Police on report by CPN Forensic and Accounting Services on 2012 allegations by POPCRU of corruption in Forensic Services

Report by CPN Forensic and Accounting Services re 2012 allegations by POPCRU of corruption in Forensic Services

The South African Police Service will today release the findings of an investigation conducted by an independent auditing company, CPN Forensic and Accounting Services (Pty) Ltd (CPN), after allegations of corruption within the Forensic Services Division of SAPS were levelled publicly by POPCRU at a press conference in 2012.

Many of the allegations were particularly aimed at me personally as the Divisional Commissioner of Forensic Services.

I am now releasing this report in my capacity as the Acting National Commissioner of the SAPS because, year in and year out since then, the allegations resurface in the form of media enquiries, apparently originating from the same group of people.

These allegations were contained in a letter dated 25 June 2012, which was sent by the General Secretary of POPCRU to General Riah Phiyega, who was then the serving National Commissioner of the SAPS.

After being advised of such allegations, I responded to the National Commissioner on 10 September 2012, requesting that an independent auditing firm be commissioned to thoroughly investigate the allegations. She acknowledged receipt of my correspondence on 18 September 2012 and CPN was appointed by her on 23 March 2013.

On 27 March 2013, POPCRU was formally advised by the Office of the National Commissioner that an independent investigation had been commissioned.

This matter has, over the years, been re-hashed by certain individuals for their own purposes. The allegation made by Colonel Sandragasen Moonsamy of East London, which has been publicised in the media, was part and parcel of those made by POPCRU and formed part of CPN’s investigation. When approached by them, he could not substantiate his allegations.

Some of the media headlines over the years include:

“Sexual harassment and sabotage at police lab – union” 7 September 2012;

“Corruption at forensic lab sabotages convictions” 12 September 2012;

“Cop vs cop in slander spat” 2 June 2013;

“Police question forensic supplies” 21 August 2015;

“SAPS suspends colonel who blew whistle on Phahlane” 15 April 2016;

“Forensic supply firm wins R30m SAPS contract despite contravening tax law” 12 May 2016;

“SA’s top cop sues union for R500K” 6 June 2016;

“Corruption in police lab:POPCRU” 7 September 2016

The report from CPN was made available to the South African Police Service on 23 April 2014. However, only on 13 April 2015, did I meet with General Phiyega who then advised me of the findings of the report.

I have been told that General Phiyega also held a meeting with POPCRU to advise them of the findings on 8 April 2015 and that a copy of the report was sent to them on 30 April 2015, the same date on which a copy was sent to my office at Forensic Services. The findings and recommendations contained in the report were never made public by General Phiyega.

These allegations were made by three “whistleblowers”, all three being POPCRU members and serving in the Forensic Services Division. They were also, at the time, under investigation in a disciplinary matter, which had to be put on hold on the request of POPCRU while their allegations were investigated. The members are Lieutenant Colonel Ramolobe, Warrant Officer Malatjie and Warrant Officer Ramalepe.

In brief, the allegations and outcomes/remedial actions can be summarised as follows:

Allegation relating to the decommissioning of the Marshall Reference Index System (different parts to the value of R46 million sold, parts kept in private company’s buildings)

Outcome – No evidence to substantiate misconduct by SAPS employees; allegations unfounded.

Allegation that fraudulent statistics on the backlog of cases were presented to the Portfolio Committee on Police in April 2012

Outcome – No evidence that presentation was fraudulent; measures implemented to address large quantities of exhibits supported to curb future recurrence of identified shortcomings in reporting process.

Allegation of procurement irregularities (goods not delivered to Criminal Record Centre)

Outcome – Financial investigation could not substantiate POPCRU’s allegation; detailed audit of delivery notes done to ensure credit note issued to supplier was converted into real value; more stringent measures implemented to ensure continued compliance with relevant procurement prescripts; SAPS Division Supply Chain Management notified of findings re suspected VAT irregularities.

Allegation of irregularities in the Eastern Cape re procurement

No information regarding the allegation was provided by POPCRU upon request of the auditors.

Allegation regarding fraud by members involved in arranging a birthday function for Lt Gen Phahlane with state money

Outcome – POPCRU allegation regarding as trivial; reasons for not taking disciplinary steps, as provided by Lt Gen Phahlane, accepted by auditors.

Allegation regarding the irregular payments of scarce skills allowance (W/O’s Mohlala, Nkgodi and Nhlapo received scarce skills allowance while not qualifying and Maj Gen Shezi received scarce skills allowance while being in support services)

Outcome – Maj Gen Shezi, allegation unfounded, officer qualified for the allowance; W/O’s Mohlala and Nhlapo, allegations unsubstantiated; W/O Nkgodi, allegation unfounded as member qualified for allowance.

Allegations regarding irregular appointments and sexual relationships (irregular appointments of Brig Morapedi, Brig Mmolawa, Brig De Wit (Kleynhans), Col Daku, Col Van der Hammen, Lt Col Mashabela and W/O Bafana; that Lt Gen Phahlane had a sexual relationship with African and White female brigadiers and they had children as a result of relationships)

Brig Morapedi – allegation unfounded, appointment found not to be irregular;

Brig De Wit (Kleynhans) – no irregularity in terms of her appointment;

Col Daku – allegation unfounded, in the interest of service delivery, service of officer retained in Pretoria and post in Eastern Cape filled laterally;

Col Van der Hammen – allegation unsubstantiated;

Lt Col Mashabela – allegation unfounded, member did not apply for any post;

W/O Nhlapo – allegation unfounded;

Sexual relationships with and impregnation of two female brigadiers could not be verified and thus found to be unsubstantiated.

Allegations of theft of narcotics and rhino horn from FSL (suspect captured on video footage stealing narcotics and rhino horn, no disciplinary action taken)

Outcome – theft of rhino horn-unfounded; matter relating to security at the FSL was attended to prior to the conclusion of this investigation (including CCTV system); continuous engagement with FSL management to improve security within limits of budget.

Allegation of disregard of organisational structure (posts filled disregarding the absence of an organisational structure)

Outcome – due to lack of information from POPCRU, no finding could be made, unsubstantiated allegation.

Allegation of reckless neglect of duties (officer from Commercial Branch requested services of handwriting expert, more than a month passed before Col Mathebula responded that he cannot be assisted due to shortage of senior analysts)

Outcome – allegations inaccurate; assessment of working procedures conducted and relevant procedure manuals were compiled, continuous process to ensure proper service delivery to clients.

We hope that by releasing the findings of the independent investigation, this matter can finally be put to rest, as in the past only the allegations were made known and never the findings. The civil litigation instituted by me is still in process as my reputation has been brought into disrepute on several occasions.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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