ACTING National police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has been given the boot and replaced by Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba to the top position.
His problems are however far from over as he faces a possible suspension from his old position. President Jacob Zuma announced Phahlane’s removal on Thursday saying he would vacate the seat with immediate effect.
“The acting tenure of Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane came to an end today, 01 June 2017,” Zuma’s spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.
Mothiba is currently the SAPS Divisional Head of the Management Intervention Unit. Phahlane has been at loggerheads with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). The unit has been investigating Phahlane for defeating the ends of justice.
The investigation relates to a house built in an upmarket estate in Pretoria. The affordability of the house and his fleet of cars believed to be in the region of R 8 million raised eyebrows. Since then, Phahlane and Ipid head Robert McBride have been exchanging blows in public.
On Wednesday McBride claimed Phahlane had authorised a raid of the Ipid offices. On the same day, two Ipid investigators involved in Phahlane’s case appeared in court in on allegations of fraud.
Things, however, did not happen in that manner. Phahlane was shown the door the next day. His woes are far from over. Police Minister Fikile Mbalula also announced on Thursday that Phahlane must provide reasons why he should not be suspended from his position as forensic services divisional commissioner with immediate effect.
“It is clear to me that the initial reasoning over Phahlane’s undesirableness of staying as acting national police commissioner equally arises in his original role. Accordingly, Phahlane has been requested by myself to furnish me with cogent and reasonable reasons why I should not suspend him from his position as forensic services divisional commissioner with immediate effect,” he said.
Mbalula added that the allegations levelled against Phahlane were behind his misfortunes.
“There are clearly serious allegations of misconduct on the part of Phahlane which also impacts on his fitness to hold office as the acting national police commissioner. The allegations against Phahlane raise questions of conduct that would be inconsistent with expectations that attend those who hold leadership in our police service, the South African Police Service,” Mbalula said.