The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) had a follow up meeting with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on investigations of high profile cases. The presentation addressed background to the cases under investigation which included the case of corruption against the former National Commissioner of Police, Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, involving the construction of his house and corrupt relationships with service providers. The presentation looked at court cases involving the investigation, how the investigation progressed, suspects and enablers and counter investigations involving a SA Police Service (SAPS) team in the North West. The Committee was also updated on IPID’s investigation of Marikana, litigation and persisting interference.
The Committee questioned why reconstruction of scene two of IPID’s investigation of Marikana still did not materialise – Members were concerned that this was deliberately delayed by interests implicated in scene two. More information on this was requested along with the paper trail of correspondence. Other Members cautioned against hearing only the side of IPID on the matter – a complete picture was required which required the Committee to hear from the National Prosecuting Authority. The Committee questioned recommendations made by IPID regarding SAPS Public Order Policing inadequacies, which also stemmed from the Marikana incident. It was clear POP was consistently unable to manage public order situations. This reckless action was concerning. The root causes needed to be dealt with. Were IPID’S recommendations in this regard taken seriously by SAPS?
IPID was asked if it cautioned SAPS from doing business with corrupt service providers, based on the findings of the Directorate’s investigations. IPID was informed of other companies directed by corrupt individuals, such as Mr Keith Keating, whose company was implicated in irregular contracts with SAPS, securing further tenders to supply SAPS with DNA sampling kits, worth an unspecified amount. IPID was urged to investigate this further along with a company supplying the Namibian police – the company was owned by a former senior SAPS General.
IPID was asked when the Gen. Phahlane case was back in court and action taken against other SAPS Generals involved in corrupt dealings, or signing off without following processes and contravening the Public Finance Management Act. In effect, two years ago, the flag was raised regarding Gen. Phahlane and Mr Keating et al. Two years later, there are criminal proceedings against Gen. Phahlane, two Generals are on extended holiday and absolutely no action was taken against the other role-players.
A key point of discussion was the funding of IPID – Members questioned who was blocking the Directorate from securing the funding it required to carry out its mandate effectively and properly investigate corruption in the SAPS. IPID was requested to submit a detailed submission to the Committee on the costs involved in fighting corruption so it can assist the Directorate on the matter of funding by putting pressure on other Committees and Treasury.
Members were also concerned that documents IPID required from SAPS, which contained details of procurement, still had not been declassified – these documents were required for IPID to conduct its investigations. Members asked who was standing in the way of these documents being declassified. It was said the reasonable inference to make is that individuals are being protected and that is why documents are not being provided.
The Committee questioned the ideal IPID post establishment, vetting, scope of the IPID investigations, IPID investigators recruited by SAPS, outsourcing of investigations and improvement of the relationship between the Directorate and SAPS since its last engagement with the Committee.
There was discussion on the need for amendments of the IPID Act to close loopholes such as the launching of counter investigations by SAPS members against IPID and its investigators. Members asked if IPID raised these pressing concerns with the Portfolio Committee on Police, who had oversight of IPID.
Chairperson’s Introductory Comments
The Chairperson noted that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) fulfilled a critical legislative function. The SA Police Service (SAPS) was expected to fight corruption and not itself be a haven of corruption – this was where IPID came in. This was the context in which the Committee met with IPID.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID): SCOPA Presentation
Mr Matthews Sesoko, Head: National Investigations, IPID, took Members through the presentation. By way of introduction, IPID reported to SCOPA on numerous high profile cases that are investigated by the Directorate in line with section 28 of the IPID Act, 2011. Offences committed ranged from corruption, theft, money laundering, racketeering and defeating the ends of justice. These cases involved:
- Allegation of a corrupt relationship between former police National Commissioner, Gen. Khomotso Phahlane, and service providers, Crimetech and Kriminalistik owned by Henry Deale and Jolanta Kmolodovitzc (Kameeldrift Cas 145/09/2017). Amount involved is R96 million
- Allegation of a corrupt relation between Gen. Phahlane and a service provider, FDA, owned by Keith Keating (Sinoville Cas 146/05/2017). The estimated amount is R5 billion
- Allegation of corruption against Gen. Adeline Shezi (who was the head of SAPS Technology Management Services)
- Allegation of defeating the ends of Justice against Gen. Makhele
- Allegation of torture, murder and defeating the ends of justice against the Mabula Team
- Allegation of a corrupt relation between Morris “KGB” Tshabalala, Gen. Nemutanzhela and a service provider to the Crime Intelligence Division (Lyttelton CAS 170/12/2015). Amount involved is R563 005
- Allegation of corrupt relations between members of Crime Intelligence and a service provider, Brainwave Trading as I-view Integrated Systems (Brooklyn Cas 565/11/2017). The amount involved is estimated at R54 million (I-View one)
- Allegation of corrupt relations between members of Crime Intelligence and a service provider, Brainwave Trading as I-view Integrated Systems (IPID CCN 2018010527). The amount involved is estimated at R45 million (I-View two)
- Allegation of corrupt relations between members of SAPS and a service provider, I-View, for procurement of bulletproof vests at inflated price
- Marikana investigations
There are two investigations involving Gen. Phahlane:
1. The house investigation in terms of Kameeldrift Cas 145/09/2017 (Phahlane Investigation One)
2. The vehicles investigations in terms Sinoville Cas (Phahlane Investigation Two) 146/05/2017
During the course of investigation of Kameeldrift Cas 145/09/2017, which spell-out the corrupt relationship between Gen. Phahlane and service providers, Kriminalistik and Crimetech, IPID investigation’s were able to uncover a further corrupt relationship with another service provider, FDA owned by Mr Keith Keating. The investigation detected possible crimes of corruption, fraud and money laundering facilitated by car dealer, Mr Durand Snyman.
