Exclusive: Dramatic new information on police chief's spending
Johannesburg - A police directorate affidavit, placed before the court this week, has revealed how acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane allegedly reduced his household and vehicle debt by millions of rands - in just five years.
Phahlane filed an interdict application in February against IPID and forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan. The respondents asked him to reveal a document he had referred to in his founding affidavit.
It is an affidavit by principal IPID investigator Mandlakayise Mahlangu in support of a section 205 application to subpoena bank accounts and cellphone records, which was filed on December 29, 2016. In it, Mahlangu goes into detail on the allegations of fraud and corruption against Phahlane and two business people who have multi-million rand contracts with the SAPS.
Mahlangu asks for a subpoena to be issued in order for him to access the following information: all financial accounts, monthly statements, supporting documents, cellphone records, vehicle dealership files, conveyance attorney’s files, access to business accounts, and the origin of the payments into the various accounts.
He then lays out why he believes IPID has a strong case and should be given access to this information.
"During the investigation, the following facts were revealed and evidence in the form of sworn statements and documentary evidence, were collected and are contained in the case docket:
Details on house
- "Phahlane and his wife purchased a property in Sable Hills on 6 April 2010. The purchase price was R850 000. A bond was registered by Nedbank for R595 000;
- On June 21, 2011, a second bond was registered for an additional R2 200 000. The current balance on the above mentioned bond is R258 777, which implies that Phahlane was able to reduce the bond with R2 536 233 in five years;
- Phahlane built the house through a company and the agreement contract was about R3 000 000 - including material;
- During this building process, Lieutenant General JK Phahlane paid the architect R109 489 through the bank;
- During the building process, Phahlane first paid the contractor R350 000 in cash, second payment was also R350 000 in cash, and R10 000 in cash of which the total amount that the builder allegedly received in cash is R710 000;
- Subcontractors were also paid in cash by Phahlane through his driver Alwyn from the boot of a black BMW vehicle;
- The builder was paid R14 000 for about seven times in cash, an extra once-off R20 000 to build a fence wall and R11 000 once-off for building the stairs, swimming pool wall and bathroom walls. Of which the total amount is R129 000 in cash;
- R170 000 for plaster was paid in cash on a fortnight basis;
- The electrician was paid also in cash about R10 000 four to five times, which possibly amounts to R40 000 or R50 000;
- The plumber was also paid in cash and the first payment was R10 000 and the second payment was R20 000;
- The tiler was also paid R5 000 to R10 000 seven to eight times in cash, and even at some point it was more than the remembered amount."
- "On the 22 of August 2014, Phahlane purchased a new vehicle. This vehicle was financed by Standard Bank. The initial loan amount was R1 077 458. The current balance on the account is R367 698, which implies that he was able to reduce the balance in two years with R700 000.
- On 29 April 2016, Phahlane purchased a Volkswagen Amarok. The listed price for the vehicle was R540 000. Phahlane appears to have only financed R197 031 of the purchase price. This indicates that he paid a deposit of R342 969;
- On 6 January 2016, Phahlane purchased a Toyota Hilux. This vehicle was not financed, which implies that it was paid for in full settlement. The purchase price was around R434 000;
- Phahlane also purchased an additional Range Rover Sport vehicle on October 13, 2016. The vehicle was financed by Standard Bank and the current balance on the account is R1 258 178."
The affidavit stated that the information IPID had suggested that the acting police commissioner was able to reduce his debt by about R4.2m in the last five years.
The affidavit also refers to two vehicles purchased by the "Phahlane’s". This could mean the acting commissioner’s wife as the paragraphs refer to "she".
"In January 2015, Phahlane purchased a new Mercedes Benz. The vehicle was financed by Nedbank and the opening balance for the account was R757 140. Currently, the outstanding balance on the account is R315 933. This information would therefore suggest that she was able to reduce the balance by R441 000 since January 2015."
The affidavit mentions another vehicle bought in January 2016, a Volkswagen Polo for R256 000. Records indicate that there was no finance for the vehicle.
"Information, therefore, suggests that during the past two years she was able to accumulate an additional R700 000 to reduce her debt," the affidavit reads.
Payments of R93m being investigated
Mahlangu said that evidence at their disposal also revealed that, during 2011 and 2012, one of the SAPS contractor companies bought electronic goods amounting to R206 975 and R126 900, which was paid in cash, and R80 075 which was paid through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
These were delivered to Phahlane’s house in the Sable Hills Waterfront Estate, Mahlangu says.
It has previously been publicly revealed that IPID did a search and seizure of an R80 000 sound system from Phahlane’s house. The acting commissioner said he had paid for the equipment and it was acquired from the businesswoman, because he hired her to be his interior decorator.
Mahlangu said that the average amount paid by SAPS to three of the companies - allegedly linked to Phahlane and which they were investigating - was R93m.
The investigator said he was also looking into whether the companies mentioned "might have paid all expenses for the holidays of the suspects," and whether they were paying all the municipal bills for the house.
O’Sullivan sent an email on Monday to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Policing, with the affidavit attached, saying the committee needed to have all the facts in front of them.
Phahlane’s spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe responded that "it is common knowledge that the matter referred to is a subject of a litigation process which is to be deliberated before a court of law".
"The department will not dignify any questions in this regard, outside the boundaries of the court."
*Do you have information for our investigative journalists? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org