Senior cops procured software program that may make it unattainable for investigators to get their cellphone name data – at a time when the nation’s prime cop was below investigation for irregular procurement.
This and different examples of how badly the Crime Intelligence Division of the South African Police Service (SAPS) was allegedly manipulated have gotten clearer as extra high-ranking cops are arrested.
This week former performing nationwide police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane, who already faces corruption fees in one other case, was taken into custody, together with three serving Crime Intelligence officers and two businessmen.
The six, launched on bail and anticipated again in a Pretoria court docket in December, face fees of fraud, corruption, theft and contravening the Public Finance Administration Act (PFMA). The costs relate to 2 police tenders issued in December 2016, value about R54-million and linked to cellular communication encryption.
In his last report on State Seize, launched in June, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo referred to false intelligence reports emanating from Crime Intelligence, saying it may “destabilise the nation”.
This, along with the newest fees towards police, hints on the extent to which Crime Intelligence has been subverted over more than a decade.
Richard Mdluli, appointed to go Crime Intelligence in July 2009, two months after Jacob Zuma grew to become president, faces fees linked to the looting of the secret service account. The matter continues to be taking part in out in court docket.
In 2020, the Crime Intelligence boss on the time, Peter Jacobs, was suspended over what he mentioned had been bogus allegations. He claimed to have uncovered proof that cops, including Crime Intelligence colleagues, were abusing the secret service account for years. He was subsequently transferred out of Crime Intelligence.
In June this 12 months, Parliament heard that the earlier police commissioner, Khehla Sitole, who was pressured to step down in March, had obtained no Crime Intelligence reports ahead of the attempted insurrection of July 2021 that devastated elements of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Throughout his State of the Nation deal with earlier this 12 months, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned “critical vacancies” affected by suspensions in Crime Intelligence can be stuffed.
The division nonetheless has solely an performing head – Main Common Philani Lushaba.
Other than Phahlane, whom Zuma appointed to behave as police commissioner in October 2015 (and whose first identify is spelt “Khomotso” in some court docket paperwork), these arrested this week are:
- Lieutenant Colonel Godfrey Mahwayi, who heads Crime Intelligence’s data know-how part;
- Main Common Obed Nemutanzhela, who was the pinnacle of covert intelligence in Crime Intelligence. He was additionally the chief monetary officer of Crime Intelligence’s secret service account;
- Inbanathan Kistiah, the director of Mind Wave Initiatives 1323 CC buying and selling as I-View Built-in Methods. Earlier this week, Day by day Maverick’s Marianne Thamm reported that Kistiah was additionally being investigated over Crime Intelligence’s allegedly illegal try to acquire a surveillance system often called a grabberfor the inflated worth of R45-million (the standard worth was R7-million) earlier than the ANC’s elective convention in 2017. This concern was believed to have added to the strain that led Sitole to step down;
- Avendra Naidoo, who was beforehand married to Gevani Naidoo, the only real director of Good Supply Skilled Companies (Pty) Ltd. Naidoo and Kistiah had been allegedly associates. Naidoo had entry to Good Supply’s checking account and submitted quotations to Crime Intelligence on its behalf although he had no written authorisation to incur contractual legal responsibility on behalf of the corporate; and
- Main Common Agnes Makhele, who heads Crime Intelligence within the Free State.
A draft indictment towards them particulars what they allegedly bought as much as.
Ripjar and #FeesMustFall
The indictment says that on 21 December 2016, Nemutanzhela known as a brigadier to his workplace and confirmed the officer two requests for procurement that Mahwayi had compiled.
“The paperwork associated to procurement of software program for cellular communication encryption or safe cellular communication and social media monitoring which was meant for use for the #FeesMustFall venture,” the draft indictment says.
#FeesMustFall is a reference to the coed motion that began in October 2015, pushing without cost tertiary training.
The draft indictment continues: “[Nemutanzhela] knowledgeable [the brigadier] that SAPS administration was going through critical challenges and [Phahlane] had instructed that Division: Crime Intelligence ought to procure software program for safe cellular communication and social media monitoring.”
This software program was often called Ripjar.
In line with the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA), it was “meant to gather and monitor data from social media platforms on the instigators of the college college students’ #FeesMustFall protests”.
The draft indictment says that, on Makhele’s alleged suggestion, Nemutanzhela utilized to deviate from prescribed procurement procedures “alleging that there was an emergency that necessitated the deviation”.
However the indictment goes on: “No cogent causes … had been offered within the software.” There was additionally apparently no motive to state the procurement was pressing.
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Phahlane ‘didn’t inform Treasury’
Phahlane allegedly accredited the appliance to deviate from procurement procedures and “failed to tell Nationwide Treasury and the Auditor-Common in regards to the deviation and/or procurement inside the prescribed interval as required by … the PFMA”.
The businesses Good Supply (which the NPA described as “a human useful resource recruitment firm”) and Mind Wave Initiatives or I-View (which the NPA mentioned was “not concerned in software program engineering however was a safety alarms and surveillance cameras firm”) submitted written quotations to produce Crime Intelligence with social media monitoring software program.