Looking at Phahlane Investigation One, Kameeldrift Cas 145/09/2017, during the investigation of the case, it was discovered that during Gen. Phahlane’s house construction in 2011, there were no withdrawals from either Gen. Phahlane or his wife supporting transactions relating to construction of the house. The version of seven of the construction workers, who were paid over a million rand in cash from the boot of the car by former Gen. Phahlane, or his driver, is now supported by cash withdrawn from Crimetech and Kriminalistiks accounts amounting R1 250 000. Some withdrawals were made the same day the builders were paid. There is no record from Gen. Phahlane’s account that such amounts were ever withdrawn from his account. The forensic reports by Auditing Firm (GFI) are complete and the docket will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for decision.
Mr Sesoko then looked at Phahlane Investigation Two, Sinoville Cas 146/05/2017, the IPID investigation was able to uncover a further corrupt relationship with another service provider, FDA owned by Mr Keating. The investigation detected possible crimes of corruption, fraud and money laundering facilitated by car dealer, Mr Snyman. Gen. Phahlane, his wife and his sister received vehicles alleged to be sponsored by a businessman, Mr Snyman, to the value of R883 041. He also received over stated trade-in value totalling R445 991. These benefits were neither due nor declared. Mr Keating (FDA), SAPS service provider and supplier of Rolfin lights, paid money into Mr Snyman’s account through the Bank of Windhoek which was used in paying for the vehicles including one given to Col. Potgieter who is based at Technology Management Services (TMS) with Gen. Phahlane’s wife (the unit that procured Rolfin Light).
Gen. Phahlane and two others were criminally charged on 08/02/2018 for corruption, fraud and money laundering. They appeared again on 12/03/2017 for discovery of the docket and the case was provisionally withdrawn on 07/06/2018 to allow the Directorate to finalise its investigation as it awaited the final forensic reports. The investigation at the time of the appearance of Gen. Phahlane had expanded as follows:
- Investigation into tender irregularities relating to the alleged corruption. Recommended disciplinary actions against 21 x SAPS members
- IPID search and seizure was challenged in the Pretoria High Court. In August 2018 the judgment on search and seizure was delivered in favour of IPID. IPID is aware of crucial evidence in the seized documents and other source of information viewed before the application was brought by Mr Keating. Mr Keating has since lodged an appeal as a way of preventing IPID from using this crucial evidence
- Additional suspects were added in line with the evidence as per the forensic reports and other investigations, namely, Mr Keating, Lt. Gen. Shezi, Brig. Masuku, Lt. Col. Patrick, Mr Billy Smit and Ms Josephine Phahlane (Gen. Phahlane’s sister).
- A member of the Hawks and IPID were in Namibia last week to verify information
The presentation then looked at suspects and enablers. Turning to the Pretoria Central CAS 534/05/2017, during investigation of allegations of corruption and money laundering against Gen. Phahlane, the former Acting National Commissioner allegedly abused his powers in conspiracy with other senior members of SAPS from North West including Maj. Gen. M Makhele, the former Acting Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence. They established a rogue team from North West Detectives led by Maj. Gen. NJ Mabula to interfere with IPID’s investigation against Gen. Phahlane under a false presence of security breach. The counter investigation was purportedly initiated because of a report on a security breach at Gen. Phahlane’s house. False paper trails were created trying to prove the existence of a security breach. Senior members who deal with security breach were neither informed nor aware of any security breach at Gen. Phahlane’s house. The Directorate lodged and won a court application against the North West Task Team for counter investigations, with costs.
