South Africa's top policeman denies taking bribes after his home is searched


 Reuters International

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's acting police commissioner on Friday denied allegations that he took bribes to fund an 8 million rand (488,566 pounds) mansion in an upmarket suburb of the capital Pretoria.

Speaking to eNCA television news a day after officers from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) searched his home, Khomotso Phahlane said he had done nothing wrong and was cooperating with the investigators.

On Thursday, news agency EWN said the police watchdog had a paper trail showing Phahlane accepted money in exchange for awarding police tenders to a forensic services company.

Phahlane denied the accusation during the televised interview, saying he had never accepted kickbacks or colluded with any service providers in the awarding of tenders by the South African Police Service.

"They (investigators) have been provided with proof of payment to confirm that the allegations are just an attempt to tarnish my reputation," said Phahlane, referring to a sound system installed in his home by a company also in business with the police.

"There is no conflict of interest. I did not use state money."

Phalane became acting commissioner after his predecessor Riah Phiyega was suspended by President Jacob Zuma in 2015 pending an inquiry into allegations of misconduct.

Phiyega was appointed in 2012 after Zuma sacked her predecessor Bheki Cele over the irregular signing of a lease for a new police headquarters worth nearly $100 million.

(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Reuters

 Reuters International