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Scopa seeks answers on contractor ‘holding criminal justice system to ransom’

The contractor is a former police officer who has threatened to switch off the country’s criminal justice system database if his contract isn’t renewed.

FILE: Former Scopa chairperson Themba Godi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s finance watchdog is demanding answers from the SA Police Service in the wake of a staggering threat by one of their contractors.

The contractor is a former police officer who has threatened to switch off the country’s criminal justice system database if his contract isn’t renewed.

That’s because his company controls the equipment associated with the database and does all the maintenance on the system.

The Forensic Data Analysts sell and hire out a wide range of forensic equipment to the police through the State Information Technology Agency.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) now wants answers from that agency and the police on how this contract came about in the first place.

Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said: “How do you have one man holding the entire criminal justice system to ransom? What kind of contractual arrangements have been made with him?”

Godi says they’re planning to meet with police management when Parliament reconvenes later in April to get to the bottom of this and other key contracts entered by the SAPS.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)