Turning to the Lyttelton cas, 139/04/2018 (corruption: CCN 2018020544), it is alleged that in July 2015, Lt. Gen. Shezi requested extensive renovation of her house from a manager of Doron Construction, Alta Nel. The latter supplied a quote of R1 399 263 18, which was immediately accepted by Lt. Gen. Shezi. During the renovation process, Lt. Gen. Shezi could only pay R615 513.72 of the quoted amount as she struggled to secure the remaining amount to cover the total cost of renovation. Lt. Gen. Shezi allegedly settled the remaining amount through a service provider, Intsika IT Solutions, who was doing business with Technology Management Services, where she was based. The service provider paid R793 104.75 into the account of the construction company. The money was neither fully nor partly paid back to the service provider. The service provider allegedly earned a lucrative contract from TMS shortly after the alleged gratification. The investigation of the case is complete however a link was discovered between FDA and Intsika IT solution of transfers of more than 20 million rand between the two companies at the time when Lt. Gen. Shezi received the benefit and /or perform certain functions administratively to the benefit of both Intsika and FDA. The DPP is yet to make a decision on this case. Lt. Gen. Shezi is on suspension as IPID recommended.
Mr Sesoko then discussed the crime intelligence investigations. With the Lyttelton cas 170/02/2015, in December 2012 and January 2013, procurement of blinds and curtains were submitted and authorised respectively for safe houses used for operations. The first request was R478 900 for Waterkloof Heights Safe House, which was allegedly sourced from Umvuzo Wethu Promotions. The second quotation was worth R84 105 for Brooklyn Safe House, which was allegedly sourced from Siboniseng Construction. The actual cost for the blinds for Waterkloof Heights Safe House was R63 057 and not R478 900. The actual cost for the Brooklyn Safe House was R15 705.64 and not R84 105. The total amount claimed from the Secret Service Account Funds was R563 005 for the same transactions, whereas the actual cost for the service rendered was R78 763.60. Captain “KGB” Tshabalala requested an amount of R563 005 which was approved by Maj. Gen. Nemutanzhela to be paid in cash. IPID arrested Captain KGB Tshabalala on 16/01/2018 and successfully opposed bail. However Mr C Nkabinde, who was a lead IPID investigator, phoned the defence lawyer while on suspension and indicated that Captain KGB Tshabalala should be released on bail. The court has since found that Mr Nkabinde misled the court and his statement under oath could not be relied on. Mr Nkabinde’s action resulted in a criminal being granted bail.
With Brooklyn cas 565/11/2017 (I-View one), it is alleged that between 20 December 2016 and 31 March 2017 a procurement process was initiated between the Crime Intelligence division of SAPS and a company called Brainwave Projects 1323cc, trading as I-View Integrated Systems, with registration number CK 2005/125830/23. During the course of investigations it was established there were gross irregularities in the procurement process resulting in the state suffering a loss of more than R54 million. It was discovered in the process of investigations that the procurement was initially for software which was aimed at monitoring social media sites (RIPJAR) during the fees must fall protest. SAPS did not derive value for money for the system and spent R33 million. Deviation was also done for another system (Daedalus) to block cellphone communication between Gen. Phahlane and a team that was established to counter IPID investigations into fraud and corruption investigations against Gen. Phahlane. The amount for Daedalus was R21 million.
Turning to IPID CCN 2018010527 (I-View two), on 2017/12/14 the Directorate received a tip-off regarding further transaction worth R45 000 000 directed to Brainwave, trading as I-view Integrated System. The amount was alleged to be for the payment of a Graber system which its value is between R7 000 000 and R10 000 000. It was also alleged that such amount of money directed to I-View Integrated System was in fact to be laundered for buying of votes at the ANC conference. IPID engaged a number of SAPS senior officials, some of whom confirmed that such transaction were being pushed at all cost resulting in a strained relationship amongst senior members. The Directorate contacted the current National Commissioner of Police, Gen. Khehla Sitole, and recommended the payment be stopped with immediate effect. IPID obtained video footage on the secret meeting between SAPS senior officials and the service provider.
Investigations of I-View 1 and I-View 2 are at an advanced stage but were delayed by the unwillingness of SAPS to declassify documents despite advice by the Inspector-General of Intelligence to do so. IPID applied for 205, compelling SAPS to declassify documents and appear before the Directorate for investigation-related interviews. SAPS challenged these applications in court which IPID is defending. The Directorate is confident that even in this instance judgment will be in its favour. It is also discovered I-View 3 which relate to procurement of bulletproofs from the IT-related company (i-view) for R33 000 per bullet proof. The Directorate is currently conducting investigation on the matter.
Mr Sesoko then discussed the Marikana investigation noting that IPID did its best to try to comply with the Farlam Commission recommendations even when it was not given the funding as recommended by the Commission. By using its baseline budget for this investigation, it means other operations had to be reprioritised to ensure this investigation is completed. This has put tremendous strain on the IPID operational budget.
