The SAPS officials who were involved in a security breach investigation connected to former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane have told the Zondo commission that their investigation was above board.
The inquiry on Thursday heard from North West head of crime intelligence Brigadier Pharasa Ncube and retired Major General Jan Mabula – who previously served as a deputy SAPS commissioner in the North West.
Mabula and Ncube were implicated in former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Robert McBride’s testimony when he appeared at the inquiry last year.
McBride told the commission that in 2016, that Ipid had embarked on an investigation into Phahlane’s alleged corrupt links to a SAPS service provider.
Ipid had been tipped off to the relationship by private investigator Paul O’Sullivan.
It was alleged that Phahlane had benefited unduly from services in the form of a home sound system and vehicle purchases funded by the service provider.
McBride said as part of his team’s investigation a raid was conducted at Phahlane’s residence in January 2017. Two Ipid officials and O’Sullivan were present at the raid.
Following this raid, McBride said Phahlane was unhappy with the raid and the investigation against him. McBride said Phahlane used his powers as the acting national commissioner to establish a task team named the “Mabula team” which worked to counter Ipid’s investigation into Phahlane.
The “Mabula team”, according to McBride, focused its eyes on O’Sullivan and his assistant Sarah-Jane Trent. The two were charged in connection to the investigation by the Mabula team.
They were charged with impersonating Ipid officials and for fraud. Two Ipid officials were also arrested along with O’Sullivan and Trent.
“The Mabula team then proceeded to counter the investigation of Ipid by approaching all the witnesses in the Ipid investigation to get them to change their initial version against Phahlane and the SAPS service providers and their involvement in the construction of Phahlane’s house and the cars,” McBride said last year.
On Thursday, Mabula and Ncube defended their investigation and insisted that it was above board.
The two said the merits of the case were decided by the national prosecuting authority and their job was to simply compile an investigation and provide witness statements and a docket.
They said the decision on which charges O’Sullivan, Trent and the two Ipid officials would face, was taken by the NPA.
“This investigation was done through a prosecutorial guided investigation from the inquiry docket until they advised us to open a criminal docket. No way that we were actually fabricating (the information),” Ncube told the inquiry.