Mind Wave’s citation was dated earlier than Mahwayi compiled and submitted a proposal for Nemutanzhela to approve.
Good Supply’s citation was dated 20 December 2016, a day earlier than Mahwayi compiled the proposal.
Gevani Naidoo didn’t compile and signal Good Supply’s citation. This was completed by her ex-husband Avendra Naidoo, allegedly Kistiah’s good friend.
Faux competitors claims
Good Supply presupposed to quote almost R41-million to produce Ripjar, whereas Mind Wave presupposed to quote just below R34-million (one other firm had quoted a fraction of this – R7-million).
“Fictitious competitors was created by the submission of two written worth quotations from entities that had been associated to one another,” the draft indictment alleges.
Kistiah’s firm, Mind Wave, was awarded the contract.
In line with the draft indictment, on the similar time the proposal for Ripjar was compiled, so too was a “proposal for the procurement of software program for safe encrypted cellular communications or voice encryption system”, often called Daedalus.
“The mentioned procurement was additionally in contravention of the provisions of the PFMA,” the indictment says.
Once more, it’s alleged that Kistiah and Naidoo, in different phrases Mind Wave Initiatives and Good Supply, “misrepresented that they had been in competitors with one another”.
Mahwayi and Nemutanzhela had been additionally accused of misrepresenting that these two firms, in addition to a 3rd entity named ISDS, “had submitted written worth quotations and had been competing for the contract to produce Daedalus”.
ISDS had truly not submitted a written citation, in keeping with the draft indictment.
Kistiah’s firm was awarded a contract to produce Daedalus to Crime Intelligence for R1,197,000 a month.
Mahwayi signed a contract with Kistiah, although he was not authorised to take action, on behalf of the SAPS. Phahlane, in keeping with the draft indictment, was meant to.
“The irregular expenditures incurred by the Division: Crime Intelligence regarding the procurements referred to above had been unlawfully and deliberately not disclosed,” the indictment says.
Wiping name data
Within the different matter towards Phahlane, he and others are accused of corruption and fraud within the “blue lights” case, linked to a young to produce emergency tools to the SAPS in 2016.
The NPA issued an announcement this week, saying: “The aim of Daedalus was to encrypt voice calls made by administration of the SAPS on the time when Phahlane was below investigation.”
The Unbiased Police Investigative Directorate had been trying into him.
The NPA mentioned: “He was being investigated for the ‘blue lights’ police tender and different irregular procurement that occurred throughout his tenure.
“Daedalus made it unattainable for investigators to get name data from cellphone suppliers…
“Daedalus was procured for the only real goal of encrypting calls and wiping out mobile data and messages.”
‘Battle for the soul of SAPS’
Phahlane has beforehand portrayed himself an harmless sufferer. Day by day Maverick reported that Phahlane approached the Public Protector in June to request an investigation of the circumstances surrounding the top of his police profession in June 2017 over corruption claims.
A part of his grievance to the Public Protector mentioned: “The first of June 2022 led to a completion of a vicious five-year circle/interval of an onslaught, character assassination, assault on one’s integrity, abuse of energy and authority together with insults skilled in a malicious and harmful battle for the soul and management of the South African Police Service waged towards Lieutenant Common Johannes Khomotso Phahlane.”
In the meantime, the Investigating Directorate is of the view that the arrests of Phahlane and the others this week confirmed its dedication to rooting out rotten apples within the SAPS.
The pinnacle of the Investigating Directorate, Advocate Andrea Johnson, mentioned: “The wheels of justice are turning and impunity is not a given.
“Quite the opposite, the rule of regulation is crucial safety of the weak towards the whims of the highly effective.”
Ripjar software program
- Purportedly wanted in late 2016 to gather and monitor social media platforms regarding the “instigators” of the #FeesMustFall protests.
- The corporate Good Supply, whose sole director was Gevani Naidoo, beforehand married to accused Avendra Naidoo, together with the firm Mind Wave Initiatives buying and selling as I-View, whose director was accused Inbanathan Kistiah, submitted quotations. Avendra Naidoo and Kistiah had been allegedly associates. The 2 entities allegedly colluded.
- Kistiah’s firm bought the contract.
- The state alleged there was no urgency in procuring the Ripjar software program, as police had claimed. Former performing nationwide police commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane allegedly accredited an software for deviating from prescribed procurement procedures.
Daedalus software program
- Purportedly wanted in late 2016 for safe encrypted cellular communications or voice encryption programs.
- Good Supply and I-View allegedly “misrepresented that they had been in competitors with one another”. A 3rd entity named ISDS was additionally mentioned to have submitted written worth quotations and competed for the contract. However it was later alleged that ISDS had not truly submitted a written citation.
- Kistiah’s firm bought the contract.
- The Daedalus software program allegedly prevented investigators who had been trying into Phahlane from accessing senior cops’ name data. DM168
This story first appeared in our weekly Day by day Maverick 168 newspaper, which is obtainable countrywide for R25.