South Africa


General Feroz Khan responds to ‘Millionaire top cop at centre of feud between police minister and national commissioner’ article

General Feroz Khan responds to ‘Millionaire top cop at centre of feud between police minister and national commissioner’ article
Illustrative image | Sources: National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole. (Photo: Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Deaan Vivier) | South African Police Minister Bheki Cele (Photo: EPA-EFE / Nic Bothma) | Leila Dougan | Adobe Stock

On 10 September attorney Ian Levitt, on behalf of Major-General Feroz Khan, SAPS head of counter and security intelligence, penned the following letter to the Daily Maverick. We print it here in full.

Please see our companion editorial here.

Major-General Feroz Khan is our client. He has instructed us to address this correspondence to the Daily Maverick.

We refer to the article written by Ms Marianne Thamm and published by Daily Maverick on 20 August 2021 headed “Millionaire top cop at centre of feud between police minister and national commissioner.”

We view the heading to be unfair, misleading and contrary to the Press Code. The article purports to be about a feud between the minister and the National Commissioner of Police, and the notion that our client is embroiled therein.

The illustrative image to the article displays the minister and the Police Commissioner, the SAPS logo in the background and inexplicably, someone holding a large sum of R100 notes.

We do not believe that there is a legitimate or justifiable reason to have included the banknotes as part of the illustrative image. This inclusion unfairly suggests that there is some kind of corruption (involving a cash payment) concerning the feud between the minister and the National Commissioner, and that our client, the so-called “Millionaire top cop” is somehow involved.

However, when reading the article, there is no pointed allegation of corruption by our client or any other member of the SAPS.

Turning specifically to the heading of the article where our client is referred to as the “Millionaire top cop”, our client’s financial standing is not only irrelevant to the conflict between the minister and the National Commissioner, but irrelevant in general. 

An unfortunate and adverse inference may be drawn against our client from the illustrative image and the term “millionaire” in the circumstances where there is no factual basis for this.

The article states that: “Daily Maverick’s attempt to obtain comment from Khan via a WhatsApp to a number registered to him was unsuccessful.”

In this regard, the WhatsApp message was received by our client at 17:38 on 19 August 2021. 

The article was published on 20 August 2021, giving our client limited time to respond. No time limit of any kind was included in the WhatsApp. The suggestion in the circumstances that the author’s attempt to obtain comment was unsuccessful is most unfortunate.

Most notably, the WhatsApp from the author does not deal with allegations of corruption or malfeasance, particularly of the sort depicted in the illustrative image.

The only question asked of our client was whether he had any comment on the minister’s view that our client’s “appointment was not legal and was irregular”.

The request for comment appears to have lacked substance and appears to have been a “tick box” approach.

The article states that certain questions from Brigadier Mashadi Selepe were sought, presumably by the author of the piece. Our client has not seen the questions posed to Brigadier Selepe and does not know when they were sent.

We request that Daily Maverick publish this letter in full, which would be fair to our client.

Lt General Hadebe, the Provincial Commissioner, Limpopo Province handed down a ruling on 16 August 2021 concerning an enquiry into the alleged improper use of delegated powers by our client wherein the following finding was made: “No disciplinary steps be taken against Maj Gen Khan as any attempt to do so will not see the light of possible conviction under the circumstances.”

Lt General Hadebe also found that:

It is my view that Maj Gen Khan was acting in good faith without malice intent focusing in ensuring that the administration of the Division CI is managed efficiently and effective so as to prevent any maladministration taking into account the prevailing situation at the time he was entrusted with the responsibility of an overseer. I therefore conclude that such commitment deserves to be applauded as compared to be negatively judged, not unless the contrary is proven.”

We wish to record that our client has fully disclosed all business interest and is not involved in the feud between the minister and the Police Commissioner at all, let alone from a financial perspective.

We also wish to draw your attention to the Protection of Personal Information Act (“the Act”) which seeks to protect and regulate the processing of personal information, falling into the broader constitutional right to privacy. 

While this must be carefully balanced with the right to freedom of expression, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with the current dispensation insofar as disseminating information obtained from the CIPC is concerned.

In short, we view your article, and preceding steps taken prior to publication as unbalanced and wanting. We ask that you approach stories of this nature in a more balanced manner in fairness, and in ensuring that accurate information is provided to the public.

Our client has nothing to hide, but we ask that you strictly abide to the code that dictates your conduct in the future. We look forward to your response, which shall be expected by no later than close of business on Tuesday the 14th of September 2021.  

Yours faithfully

Ian Levitt Attorneys

Ian Levitt DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Laurence Erasmus says:

    Ian Levitt please respond to DM’s reply of today by close of business tomorrow, 15 September 2021 and do address the question of why a multi-millionaire businessman also wants to remain a Major-General in the crucial position of head of SAPS Counter and Security Intelligence. After the July insurrection it is patently clear that there is no room for the head of CI to moonlight private businesses!

  • David Bristow says:

    … lawyers

  • Chris 123 says:

    The whole top echelons of SAPS is corrupt and incompetent. Why are they all still there? What have they got on Ramaphosa??? Zuma seemed to have no problem putting his people in top SAP positions.

  • Johan Buys says:

    How does an officer of the court get away with saying the personal finances of a top cop is irrelevant in general?

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Good article ,and the lawyers quickly jump to defence of the so called victim,problem is lawyers only help you when you have Money.Everbody in South Africa seems to be above board, strange that the country is in such a mess!!!When the blind can see what’s going on,nobody is allowed to say anything,and so short after 15 million in claims against Genl Veary,Stalingrad tactics seems to be the order of the day,what a crock of@#$ ,DM s articles are a pleasure to read by excellent journalists

    • Stef Viljoen Viljoen says:

      Agreed. Seems that some of our public servants have time to run businesses while working fulltime for the government. Amazingly productive people these. It also seems a lot of them can afford very expensive lawyers. As Jcdville says: everybody sees the symptoms yet very little is being said about the suspicions. Friggen weird…

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted


This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.

Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options