Picture: SAPS

PRETORIA – Three senior Crime Intelligence officials have been cleared of fraud related to a R50,000 catering deal with suggestions they may have been charged because they blew the whistle on corruption related to the unit’s slush fund.

Brigadiers Leonora Phetlhe and Tiyani Hlungwane, as well as Lieutenant-Colonel Zandile Mokushane, were found not guilty on all charges.

However, they still must answer to the same charges in a criminal case being heard in the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

The internal disciplinary hearing presiding officer criticised police management for their handling of the case against the three officials.

It found that the mere belief in an employee’s guilt does not in itself prove or justify a verdict of guilty and proper investigation is required.

Investigators made no attempt to corroborate statements while several aspects of the investigation were incomplete.

Head of police watchdog body Ipid, Robert Mcbride, testified at the hearings that employees are witnesses in one of their cases and that the charges were an attempt at interfering in the investigation.

The implicated officers referred queries to police management.

The police’s Vish Naidoo declined to comment.

Source: EWN