Sun, 01 Aug 2021

Justice has prevailed, says Paul O'Sullivan after Kgomotso Phahlane dismissal

"However, the sanction by General Riet, being one of the dismissals from the SAPS has not been confirmed by the national commissioner of the South African Police Service General [Khetla] Sitole, pending my application to have the findings of General Riet set aside by [the] Labour Court."

Phahlane said the case was taken up by the court on 31 July.

He added the parties had agreed that the application to have the findings and proposed sanction imposed reviewed and set aside would be heard on 6 August.

"Pending the hearing, the commissioner of the South African Police Service General Sitole undertakes not to take any further action to confirm the dismissal in terms of the South African Police Service discipline regulation, specifically regulation 9[3] to [6].

He said:

I therefore remain in the employ of the South African Police Service with full benefits.

Phahlane also said he "notes with dismay that forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan had on Thursday 30 July 2020 at 18:26 in his possession a SAPS confidential document about the unconfirmed sanction imposed by General Riet".

"This led to the fake news that I was dismissed being disseminated in the press and on social media.

"It is to be noted that the so-called dismissal pertains to a contract awarded to SAPS to a certain company for the supply of cameras to the SAPS which I refused to execute as the specification of the SAPS were not met.

"Because of gross negligence of the responsible officers in the SAPS, the claim for damages by the contractor against the SAPS was not opposed at all after I was told to remain at home by the erstwhile minister of police [Fikile] Mbalula," he added.

ALSO READ | A look back into the case against Phahlane

Phahlane said the officers should be disciplined as the order to pay the contractor R24 million in April 2019 was made on arbitration against the police in his absence.

"I was in fact sitting at home and therefore wasn't able to assist the SAPS in defeating the action. It is clear that I was excluded from this process and [am] now being unfairly blamed for the consequences of the negligent conduct of current high-ranking officers in the SAPS.

He added:

The so-called disciplinary action against me is, in my opinion, nothing but a smokescreen to protect the said high-ranking officers and taken in extreme bad faith.

When News24 contacted Naidoo about Phahlane's insistence that he was still a police officer, he said: "Our position remains that this is an internal matter and we will not discuss the merits of this case in the public domain. To add to this, the national commissioner has been made aware of the hearing in court today and he is awaiting a briefing on this matter."

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