Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane appeared before Parliament’s police committee on Thursday to address the investigation by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) into Phahlane’s lifestyle and the Claassen report on Riah Phiyega, who was replaced by General Phahlane.
Phahlane’s home was raided in January by Ipid. The raid was linked to suspicions of corruption and defeating the ends of justice by Phahlane.
South African Police Service (SAPS) members allegedly organised a birthday party for him in 2009. These members were charged for using SAPS funds to pay for the gathering and they claimed the event was a police workshop. Phahlane was later criticised for being unable to take any disciplinary action against the SAPS members.
“At no point did anyone approach me to verify my side of the story as far as these allegations are concerned … the same allegations over and over again,” said a seemingly irritated Phahlane.
Phahlane, who was the forensic services divisional commissioner in 2012, was accused by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) of corruption.
“The only new thing with these allegations is there is now a house which was supposedly built for R8-million and I supposedly have vehicles to the tune of R4.3-million,” said Phahlane.
Phahlane has been in his post since 2015 and was previously the head of the SAPS Forensic Service from 2012 to 2015. He lambasted the controversy surrounding him, saying: “I have a proud track record as a member of the service.”
Despite these achievements and his tireless service to the SAPS, there are still efforts to ruin Phahlane’s reputation, according to Brigadier Linda Kleinhans.
“There have been various attempts to tarnish the reputation of Lieutenant General Phahlane,” she said.
Asked whether he would be willing to do a lifestyle audit, Phahlane responded: “If asked to do it, I would.”