The former head of the police crime intelligence service in the Free State was arrested and appeared in court on Thursday for allegedly protecting former acting police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane.
Major-General Agnes Makhele appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) decided to prosecute her for defeating the ends of justice in terms of Section 33(1) of the IPID Act no. 1 of 2011.
An IPID investigator said in an affidavit that Makhele and Lieutenant-General Baile Motswenyane had established a team from North West to counter the IPID investigation and interfere with witnesses “under false pretence of security breach”.
IPID is investigating allegations of corruption and money laundering‚ which involve Phahlane’s purchase of an R80‚000 sound system for his home‚ from a South African Police Service supplier.
According to IPID’s affidavit‚ they interviewed Makhele on May 5 before interviewing former staff officer Colonel Collen Trollope to clarify aspects about documents that were in dispute.
Makhele stood up and interrupted Trollope while she was trying to explain and they left the boardroom.
During the one-on-one interview with Trollope‚ she said Makhele stood up and winked at her after interrupting her. She said Makhele instructed her to remain quiet.
“It was clear that Major-General Makhele was hiding some evidence in the matter as those letters in question have evidential value in the investigation.”
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “It is of concern that senior police officers aligned themselves with an evil scheme to interfere with a legitimate IPID investigation all in an effort to shield Lieutenant-General Phahlane from being investigated for serious allegations of corruption. Unfortunately she is not the only one‚ but the wheels of justice will catch up with all of those involved.”