IPID is involved in a number of litigation processes involving SAPS and other suspects. The Directorate lodged a court application against the North West Task Team for counter investigations. In June 2018 an order was issued in favour of the Directorate barring the North West team from conducting counter investigation against IPID. The court ordered that SAPS pays the cost. It further ordered that Parliament should consider amending SAPS legislation to prevent the phenomenon of counter investigations against IPID. IPID’s search and seizure was challenged in the Pretoria High Court. In August 2018 the judgment on search and seizure was delivered in favour of IPID. The court ordered that FDA pays the cost. SAPS challenged 205 applications for declassification of documents. IPID is defending these applications. It is confident that even in this instance judgment will be in its favour.
Mr Sesoko said the Directorate is still encountering interference either direct or indirect from people who are under investigation. One of the IPID Principal Investigators has been compromised and is now collaborating with suspects – he has been declared unreliable as he misled the court resulting in a criminal former member of SAPS “KGB” released on bail. Some members of the Task Team were approached to compromise the investigation in exchange for promotions within SAPS – Mr Mandla Mahlangu, an IPID investigator part of the delegation present today, was offered the post of Brigadier. Fortunately he recorded the conversations and came forward with the offer. This was unfortunately not the case with IPID investigator, Mr Cedrick Nkabinde, who accepted such an offer and now faced disciplinary action. IPID witnesses were either directly or indirectly contacted by suspects. There were even false Twitter accounts to peddle false narratives under the account “Man’s Not Barry Roux”.
It is IPID’s considered view that the investigation against high ranking police officers has brought to fore the necessity to amend the IPID Act, Intelligence Oversight Act and SAPS Act to deal with counter investigation of IPID investigators by SAPS members being investigated by IPID which the court has found to be unlawful and unconstitutional. There is a need to declassify information and documents by Crime Intelligence and SAPS management to enable IPID to conduct investigations, as this unnecessarily delays IPID investigations. This matter is now a subject of litigation between SAPS and IPID.
Mr M Hlengwa (IFP) noted reconstruction of scene two of the Marikana investigation has been on the table for a long time and he was beginning to think the reasoning surrounding this was not as genuine as it was made out to be. Who should be addressed to bring this matter to a logical conclusion? He was certain this was a deliberate sabotage of a crucial step in meeting out justice on the Marikana matter. He requested IPID provide more information on the matter and a paper trail of correspondence. The Committee could not accept what was going on with this in good faith because something was amiss and there was deliberate derailment of the process. Who could the stumbling blocks be attributed to? What interests were in play to ensure this reconstruction did not materialise?
Mr Sesoko noted the many presentations provided to the Portfolio Committee on Police on the reconstruction of scene two. There was extensive discussion with Treasury and the Ministry in relation to funding. Part of the Farlam Commission’s recommendations was for IPID to be allocated necessary funding for its Marikana investigations. IPID was forced to use its baseline budget for this. The Directorate has accruals of over R20 million over the previous financial years due to these constraints, and others. IPID has done everything it could to secure the necessary funding to be able to do the reconstruction. Even though the funding was not there, IPID needed to continue with the Marikana investigations as best it could without the funding. The IPID team working on these investigations met weekly with a team of prosecutors from the NPA. This is quite an extensive investigation with a huge number of evidence collated. The NPA team decided to go through all this evidence to then decide on whether anyone could be prosecuted for the incident on 16 August 2012. Guidance would also be provided on the way forward regarding reconstruction of scene two. IPID also presented to a reference group advising the Minister of Police on Public Order Policing arising from what occurred in Marikana.
Mr Hlengwa asked if the recommendations of the Commission were not binding or if they were discretionary.
Mr Sesoko replied that IPID was supposed to do the reconstruction but did not have the necessary funding to do so. The NPA decided on whether to prosecute or not based on the evidence.
The Chairperson cautioned against discussion of the NPA. The Commission said there should be reconstruction of scene two – the NPA saying it would decide on prosecution with or without reconstruction of scene two was an unacceptable and unpalatable deviation.
Mr M Booi (ANC) cautioned against the Committee taking only the side of IPID without hearing from the NPA. Demeaning other government institutions was problematic.
The Chairperson said the matter emphasised was the reconstruction of scene two not the role of the NPA.
Mr Booi again cautioned hearing one side of the story. If the Committee wanted to open this matter up, it should invite all relevant institutions for a full picture.
The Chairperson retorted that the point was that IPID did not reconstruct scene two – this was why Mr Hlengwa asked for the communication trail to shed more light on why this reconstruction was not done.
Mr Booi did not think it was within the ambit of SCOPA to discuss the Marikana investigation.
