The police's apparent fight-back campaign to protect former acting commissioner Khomotso Phahlane was upped a notch on Wednesday morning when several charges related to racketeering were laid against Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigators and forensic investigators.
The charges against forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan, his assistant attorney Sarah-Jane Trent, and IPID officers Mandlakayise Mahlangu and Temane Binang, were served to them in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
Thirty-four charges have been brought against them.
They were appearing in the court on Wednesday to face previous charges laid against them, related to allegedly impersonating a police officer, fraud, extortion and contravention of the IPID Act, which they were charged with during their investigation into Phahlane.
The case had been postponed numerous times for further investigation, until the extra charges were laid on Wednesday.
The charges come days after it was publicly revealed that IPID was investigating billions of rands in police contracts awarded to businessman Keith Keating. IPID alleged that he paid for vehicles for Phahlane.
The latest charges allege that the four contravened the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and that Trent, O’Sullivan and Mahlangu had "managed an enterprise".
Other charges included intimidation, attempted extortion, crimen injuria, contravention of the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act.
On Tuesday night IPID said in a statement that its attorney's offices were raided by the police and that the raid was allegedly led by North West head of commercial crimes investigations, Brigadier Pharaza Ncube.
Ncube is part of a team of North West officers, along with Major-General Jan Mabula, who are under investigation by IPID for claims of torture and murder.
The team has made other "political" arrests in the past including the arrest of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen and prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
National Intervention Unit officers, armed with R5 rifles were in the magistrate's court on Wednesday. They however left before proceedings were set to begin.