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Sitole says unable provide details about meeting with Ipid official

Sitole says he’s unable to provide further details about the meeting at a Pretoria hotel last year because of the nature of the issue being discussed.

National Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Khehla Sitole. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

PRETORIA – The National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole says the purpose of his meeting with the subject of an Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) fraud and corruption investigation was to deal with a national security issue.

Eyewitness News revealed last month that Sitole and several senior police officers, the former police minister’s political advisor and the director of a South African Police Service service provider met at a hotel in December last year.

Ipid has told Parliament it suspects the meeting was part of a plot to defraud crime intelligence in order to obtain funds to be used to buy delegate votes at the African National Congress (ANC)’s elective conference.

Sitole says he’s unable to provide further details about the meeting at a Pretoria hotel last year because of the nature of the issue being discussed.

“I think we were dealing with an issue of national security threat in the meeting, that’s what was brought to my attention.

“When I deal with a national security threat; there’s three authorities that I report to; one is the minister, two is the Joint Standing Committee and three is the president.”

Ipid has revealed that the company whose director attended the meeting, is being investigated for fraud and corruption worth about R100-million.

CRIME BIGGEST THREAT

The Ipid head Robert McBride said that police corruption is the biggest threat to South Africa’s national security.

McBride dropped a number of bombshells earlier on Thursday when the police watchdog briefed Parliament’s police oversight committee on its high-profile investigations.

Ipid detailed how its members were offered bribes by senior police officials to sabotage certain investigations and to discredit McBride.

The country’s police service is corrupt to the core and is breaking the law with impunity.

That’s according to the head of the police watchdog, Ipid.

McBride told Members of Parliament (MPs) that former acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane lied to Parliament when he appeared to answer to allegations last year.

“Now if you have a defective intelligence service, incompetent and on top of all of that - highly corrupt. It exists to create crime.”

Ipid investigators also told MPs how their investigations are thwarted because certain crucial documents are not declassified by senior police management.

The committee has promised to get answers from police management when they appear before Parliament next month.