Mr Hlengwa questioned the matter because IPID has raised it with the Committee before and it was a funding matter. The paper trail would shed light on the conditions under which IPID conducted its work. Unless the presentation was a cosmetic exercise.
Mr Booi appealed for his remarks not to be misrepresented – he had the right to talk in the meeting.
Mr Hlengwa raised the unfortunate killing of another student at TUT. This spoke to a pattern of inadequacies of Public Order Policing (POP) on which the Farlam Commission also made serious findings. IPID was asked to take the Committee through what it found to be key shortcomings in this area. It was clear POP was consistently unable to manage public order situations. This reckless action was concerning. The root causes needed to be dealt with. Marikana happened for this reason of inadequacy of POP, inter alia. How long would this persist? Were IPID’s recommendations being taken seriously as a means of corrective action? Were IPID’s findings not being actioned or were they deliberately ignored?
Mr Sesoko said a reference group was established at the level of the Ministry to look into matters surrounding POP post- Marikana. IPID has engaged this group on the matter of POP. Recommendations were made by IPID a few years ago after a spate of public unrest in the Mpumalanga area. The recommendations spoke to the firearms and ammunition used, ensuring POP members were easily identifiable etc. The reference group was meant to put together a comprehensive report on the matter of POP in SA to ensure events of Marikana did not reoccur.
IPID was still busy with the investigation of the TUT student. In this specific incident, POP members were not involved.
Mr T Brauteseth (DA) noted that much of the IPID presentation focused on the relationship between SAPS and Mr Keating. Was IPID saying SAPS should be very careful of doing business with Mr Keating or any company related to him?
Mr Sesoko responded that IPID already made recommendations to SAPS regarding doing business with Mr Keating. Once IPID picked up on corrupt relationships involving service providers, SAPS was always cautioned to review its position to do business with such a service provider.
Mr Brauteseth asked IPID if it had ever heard of the company Manta.
Mr Sesoko confirmed that he had heard of Manta Forensics.
Mr Brauteseth then asked if IPID had ever heard of Solve Forensics.
Mr Sesoko had not.
Mr Brauteseth said that for the past 20 years, a company called Manta Forensics had been supplying DNA sampling kits to SAPS. The contract recently went out on tender but Manta did not respond. Instead Solve Forensics did. The directors of Solve are Ms Yolanda Meyer and Mr Keith Keating. It was almost comical that Mr Keating, suspected of being part of R5 billion worth of fraudulent transactions with SAPS, has landed another contract, worth an unspecified value, to provide all DNA kits. IPID was urged to take notes and make recommendations on this.
He asked IPID when it was back in court on the Gen. Phahlane matter.
Mr Sesoko answered that the matter was expedited and IPID hoped to be back in court in October.
Mr Brauteseth asked what was happening with Gen. Shezi.
Mr Sesoko said she was suspended.
Mr Brauteseth said this was effectively a paid holiday. Other Generals involved in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), and one could argue the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, were Lt. Gen. Gary Kruser, Lt. Gen. Stephan Schutte, Maj. Gen. SJ Nelson and Brig. Sydney Masuku. Was IPID aware of any action being taken against these members?
Mr Sesoko was aware that SAPS appointed Lt. Gen. Sharon Jephta to investigate misconduct against these players. Gen. Phalaphala Ramikosi has also been suspended as a result of these investigations. IPID was not aware of action taken against the other Generals.
Mr Brauteseth asked when Gen. Jephta was appointed.
Mr Sesoko said this happened after IPID investigated Gen. Phahlane – the investigation of Gen. Phahlane was initiated two years ago.
Mr Brauteseth asked if any action was taken against Brig. Ramathoka and Brig. Knight.
Mr Sesoko was not aware of action taken against them.
Mr Brauteseth summarised that two years ago, the flag was raised regarding Gen. Phahlane and Mr Keating et al. Two years later, there are criminal proceedings against Gen. Phahlane, two Generals are on extended holiday and absolutely no action was taken against the other role-players. Was this summary accurate regarding action taken?
Mr Sesoko was not aware of any action being taken but IPID was aware of an internal investigation being carried out by Gen. Jeptha on all these players since IPID investigated Gen. Phahlane.
Mr Brauteseth said the oldest trick in the book, when trying to shut down an investigation, was to deny funding. Did IPID feel that the moment it gets close to something, funding was pulled?
Mr Sesoko replied that funding was a challenge for IPID since it was established – this funding was inadequate for the work IPID did.
Mr Brauteseth asked who was blocking IPID from receiving funding – was it Treasury? SAPS?
Mr Sesoko could not say who the person was. IPID made submissions for additional funding but this was not forthcoming except for the R50 million from the SAPS budget this financial year in the Medium Term Budget Framework (MTBF).
Mr Brauteseth asked if IPID’s budget came from SAPS.
