Khomotso Phahlane has been given two days to provide reasons why he should not be suspended from his permanent position as the SA Police Services’ head of forensic services.
This was after he was removed with immediate effect as acting national police commissioner of the SAPS.
This was announced last on Thursday night in Cape Town by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
Mbalula said Phahlane’s removal as acting police commissioner was endorsed by President Jacob Zuma as the appointing authority of the National Police Commissioner.
His removal as acting commissioner and his imminent suspension follows serious complaint of impropriety and corruption against him filed by forensic investigator Paul O’ Sullivan‚ which are being probed by police watchdog body‚ the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
“He (Phahlane) must stay at home‚” Mbalula said last night. He confirmed President Jacob Zuma has now appointed Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba Mothiba‚ a divisional head of the SAPS management-intervention unit who joined the police force in 1982‚ as the Acting National Commissioner of the SAPS with immediate effect.
Mbalula said Mothiba will act “in the interim” until a permanent commissioner is appointed‚ possibly by the end of August this year.
“He will be acting interim not acting permanently. I can tell you by August we should have a national police commissioner in the republic of South Africa. The president will have applied his mind. He will make that decision. We’ve got no time to waste. Our people are crying for intervention of the police.
“Police need to be well-oiled to do their job. We said we want stability and that is what is important‚” said Mbalula.
Commissioner Riah Phiyega is on suspension following the Marikana tragedy. Phiyega’s five-year employment contract ends in July. Phahlane was appointed in an acting capacity as her replacement.
Mbalula said. pending his representations‚ Phahlane could be suspended until the Ipid probe against him is finalised.
“Depending on how these cases will go and unfold‚ we will watch that. In our eyes Phahlane is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Those who are making claims about his incompetence and all of that‚ they’ve got the right to bring those things to the court of law‚” said Mbalula.
Phahlane has repeatedly claimed that he was being targeted him unfairly.