The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating a failed plot to defraud police crime intelligence of R50-million, allegedly used to buy votes at the ANC's elective conference in December, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported.
EWN has reportedly seen an Ipid memorandum confirming this.
Allegedly, Ipid suspects that Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is behind the scam, together with other senior police officials, including National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and acting Crime Intelligence divisional commissioner, Bhoyi Ngcobo.
They allegedly conspired with a supplier to purchase a cellphone-locating device, called a grabber, at an inflated price, to launder funds to be used to buy votes for presidential hopeful Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
#CrimeIntel: Police watchdog IPID is investigating allegations of a failed attempt to defraud Crime Intelligence of R45m in order to launder the funds to pay for votes at the ANC's elective conference. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
They have strongly denied the allegations.
#CrimeIntel: IPID suspects Minister Mbalula, his advisor Bo Mbindwane and Sitole of orchestrating the plan. All the parties have strongly denied the allegations, sayings its part of a plan to attack their characters and undermine the work of the police. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
Mbalula's adviser, Bongani Mbindwane, who is also accused of being involved in the plot, told EWN that the allegations were part of a plot to discredit Mbalula.
"Due to the classification nature of the matters that leads to the 'story' landing with you, I am also not able to share with you details of a very elaborate project behind the 'story', save to say it's a hoax, a deliberate hoax by those who gave you the 'story', it is intertwined with power politics and organised crime," he reportedly said, adding that he and the minister had been warned of a plot to discredit them.
Ipid and the Inspector-General of Intelligence reportedly raided the police's crime intelligence head office in Erasmuskloof and the grabber supplier, I-View's office in Durban in November, seizing laptops and cellphones.
Days before the ANC conference, Ipid reportedly told the parties that they were under investigation. Ipid wrote to the National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole.
#CrimeIntel: IPID told Sitole: "It was brought to our attention that such amount of money directed at I-View Integrated Systems was in fact to be laundered for buying of votes at the ANC conference..." BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
#CrimeIntel: IPID further told Sitole: "IPID engaged a number of SAPS senior officials whom some confirmed that such transaction was being pushed at all costs resulting in a strained relationship among senior members." BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
The bid to push through the cash-for-votes scam reportedly failed when Inspector-General of Intelligence Professor Setlhomamaru Dintwe refused to get Ipid to stop investigating, as allegedly requested by the police members involved.
#CrimeIntel: IPID sent a letter to NatCom Sitole on 15 Dec asking him to immediately halt the payment of R45m to a service provider. IPID and the IGI had raided the company in November in connection with another tender fraud case. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
#CrimeIntel: Dintwe was also allegedly asked to sign a back-dated letter to the effect that the IGI was aware of the plan to purchase the grabber. Dintwe refused to sign it. BB— Barry Bateman (@barrybateman) February 5, 2018
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini told EWN: "It is a matter of public record that the Ipid and IGI have formed a task team to investigate amongst others the looting of the Secret Service Account in Crime Intelligence and these investigations have uncovered fraud and corruption and have rattled a lot of people. The arrest of Morris 'Captain KGB' Tshabalala is part of the ongoing investigation and the information gleaned will shock law-abiding citizens."