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Popcru, Sapu feel vindicated after former acting top cop Khomotso Phahlane fired

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo has questioned why it has taken so long to remove Phahlane from his post despite the damning evidence that's been collected.

FILE: Former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane appears in the Specialised Commercial Court in Johannesburg on fraud and corruption charges in March 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police unions Popcru and Sapu said that they felt vindicated now that former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has finally been fired, three years after he was suspended on full pay.

Phahlane and his 11 co-accused will go on trial in November on charges of fraud, theft and obstructing or defeating the course of justice in connection with a tender worth millions of rands that was awarded to a private company to install blue lights in police vehicles.

Others also standing trial in the matter include high-ranking police officials and former Gauteng Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange.

Its been more than a year since Phahlane was arrested by the Hawks for alleged fraud.

Popcru's Richard Mamabolo has questioned why it has taken so long to remove Phahlane from his post despite the damning evidence that's been collected.

"It's a trend in South African that cases take very long and sometimes they'll even be dropped because of a lack of evidence, so we will encourage that those that do investigations improve their skills."

The South African Policing Union (Sapu)'s Tumelo Mogodiseng agreed.

"He's been sitting at home for years without doing anything and management could not account."

Phahlane stated in his affidavit that the charges against him were malicious and designed to humiliate him.

He claimed that it was all an effort by former Ipid head Robert McBride to get his job back.

Union officials said that it was outrageous that Phahlane received full pay during a drawn-out suspension.

They said that it was disturbing that Phahlane cost taxpayers more than R4 million while sitting at home for three years waiting for his disciplinary hearing.

The drawn-out and expensive process has since found him guilty of dishonesty and he's been sacked.

Phahlane was placed on suspension in 2017 but continued to receive his salary.

The Sapu's Mogodiseng said that the treatment of Phahlane showed how the politically connected were handled compared to regular cops.

"That's very unfair. Other members are being suspended and we don't know what regulation was used against Phahlane. He was told to go and sit at home. No one wants to take responsibility for why he was sitting at home."

EWN has tried to reach out to Phahlane for comment but he's not yet been available.

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