Mr Sesoko explained IPID was appropriated funding through a vote
Mr Brauteseth said there was a budget vote and appropriating process where people decided where funding would go – where did IPID lay the blame that it was not properly resourced to complete these investigations? IPID required proper resources to rid SA of corruption. Who was IPID being blocked by?
Mr Sesoko said IPID made its budgetary submissions and motivations to Treasury as other criminal justice departments did. It was raised that government as a whole did not have money. At its last engagement, it was said IPID can expect government cuts because of the country’s fiscal situation.
Mr Brauteseth pointed out that funding was then decided at Cabinet level. During the time IPID was involved in court proceedings and Mr Robert McBride (IPID Executive Director) was suspended, there was a unit in SAPS Crime Intelligence that took over IPID – is this correct?
Mr Sesoko responded that the Acting IPID Head at the time was from within the Directorate but members from Crime Intelligence were appointed in the IPID environment during that time.
Mr Brauteseth wanted to know what sort of damage these members did while they were there.
Mr Booi did not understand the line of questioning of Mr Brauteseth – what did he want to achieve? The matters raised were not relevant to the report.
Mr Brauteseth found the sensitivity interesting.
Mr Booi objected to be labelled sensitive – the Member said he had a right to question the direction of questioning of another Member of the Committee.
Mr Brauteseth said he was building momentum in his line of questioning – it was disheartening that this was interrupted. He was greatly concerned to hear about documents required for IPID investigations not being declassified. How many times has IPID written to Gen. Sitole asking for documents to be declassified? Who was standing in IPID’s way of prevent documents, required for its investigation, not being declassified?
Mr Sesoko reminded Members that they pointedly asked Gen. Sitole when he would provide IPID with the documentation so it could conclude investigations relating to Crime Intelligence. Gen. Sitole responded that he would do so within 14 days. IPID then wrote to SAPS after the 14 days passed to comply with the promise. IPID was then told SAPS was unable to accede to its request because the matter must be referred to the Standing Committee on Intelligence so that it could decide if documents should be declassified. The Inspector-General of Intelligence advised the documents were not of national security, were purely related to procurement, and there is no reason it should not be declassified. This did not help. IPID was forced to take the 205 application route – this was being legally challenged. IPID understood the process to work as follows: the person who classified a document can declassify it or the head of the institution, in this instance, Gen. Sitole. IPID hoped its salvation would rest with the courts on this matter to make a determination of declassifying the documents.
Mr Brauteseth asked if any sound reasons were advanced in defence of objecting to the 205 application to declassify documents pertaining to procurement. The reasonable inference to make is that individuals are being protected and that is why documents are not being provided. Has IPID seen any decent arguments that were outside of this reasonable inference?
The Chairperson pointed out that IPID going to court to defend its application means the Directorate thought its reasons for doing so are good. The answer to the Member’s question would be subjective and confirm IPID’s view. If SAPS had sound arguments for its defence then IPID would not be confident of its success in court.
Mr Brauteseth raised the matter because the Committee did not have sight of the court papers. He wanted to see what the other side was saying. Gen. Sitole was asked by this Committee when he would provide the documents almost a year ago – the reason inference to make was that people were being protected. Were there other arguments to make?
Mr E Kekana (ANC) felt that it would be better if the question was directed to Gen. Sitole since he was asked by Members when the documents would be provided to IPID and he made the undertaking to meet with IPID and discuss the matter of declassification. Gen. Sitole should provide the Committee with feedback on this.
The Chairperson pointed out the IPID presentation said it was confident the Directorate would win its 2015 application case in court.
Ms T Chiloane (ANC) was concerned to read about mismanagement of funds and corrupt activities involving SAPS in the IPID presentation under the watch of the National Commissioner. Many of her questions were thus best directed to the Commissioner. In a previous meeting of the Committee, the matter of lifestyle audits and vetting was raised especially in the procurement environment involving large sums of money – what was the status of this in both IPID and SAPS?
The Chairperson reminded the Member that Gen. Sithole still owed the Committee a report on these matters.
Mr Sesoko said IPID vetting was done by the State Security Agency (SSA). There was pre-employment screening which enabled IPID to decide whether the individual could be employed or not. If employed, full vetting was done at the level determined by the role the person played in the organisation. There was a vetting backlog due to SSA delays.
Ms Chiloane asked how many IPID members were recruited or “corrupted” by SAPS.
Mr Sesoko was so far aware of two such cases – Mr Nkabinde was on suspension for this. The other member was in the IPID vetting environment and not involved in investigations.
Mr Booi asked if the concerns raised today by the Directorate were addressed in the IPID Bill currently before Parliament.
