Picture: Tim Brauteseth
Johannesburg - “I did not buy cars for former police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane and his family members. I also did not sponsor police to travel to London to watch a soccer game featuring Manchester United.”

This was the vehement response of Keith Keating of Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) over allegations that his company had obtained major tenders from the South African Police Service, allegedly amounting to billions of rand.

This was due to Keating’s alleged friendship with former police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.

Phahlane has denied the allegations. Keating has made a similar denial.

He said the reason for the allegations was a plot by certain people to take over his company. He said the plot was concocted in a similar manner to the way in which the Guptas allegedly took over Optimum Mine.

Earlier this month, the Hawks raided the properties of Phahlane and Keating following a report by Ipid which linked them to acts of illicit dealing.

In that report, it was also alleged that Phahlane’s family members, wife and sister also benefited from the deals.

The allegations that Keating sponsored a trip for a soccer match were made by the DA’s Tim Brauteseth during a Scopa meeting in Parliament on December 7.

Brauteseth produced the photograph of the two SAPS members posing with Keating in Manchester United-branded shirts with their names on the back and standing outside Old Trafford, Manchester.

Former acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane. File picture: Matthews Baloyi/ANA

Read: Cops' all-expenses-paid UK trip under spotlight

But Keating denies the claims. He said the two officers were in Cambridge for an officially-sanctioned conference regarding Radio Frequency Identification Technology.

He said he attended the same conference.

In a press release from Keating, he said the allegations against him were arbitrarily aimed at ending his contracts with the police service. He said unnamed people were spreading the rumours after they failed to secure huge shares in his company.

“FDA has been exposed to hostile corporate takeover tactics which began with a demand to hand over shares in the company without compensation, with stern threats of dire consequences should these demands not be met.

“Proof of these threats have been reported to Sita (State Information Technology Agency), but no action has been taken to date,” Keating said.

He said threats of a take-over of his company were similar to the Gupta-style take-over of the Optimum Mine through Tegeta, whose shareholders include President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane. “These are reminiscent of the methods employed to force Optimum Coal into business rescue, allowing it to be bought for scraps by Tegeta and to take over Optimum’s government coal supply contracts.

“It is now common cause that a series of irregularities had given rise to Tegeta’s take-over of Optimum.

“Moreover, there is reason to believe that an ongoing rift between two high-ranking government officials may also be at play in this matter.

“This became clear subsequent to a raid being performed on various properties, purportedly focused on Lieutenant General Phahlane,” Keating said.

He did not reveal the names of the high-ranking government officials.

In the matter related to vehicles, Keating confirmed knowing car dealer Durand Snyman but denied purchasing vehicles for Phahlane and his family from him.

Keating said he did not buy cars and instead purchased a game farm and equipment from Snyman.

“The numbers reported in the media, alleged to have been payments for those vehicles, do not accurately add up; as these numbers purport that some of the vehicles were not purchased by Snyman’s customers, when in fact they were.”

Saturday Star