08/11/2017 12:59 SAST | Updated 08/11/2017 13:05 SAST

IPID Officers, O'Sullivan, Trent: Charged With Racketeering

Thirty-four charges have been brought against IPID officers and forensic investigators, in an apparent fight-back against Phahlane investigation. 

Private investigator Paul O'Sullivan.
Gallo Images

The apparent fight-back campaign by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to protect former acting commissioner Khomotso Phahlane was upped a notch on Wednesday morning, when several charges related to racketeering were laid against IPID investigators and forensic investigators.

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The charges against forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan, his assistant, attorney Sarah-Jane Trent, and IPID officers Mandlakayise Mahlangu and Temane Binang, were laid in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court.

Thirty-four charges have been brought against them.

The four were appearing in the court on Wednesday to face previous charges laid against them earlier during their investigation into Phahlane –– related to allegedly impersonating a police officer, fraud, extortion and contravention of the IPID Act.

The case had been postponed numerous times for further investigation, before the extra charges were laid on Wednesday.

The charges come days after it was publicly revealed that IPID was investigating billions of rands in police contracts awarded to businessman Keith Keating. IPID alleged that he paid for vehicles for Phahlane.

The latest charges allege that the four contravened the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and that Trent, O'Sullivan and Mahlangu had "managed an enterprise".

Also Read: 'I Was Kidnapped' Says Private Investigator Paul O'Sullivan, Who Is Suing SAPS Officers For R100M

Other charges included intimidation, attempted extortion, crimen injuria, and contravention of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

On Tuesday night, IPID said in a statement that its attorney's offices were raided by the police. The raid was allegedly led by North West head of commercial crimes investigations, Brigadier Pharaza Ncube.

Ncube is part of a team of North West officers, along with Major-General Jan Mabula, who are under investigation by IPID for claims of torture and murder.

Ncube's team has made other "political" arrests in the past, including the arrest of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen and prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

National Intervention Unit officers, armed with R5 rifles, were in the magistrate's court on Wednesday. They left, however, before proceedings began.