Ms Marianne Moroasui, IPID Chief Director: Legal Services, said the Bill was as a result of a Constitutional Court judgement to amend the IPID Act after the McBride suspension matter. IPID, with the Civilian Secretariat for Police, worked on the Act and the amendments were presented to the former Minister of Police at the end of 2017. Earlier this year, the Portfolio Committee on Police initiated a Committee Bill to deal only with amendments ordered by the Constitutional Court. IPID and the Civilian Secretariat looked at all defects in the IPID Act and wanted amendments to deal with all these defects. This meant these defects, such as counter investigations, would not be dealt with in the Committee Bill. IPID would have to start a fresh process of amending the Act.
Mr Booi asked if these concerns were raised with the Portfolio Committee on Police.
Ms Moroasui responded that when the process of amending the Act commenced, IPID indicated it, and the Civilian Secretariat, was also looking at amendments of the entire piece of legislation. The Committee was concerned about meeting the deadline of 5 September 2018 to cure the defects in the Act identified by the Constitutional Court.
Mr Booi noted that SCOPA and IPID would have a relationship to deal with corruption – what legalities would prohibit such relationship?
Ms Moroasui said the relationship with SCOPA and bringing information forward to the Committee, assisted IPID in doing its job. Legislation had loopholes which must be amended to assist IPID in doing its work. Having the opportunity to express to the Committee what hamstrung IPID in doing its work did assist the Directorate to carry out the job it is supposed to carry out.
Mr Booi was concerned because the role of SCOPA was to deal with fiduciary responsibilities. There was not much in the way of legislation to deal with corruption. Recommendations should be made to the Committee. Many felt that Parliament was transgressing its boundaries in dealing with some matters, and were dragged to the courts for interfering. IPID was not the responsibility of SCOPA – it resided with police. There was no other law to allow SCOPA to call other departments to talk about corruption – this was something the Committee needed to apply its mind to to strengthen relations. SCOPA should assist IPID in getting the money. The emphasis was on something to guide the relationship between SCOPA and IPID so there was no transgression and so no one could drag Parliament to the Constitutional Court. Even on the Steinhoff matter, Mr Markus Jooste dragged Parliament to court and in its meeting with him tomorrow, Members will be constrained by what it could discuss as decided by the courts. SCOPA must be cautious even with IPID in this problematic regard. The Member was concerned by the shortcomings of the law in dealing with the matter of corruption and the risk of transgressing these laws. The Chairperson needed to engage the Speaker and Parliament’s legal section to protect SCOPA in this regard.
Ms Moroasui responded that the ongoing litigation between IPID, SAPS, Gen. Phahlane and Mr Keating, was costing the state a lot of money. To date, IPID has spent about R4 million on litigation and cases were awarded with costs to the state – this was a cause for concern.
The Chairperson agreed that it was so unnecessary that the state paid for two state organs to take each other to court.
Mr N Khunou (ANC) agreed that the meeting should have included Gen. Sitole. There was a problem with the scope of what IPID could investigate which explained the complaints of budget and legislation.
Mr Sesoko reminded Members that IPID was born out of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) which had a much wider scope to the extent that there was an overwhelming amount of complaints against SAPS service delivery and this took much out of the budget. The legislation establishing IPID was conscious of this and the scope was made clearer and more defined as seen in section 28 of the IPID Act. The challenge was to ensure this scope was properly funded. Even as ICD, the funding was inadequate. There was supposed to be an establishment of 500 employees in 1997 – even now, IPID was below this number. IPID was not properly funded since its establishment.
Ms Khunou asked who was dealing with the cases involving money laundering in terms of the IPID organogram. What was the ideal organogram? How many were there at the moment?
Mr Sesoko explained that all investigations fell under programme two, investigations, as per section 28, of which he was the head. The investigation must relate to corruption or any criminality committed by a member of SAPS.
Ms Khunou questioned who was investigating cases involving corruption and money.
Mr Sesoko reiterated that this was programme two, investigations, which was responsible for all investigations as defined in section 28.
Ms Khunou asked if investigations were outsourced, especially those related money matters.
Mr Sesoko stated that all investigations were conducted by IPID itself. In specialised areas, perhaps where forensic investigators were required, and IPID did not have the capacity to analyse bank statements, for example, a forensic investigator would be used. IPID would approach Treasury to appoint such service provider, as was done in the investigations outlined in the presentation today. Such work supported the work of IPID.
Ms Khunou agreed there were loopholes in the IPID legislation – this required attention and correction. How did IPID ensure it was protected against its investigations being sabotaged?
Mr Sesoko responded that IPID currently used its own internal capabilities such as having informers. There was no dedicated unit to deal specifically with this - although the IPID Act made provision for this, there was the challenge of funding. It was however part of IPID’s expansion strategy – the strategy remained unfunded.
Ms Khunou asked if IPID had a system to gather information together, as it could investigate SAPS members from all spheres of government, to ensure what it started, by way of investigation, was not sabotaged.
