engine number. The number plate and engine number are supposed to match up. At the time of the collision (they) did not.”
Brown said his client was involved in crime intelligence. “As part of the operations, whenever there is anything covert, the people involved apply to use a false registration number to protect their identity.
“We will be adding to that claim, the execution of the search warrant this morning, as a further example of the unfairness he is being subjected to.”
The Cape Argus visited Tiyo’s home in Paarl on Monday, shortly after the raid took place. A neighbour initially said Tiyo was not home but when he noticed our photographer taking pictures, he phoned him.
Tiyo came out a few minutes later and confirmed there had been a raid but referred questions to his attorney.
Tiyo added he did not want to say anything else because he has a case against the State at the Labour Court and did not want to jeopardise that.
Brown said his client was not aware anything was taken during the raid.
“He is currently on sick leave, that started as soon as this came to light. He has suffered from debilitating stress as you can imagine.
“I do not have instructions on anything that was taken. Given what was explained to me as the aim of the exercise, nothing should have been taken.”
Police spokeswoman Brigadier Novela Potelwa said their office could confirm that members attached to the police Vehicle Identification Security System, with a valid search warrant, visited premises in Paarl on Monday as part of an investigation.
She added that there was nothing “untoward” about the execution of the warrant as it was valid.
“We reject insinuations that the execution of the search warrant is connected to the investigations against Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer,” she said.