- The African Transformation Movement has written to IPID asking that it investigate claims that top cops knew about the alleged Phala Phala burglary, theft, and related matters yet covered them up.
- Among those whom the ATM wants to be investigated are Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola and his predecessor, Khehla Sitole.
- The party also wants all involved active police officials suspended pending the investigations, saying these high ranking officials can not oversee the current investigation as they are possibly conflicted.
The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has written to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), asking that it investigate newly appointed Police Commissioner, Fannie Masemola, and his predecessor, Khehla Sitole, for being “in the know about the Phala Phala burglary, theft and related matters” yet seemingly covering them up.
The opposition political party also wants all active police officers, including Masemola, who were allegedly involved in the off-the-books investigation and alleged cover-up, to be suspended pending IPID’s investigation.
In a letter seen by News24, ATM President Vuyolwetu Zungula cites leaked reports to the media that state Namibian Police were in contact with a few of the police officers from South Africa, including Masemola and Sitole, following the burglary and theft in the Phala Phala farm which is owned by President Cyril Ramaphosa and that they were involved in “some secretive and off-the-books investigation”.
“According to reports leaked to the media, the Namibian Police were in contact with a few of the police officers from South Africa following the burglary and theft in the Phala Phala Farm, which is owned by President Ramaphosa.
“It is common cause the burglary and theft have been confirmed by Mr Ramaphosa and the Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Force, L.T. Gen. Sebastian Ndeitunga, in his attempt to come clean, issued a press statement dated 16 June 2022 confirming that his police met with their South African counterparts in ‘no man’s land’ on 19 June 2020 to share operational information regarding a certain Mr David Imanuwela and other Namibian nationals suspected of having fled to Namibia after stealing from South Africa.”
Zungula goes on to add that News24 reports also revealed that the top brass in the Crime Intelligence Division were tasked with the backchannel tracing of the loot and those who stole it.
“According to two sources known to News24, the Presidential Protection Unit head, Wally Rhoode, called on the then Crime Intelligence boss Peter Jacobs for manpower and resources to probe the dollar heist, which was never formally reported.
“News24 reports that their sources said high ranking officers from Pretoria and Polokwane along with Rhoode were dispatched to the game farm to undertake a fresh threat and risk assessment of security and that the elite Special Task Force were stationed in the veld surrounding the farm.
“It is common cause that in the affidavit deposed by Arthur Fraser at the Rosebank police station, he alleges that Rhoode as well as active former Crime Intelligence officials kidnapped and interrogated suspects that are named in his affidavit; as a result, the ATM strongly recommends that all the affected police officers should be suspended pending the investigation into their alleged complicity,” the letter stated.
Speaking to News24, Zungula said his party was not overreacting, but merely doing its job of holding the executive to account as “these are very serious and damning allegations which have the potential to erode the confidence of the public in the South African Police Service”.
He added that the ATM was also very concerned that the very same officials would be overseeing the current criminal investigation and given that they were implicated they could negatively impact the investigations.
Zungula said his party had yet to receive an acknowledgment of receipt of the letter from the ATM from IPID.
Despite numerous attempts, News24 was also unable to get confirmation of receipt of the letter from IPID’s director for communications and marketing, Lizzy Suping.
Their comment will be added once received.