Former North West Deputy Provincial Commissioner Jan Mabula has told the State Capture Commission in Johannesburg that he needed an opinion from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) before investigating an alleged threat against former Acting Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane. Former IPID Head Robert McBride alleged in his testimony to the Commission last year that Mabula sought to interfere in an investigation IPID was conducting into corruption allegations against Phahlane.
McBride told the commission that Mabula launched a bogus investigation into false claims there were threats made against Phahlane’s life. Mabula has claimed at the commission that he had been asked to conduct the investigation by the Provincial Commissioner and was simply checking with the NPA if this would be in order.
“Nothing would have stopped me to go and investigate but I said to avoid whatever may come let me go to the DPP tell him this is what we see what does he say because the DPP would also have been aware that the National Commissioner at this level is being investigated. Obviously all these investigations will go to his office as the DPP so that’s why I used my discretion to say I must go to him.”
Former IPID Head Robert McBride says he took issue with the choice of the investigating team that was put together to probe the alleged threat to former Acting Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane’s life. The team was led by former Deputy North West Deputy Provincial Commissioner Jan Mabula. The investigation commenced in November 2016 while IPID was busy investigating corruption charges against Phahlane.
In his testimony to the Commission last year, McBride alleged that Mabula sought to interfere in the IPID investigation by launching a bogus investigation into claimed threats on Phahlane’s life and was in fact targeting IPID members. McBride has told the commission under cross-examination that he believes Phahlane was behind the choice of who was to be in the investigating team.
The Mabula investigation resulted in the arrest of two IPID officials as well as forensic expert Paul Sullivan and his associate Sarah Jane Trent for intimidation and fraud. The charges were subsequently dropped.
“It seemed out of the ordinary Chair that indeed of all the investigators and detectives that the team that had been investigated by IPID, the majority of them are the ones who are coming to investigate the alleged security breach and later on were issuing warning statements to one of the investigators who indeed investigated them. The choice of the team which was of concern for me in particular General Mabula should have recused himself from the team at a certain stage.”