The businessman‚ whose identity is known to Timeslive‚ has detailed his relationship with Phahlane in a sworn statement which is believed to form part of the case being investigated by the Independent Investigative Police Directorate (IPID).
In the statement‚ seen by Timeslive‚ the businessman said he met Phahlane about four years ago in his dealership in Pretoria North.
“The day we met‚ Phahlane was dressed in his police uniform. Phahlane was looking at vehicles and during our discussion it became clear to me that that he had a passion for vehicles‚” he states in the affidavit.
The statement‚ which was taken at the Garsfontein police station on January 17‚ goes into detail about how the businessman approached Phahlane to be his Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner.
He alleges that Phahlane was willing to be his BEE partner and discussions began.
The man said Phahlane was then appointed acting police commissioner in October 2015 and the partnership was not discussed further.
“We have stayed in touch after his appointment but did not see each other regularly. We did however exchange Christmas greetings etc. via cell phone messages‚” he said in the affidavit.
The businessman said in December 2015‚ he decided that he wanted to sponsor Phahlane with a vehicle to use for his community projects and Phahlane agreed to the offer.
The man said he decided on a Toyota Hilux because of its good resale value‚ saying the agreement was that Phahlane would use the vehicle for 18 months and that it would be registered in Phahlane’s name so he could be responsible for insurance‚ fuel‚ tolls and maintenance.
This is one of the six cars‚ which are said to include a Land Rover Discovery‚ a Range Rover Sport‚ a Toyota Hilux bakkie and a VW Amarok bakkie‚ that have since drawn the attention of the directorate.
It is not clear whether Phahlane declared the vehicle to the police.
Rudolph Zinn‚ a professor in the department of police practice at the University of South Africa‚ said donations were guided by standing orders in the police service.
“(The donation) must first be approved in writing from the SAPS. It must be an open and transparent process and must be declared. So‚ there must be an application process to receive the donation‚” Zinn said.
He said that in this specific case‚ of interest to the IPID investigators would be why the vehicle was registered in the commissioner’s name and not the community project to which it was donated.
“This is what investigators will look into in establishing whether there was a transgression of the standing orders and other instructions‚” Zinn said.
Zinn said he could not comment on what impact the donation allegations could have on perceptions of Phahlane’s integrity as the matter was still under investigation to establish the facts.
The police watchdog is probing Phahlane for corruption and defeating the ends of justice‚ with the investigation said to have been widened to probe how the top cop could afford the string of luxury cars.
Last week the directorate’s investigators raided Phahlane’s upmarket home North East of Pretoria looking for an R80 000 home theatre system investigators believe could assist them in a corruption investigation and which may be related to a tender which was awarded when Phahlane was head of the police forensic unit.
Phahlane‚ who gave a warning statement to investigators last week‚ has insisted that he bought and paid for the sound system himself.
That tender saw a certain chemical manufacturer being approved to provide chemicals for the laboratory.
The car dealer however stated in the affidavit that he had “no dealings with the SAPS and this sponsorship was solely for the purposed (sic) of my future BEE requirements and intentions with Phahlane…”
The 46-year-old from a Pretoria East suburb stated that he had never visited Phahlane’s home and did not know any of his family members.
Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini‚ when asked whether their investigators were looking into Phahlane’s vehicles and how they were financed‚ declined to comment.
“Our investigations are still on-going‚” he said.
National police spokesman Brigadier Sally de Beer said the allegations‚ which were “unlawfully” leaked to the media‚ were factually inaccurate and seem to be an attempt to defame and humiliate Phahlane.
She said court proceedings would soon take place where all would be revealed.
“As in the instance where it was widely and inaccurately reported that Phahlane had received a sound system as a corrupt gift‚ the fact was that he had paid for it himself‚ these leaked allegations relating to vehicles are also misleading and false‚” De Beer said.