Top spy suspended over PPE deals

Johannesburg – Police crime intelligence unit boss Peter Jacobs has been suspended, amid reports that he is under investigation by the office of the inspector-general of intelligence over the irregular procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Sunday World has reported that inspector-general Setlhomamaru Dintwe recently read Jacobs the riot act, saying he must desist from preventing members of the division from cooperating with his office’s probe into the abuse of the slush fund to buy PPE.

On Monday, National Commissioner Khehla Sitole sent Jacobs a notice to suspend him, asking him to explain why he should not be put on ice for the irregular procurement of PPEs close to R1-million to a Durban firm, among others.

Sunday World reported that Dintwe’s office is investigating allegations that crime intelligence irregularly paid close to R1-million to procure PPE, some of which were rejected for being substandard.

Earlier last month, Dintwe requested Jacobs to avail all copies of documents relating to the procurement of PPE.

Dintwe had said the procurement of PPE ought not to have been funded from the secret service account as that would contravene the provisions of the Secret Service Account Act, which provided that the funds of the account shall be utilised only for services of a secret nature.

He reminded Jacobs that the information was requested in terms of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, warning one of the country’s top spy to desist from preventing members of the division from cooperating with his probe as it was a criminal offence.

Dintwe said internal protocols of the crime intelligence unit could not be elevated above an act of parliament. The SAPS has since confirmed to Sunday World that Dintwe was investigating Jacobs, but maintained that they would only comment once it has received a report from the office of the inspector-general. SAPS spokesperson Vish Naidoo could not confirm or deny Jacobs was sent a notice of suspension.

“Such matters, should they happen, form part of internal processes and therefore will not be discussed in the public domain.”

Sunday World has also reported that three major banks have referred over R1-billion in suspicious transactions related to COVID-19 expenditure to the fusion centre, a multidisciplinary law-enforcement team recently set up by President Cyril Ramaphosa. FirstRand, Absa and Nedbank have flagged dozens of transactions involving the SAPS and which account for R721-million.

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