The DA will write to the new Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, to strongly urge him to do what his predecessor, Nathi Nhleko, failed to do, and immediately suspend Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, pending the outcome of the current Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigations into numerous disturbing allegations against him.
Reports today indicate that Phahlane continues to frustrate attempts by IPID to carry out their investigation into allegations that he took money for awarding tenders while he was the head of SAPS forensic services.
Phahlane’s lawyers claim that he is not being investigated by an “independent investigatory body.”
However, the fact is that IPID is the body established by national legislation, to investigate alleged misconduct or offences committed by members of the police service.
Phahlane’s continued refusal to cooperate with IPID is therefore deeply concerning. If he has nothing to hide, he should have no issue with providing IPID with the information they require in a bid to clear his name.
As the head of the SAPS who are responsible for protecting South Africans, it is vital that he be beyond reproach. Therefore, he should give his full cooperation to the investigation and allow IPID to follow due and proper processes.
The SAPS cannot afford to be shaken by more uncertainty in its senior ranks and it is imperative that South Africans are able to trust that SAPS leadership is fit and proper.
It is high time that Mbalula shows he is serious about leading the fight against crime and protecting South Africans by suspending Phahlane pending the outcome of the investigations into him.