The fraud trial of former national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane has resumed at the Palmridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.

The matter involves a R84-million tender that was allegedly siphoned by Khomotso Phahlane and his co-accused:

  • Brigadier Ravi Pillay;
  • Gauteng deputy commissioner Major General Nombhurhuzo Napo;
  • Former Gauteng top cop General Deliwe de Lange;
  • SAPS procurement head Brigadier James Ramanjalum; and
  • National divisional commissioner for supply chain management Lieutenant-General Ramahlapi Mokwena.

The matter has been postponed to 17 March 2020 to allow the state enough time to collect forensic evidence, as well as the results of lifestyle audits that will be conducted on all defendants.

Phahlane stands accused as tender mastermind

As reported by IOL News, the investigation relates to a 2016 tender that was procured for the installation of blue lights, sirens and radio equipment for the Gauteng SAPS fleet.

Irregularities in the way in which the procurement was handled, is at the core of the fraud case that could see all of the accused spend a minimum of 15 years in jail. This eventuality, according to a confident Phahlane, is far-fetched.

“I am the most senior lieutenant-general within the SAPS today, and it has been painful to sit at home and watch the crime situation get out of hand. But I will be back in the service to do my work,” he said before Thursday’s court proceedings.

Stay-at-home Phahlane still earns top cop salary

Phahlane was forced to step down from his position in June 2017 when the tender scandal came to light. However, it seems that the former top cop has earned monthly salaries totalling R4-million since he has been “on a paid holiday”.

“My stay at home has been unexplained, because it is not leave and it is not special leave – there is no such thing as special leave. So this really needs to be explained to the public,” he said.

SAPS policy states that suspended employees ought to face disciplinary action within a span of 90 days. It has been a little more than two years since Phahlane has been sent home due to the allegations of fraud – something which is considered as a gross act of misconduct.

The SAPS, however, has refused to entertain any questions about Phahlane’s situation. Instead, they claim that his case is “an internal matter and it is being dealt with as such, internally”.

So, Phahlane and his co-accused are free to roam the streets on bail, as the state pursues leads to strengthen its case.

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Presh JM Reporter

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