Police agree to stop investigating IPID investigators

21 June 2018 - 16:54 By Ernest Mabuza
The five policemen withdrew their opposition to IPID's application.
The five policemen withdrew their opposition to IPID's application.
Image: Elvis Ntombela

The five North West policemen who were opposing an application preventing them from counter-investigating three Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) members withdrew their opposition at the last hour on Thursday.

IPID had sought a court order declaring that it was unlawful and/or unconstitutional for any member of the SAPS to undertake or oversee an investigation into a member of the IPID if that SAPS member has a personal interest in such investigation or is the subject of an IPID investigation.

The case involves three IPID members who‚ in March 2016‚ began investigating former acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane on complaints of corruption‚ and the five policemen on complaints of torture and murder.

A few months after IPID investigators Mandlakayise Mahlangu‚ Temane Binang and Mantsha Raphetsu undertook their probe on Phahlane they found themselves under investigation from the five policemen. This followed their visit to Phahlane's home.

They were charged with‚ among other things‚ intimidation‚ extortion racketeering and breaching security.

The charges against the three were later dropped.

IPID then sought a court order stopping Major-General Ntebo Mabula‚ Brigadier Daniel Ncube‚ Lieutenant-Colonel Ismail Dawood‚ Brigadier Matome Kgorane and Colonel SM Reddy from investigating their three investigators.

Although Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Khehla Sitole were not part of the case - with Sitole indicating he would abide by whatever the decision the court made - the five policemen persisted with their opposition to IPID's application.

After IPID counsel Steven Budlender had argued before the high court in Pretoria on Thursday as to why the order sought should be granted‚ counsel for the five‚ Piet de Jager SC‚ indicated to the court that he had received new instructions.

“We have received instructions from the Acting National Commissioner‚ Lieutenant General (Sindile) Mfazi. We undertake that Mabula‚ Ncube‚ Dawood‚ Khorane and Reddy shall‚ with immediate effect‚ cease to investigate this matter at all‚" De Jager said.

De Jager said the officers would immediately be removed from investigating the three IPID investigators.

Although De Jager asked for the court to order that each party pay its costs‚ Judge Neil Tuchten said he was minded to grant costs in favour of IPID.

The case was postponed.