PRETORIA: A police supplier alleged to have bribed former acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has threatened to bring the criminal justice system to a halt if he doesn’t get paid by midnight on Wednesday evening, News24 reported.
Forensic Data Analysis (FDA), a company owned by former police officer turned businessman Keith Keating, issued a statement at about 19:50 on Wednesday evening, saying that on “Wednesday, 4 April 2018, at midnight, use of and access to proprietary licensed software and ancillary support services in respect of PCEM (Property Control and Exhibit Management) and FPS (Firearm Permit System) will unfortunately be suspended by FDA, unless an appropriate agreement could be reached with SAPS before system shutdown”.
“The minister, SAPS and other stakeholders have been duly warned about the risks involved, but have acquiesced regardless of the impacts,” reads the statement.
Last year, in a dramatic meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on November 29, where the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, recommended that the police stop paying FDA, a view which was shared by Scopa.
At that meeting it emerged that SITA awarded a contract for police forensic equipment, mostly lights and Nikon cameras, worth more than R900m to Keating’s company FDA, and a contract to another Keating-linked company for the maintenance of this equipment, without following procurement processes and without there being a reason for FDA being the sole provider.It was also said that FDA did business worth R5bn with the police since 2010.
In hope to intimidate officials, Keating sat behind them, directly in the line of sight of the police officers and SITA officials as MPs grilled them on the contract.
DA MP Tim Brauteseth, who produced pictures of Keating with two police officers from the police’s supply chain management department in personalised Manchester United jerseys in the football club’s trophy room and outside their storied ground Old Trafford. The pictures were taken in October 2011, months after the contract for the forensic equipment has been awarded to FDA.
In December Keating denied these allegations, and said it is part of an attempted hostile takeover of his business.
He is also a central figure in the corruption case against Phahlane which is currently before the court. He allegedly paid for Phahlane’s vehicles.
On February 28 this year Scopa said it “is appalled that a sole company owned by an ex-policeman can hold the whole country to ransom by threatening the collapse of the criminal justice system if the state cancels this contract”.
It instructed SITA to cancel the contract.