Former national acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane
PHOTO: Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24
- Lawyers representing former senior police officers and a businessman linked to the SAPS’ allegedly fraudulent multi-million blue light tender want the case struck off the roll.
- The accused include former national acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, former deputy national police commissioner Bonang Mgwenya, and former Gauteng provincial commissioner Deliwe de Lange.
- They face charges of fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering related to a R191 million tender to fit 1 500 police vehicles with blue lights.
Lawyers representing former senior police officers and a businessman linked to the SAPS’ allegedly fraudulent multi-million blue light tender want the matter struck off the roll.
The Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, heard two applications by the lawyers representing 11 accused, including a private company owned by businessman Vimpie Phineas Tlalefang Manthata.
Manthata, his company Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, former national acting police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, former deputy national police commissioner Bonang Mgwenya, former Gauteng provincial commissioner Deliwe de Lange, Ramahlapi Mokwena, James Ramanjalum, Lettie Napo, Thomas Marima, Joseph Mulaiwa, Judy Rose, and Samantha Andrews are facing charges of fraud, corruption, theft, and money laundering related to a R191 million tender to fit 1 500 police vehicles with blue lights.
Mgwenya was fired last week from her position after police management launched a departmental investigation following her court appearance.
Mgwenya was suspended on 15 October.
Their lawyers have argued that the state prosecutor, Tilas Chabalala, was not ready to proceed with the case despite his promises.
The lawyers have applied for the matter to be either removed from the roll, or to be granted permission for a permanent stay of prosecution.
They claimed that delays and postponements by the State showed that it was not ready to proceed.
The lawyers also claimed that there was a search and seizure operation conducted at properties of the accused where some items were removed.
Earlier in the day, Magistrate Emmanuel Magampa withdrew charges against Major General Ravichandran Pillay.
Chabalala said he was ready to proceed with the trial against the accused.
READ | Phahlane arrested on new charges linked to R86m blue lights tender
Chabalala claimed that he was once called disrespectful by some lawyers of the accused.
Some lawyers started making demands and [an] ultimatum that if the state failed to meet those demands, they will apply for the matter to be struck off the roll. I wasn’t aware that one lawyer would ask for a permanent stay of prosecution.
“The final charge sheet has been sent to some of the accused. It is only that the state is ready to proceed on from today. Their lawyers are exaggerating in their applications. To be safe, we first provided them with a draft charge sheet.
“I can’t say that I haven’t seen the result of the search and seizure operations. I’m aware that there are certain objects that we wanted from the accused and we found them.
“As of today, it is not clear whether or not persons affected by search and seizures will be charged for possession of unlawful objects,” Chabalala told the court.
The hearing continues on 24 November.
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