South Africa

SAPS IN CRISIS

Former Crime Intelligence secret fund head is facing corruption probe; he is also the new acting divisional commissioner

Former North West Deputy Provincial Commissioner Jan Mabula. (Image: Screen grab) | Adobe Stock | Disgraced acting commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)

A police major-general named as a key enabler and suspect in attempts to thwart an Ipid investigation into former acting national commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has been appointed as acting Crime Intelligence head.

The acting appointment of Major-General Obed Nemutanzhela — from 31 May to 21 June — was confirmed by national SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo.

Nemutanzhela, who controlled the Crime Intelligence slush fund, was thrice charged departmentally by suspended, and then unsuspended, former Crime Intelligence head Lieutenant-General Peter Jacobs.

Nemuntanzhela has been appointed to act in the absence of the present acting divisional commissioner of Crime Intelligence, Major-General Yolisa Mokgabudi. 

The letter confirming the acting appointment was signed by Lieutenant-General Sindile Mfazi, deputy national commissioner of Crime Detection.

In 2017, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) requested that Nemutanzhela be suspended as he was hampering investigations by Ipid into the alleged procurement of surveillance equipment to counter the directorate’s investigations into Phahlane and North West deputy commissioner Jan Mabula.

Mabula, after evading justice for 14 years, now faces charges of extortion, kidnapping and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm relating to a matter dating back to a R14-million robbery in 2006 at a SAPS store in Benoni.

Phahlane, with about 20 other senior SAPS members, also faces charges of fraud and corruption.

Nemutanzhela’s controversial appointment comes while former Crime Intelligence head, Jacobs, continues to challenge his demotion from the position by national commissioner Khehla Sitole. Jacobs did so successfully in the labour court.

Sitole reinstated Jacobs to his job in Crime Intelligence, but subsequently relegated him to the outer tundra of the inspectorate division. 

Nemutanzhela was thrice charged departmentally by Jacobs for serious misconduct, but the investigations appear to have been “parked”. 

Major-General Jeremy Vearey, who has been dismissed by Sitole for his Facebook posts on SAPS, was investigating Nemutanzhela.

In 2017, Ipid wrote to then acting commissioner Lesetja Mothiba, requesting Nemutanzhela be suspended. The letter set out how, in 2013, two requests for the procurement of blinds were submitted and approved by Crime Intelligence.

The first was for R478,900 for a house in Waterkloof Heights and a second for R84,105 for a house in Brooklyn.

An Ipid investigation turned up that the two companies from whom the blinds were procured at taxpayers’ expense did not install “blinds and curtains as per their approved quotations” and in fact did not exist.

“The total amount claimed from the secret service account funds was R563,005, when the actual cost for the service rendered was R78,763,” said Ipid.

Ipid found prima facie evidence of corruption and a contravention of the Public Finance Management Act. DM

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All Comments 11

  • Small potatoes when you consider the rest of the ANC thieves! Obviously testing the water for bigger things? Dear oh dear, when will this end.

  • Cyril’s new dawn at work! Appointing discredited people whose integrity is questionable is characteristic of the ANC. Sies.

  • Another good article Marianne. The police, instead of defending the people, has became the enemy of the people. And the powers within the ruling party simply allow it to happen. South Africa is now a socialist state, and fast running into ruin

  • To suspend high ranking honest cops like Jacobs and Veary ,the rot must be higher up, obviously Sitole is being controlled by someone with more pull than him.It all comes back to the vipers nest (group)who is running the illegal guns,procurement corruption etc.When they started fighting the corruption, the corrupt conglomerate became a cornered snake and is now planning the demise of the corruption busters.So far they are winning,more information is needed to identify this vipers nest.Do not dismiss zumaites,they might not be in power on paper ,but behind the scenes ,they are pulling strings effectively, very sad.

  • We must not forget fall guys or women are created to take the rap.The female colonel at waterkloof airforce base who was set up to take the fall for the permission for guptas to land there.She was exonerated.Similarly some guys get pulled in to take the rap when they are innocent.There must be a sifting of accused, and the courts must decide if the person was made a fall guy to hide the real culprits.This modus operandi is as old as the hills.A right royal mess if you ask me,luckily it is your job to dissect and analyze with facts Marianne Thamm.