11/12/2017 07:56 SAST | Updated 11/12/2017 07:57 SAST

Cops Paid 3,000% More For Forensic Equipment In Tender Scam

Ipid has uncovered a tender scam reportedly involving top police management.

Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Police chase after students as clashes erupt at the University of the Western Cape during protests demanding free tertiary education in Cape Town, South Africa, October 19, 2016.

The police have been paying up to 3,000% more for forensic equipment, thanks to a forensic supply pricing scam uncovered by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), The Times reported.

This is revealed in a confidential memo send to police management by Ipid, in which former national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane, his family and other senior officers are also fingered.

The homes of Phahlane, his sister, and forensic supply company Forensic Data Analysts (FDA) were reportedly raided on Tuesday.

The FDA contract was cancelled by Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) over corruption allegations in November.

According to Daily Maverick, Keating was present during the Scopa meeting where Scopa chair, Themba Godi, said the contracts should be cancelled.

""For the first time in this Parliament, the person who is alleged [to be connected to] irregular procurements came and sat throughout the meeting, Mr Keith Keating, without any hint of shame or embarrassment. We deplore and condemn that kind of stuff," Godi said.

The Ipid memo reportedly details how Phahlane allegedly received kickbacks for ensuring that lucrative tenders for the supply of forensic equipment, like latex gloves and face masks, was secured by FDA.

The police were allegedly paying up to three times more than they should have for certain items.

FDA director Keith Keating denied any wrongdoing and said the FDA would cooperate fully with the Ipid investigation. The company has reportedly secured contracts worth R5-billion since 2010.

According to News24, the raid on Tuesday canvassed seven properties connected to Phahlane and Keating.

It is alleged that Keating provided luxury cars for Phahlane and his family, as well as a Colonel Potgieter, News24 reported. The vehicles were reportedly purchased under a fake name, John Doe, via a middle-man.

A source told News24 that the raid uncovered equipment from the police's local criminal record centre, which was allegedly found at Keating's office. Radio-frequency identity tags, purchased by SAPS for R374-million were reportedly found dumped at a construction side.