Mr Sesoko explained all IPID’s cases were registered on a database. There was a turnaround time in which the case must be registered and cases can be tracked through to finality. Statistical information was also extracted from this database.
Ms Khunou questioned loopholes in the relationship between IPID and prosecutors. This relationship was key and if it was not sufficiently cemented, it would pose a problem. What was this relationship like?
Mr Sesoko answered that IPID generally had a good relationship with prosecutors. There were however instances when the decisions reached by prosecutors on IPID cases was incorrect, to put it mildly. There were prosecutors working with the Mabula team to deal with IPID investigators. When IPID members were suspended, they were also charged with criminal offences. Just recently cases against the former head of the Hawks, Gen. Anwa Dramat and former Gauteng Hawks head, Gen. Shadrack Sibiya, were withdrawn. Generally, however, IPID had a good relationship with prosecutors in the provinces.
Ms Khunou asked IPID how many of its cases were successful in that people were jailed. How long did an IPID investigation take, more or less?
Mr Sesoko responded that IPID had different successes and numerous convictions, the details of which could be provided to the Committee as he did not have this information off hand. The length of an investigation varied as different cases had different complexities and were not the same. A case of corruption was more complex and took longer to investigate than a case of assault, for example. When the cases went to court, it must be remembered police members knew the criminal justice system which lengthened the time to finalise a case.
The Chairperson requested that Members focus on the matters dealt with in the report presented by IPID and not general matters.
Mr Kekana followed up on discussions the Committee had at a previous engagement with IPID and the police – Members understood there are complexities in the relationship between IPID and the police as IPID investigated the police. Has this relationship improved since the last engagement with the Committee?
Mr Sesoko said IPID engaged with the National Commissioner after the last engagement and there was agreement on cooperation between a team of IPID investigators, a team from the Hawks and some SAPS members to assist with investigations. There would still be contradictions based on IPID’s mandate.
Mr Kekana understood the complexities of the work of IPID but wanted to know if its relationship with SAPS had improved, if information required was availed etc.
Mr Sesoko replied that the relationship had improved except for the matter of the declassified documents.
Mr Booi said IPID must maintain its independence, in terms of the rule of law. The fight was long and not easy as IPID investigated the police. He asked IPID to make a detailed submission to SCOPA on the costs of fighting corruption to assist with the funding of the Directorate, using the Keating case. SCOPA could thus assist with putting pressure on other Committees and Treasury. Treasury was a difficult and complex body which cared less about the collapsing defence force or state security. The security cluster was under financial pressure. The police budget increased and it was getting more corrupt.
Mr Brauteseth noted the Namibian link in the IPID investigation – he asked if it was aware of a company owned by Lt. Gen. Kruser in Namibia.
Mr Sesoko was aware.
Mr Brauteseth asked if IPID was aware this same company provided Rofin products to the Namibian police.
Mr Sesoko was aware – IPID was looking into this and explained why the team was in Namibia.
Mr Brauteseth said Parliament would not end up in the Constitutional Court because the National Assembly Rules said SCOPA may investigate any investigation in its area of competence.
Ms Khunou was concerned by the reference to “allegation” in the presentation which brought into question whether IPID was sure about its case regarding Gen. Phahlane and FDA. Perhaps another word should be used.
Mr Sesoko explained IPID was an investigative body so until the case was tried in court, the case stood as an allegation. IPID could not say the offences were committed as a matter of fact until they are proven in court. IPID investigated, gathered evidence and presented the case to the prosecuting authority. The people involved were suspects until a decision was taken to prosecute and then they became accused in a court of law. If found guilty in a court of law, it was no longer an allegation but a proven case. Until then, the matter stood as an allegation.
Ms Khunou suggested the next time IPID reported to the Committee it spoke to how far the cases were so as to better reporting. There was a stage where Mr Keating said he would withhold his services from government – this was a problem as the police and whole country suffered. The emphasis was on consequences, seeing corrupt people in jail and having such companies never doing business with the state again. A report along these lines should be provided to the Committee for Members to take the matter forward. The Committee should meet again with IPID and SAPS.
Mr Sesoko said IPID made recommendations to SAPS regarding its investigation of Gen. Phahlane and Mr Keating. It would expected that SAPS initiate the process of blacklisting these service providers with National Treasury. Mr Keating secured another contact despite these investigations.
Ms Khunou said SCOPA needed a report from IPID to deal with this.
The Chairperson said the Committee still needed a report from SAPS on its own investigations dealing with some of these matters - this would complete the picture for the Committee. Internal disciplinary processes were completely in the hands of SAPS.
Tomorrow, the Committee would meet on the Steinhoff matter.
The meeting was adjourned.