SA police illegally tap journalists’ phones

phone_tappingPolice have finalised the investigation into crime intelligence officers accused of duping a judge to illegally bug the phones of former police chief Bheki Cele and two Sunday Times journalists, the newspaper reported.

Former KwaZulu-Natal police spy boss Maj-Gen Deena Moodley and covert intelligence collection officials Colonel Dumisani Zulu and Captain Bongani Cele are suspected of inserting the three mobile numbers under false names into a legitimate interception order, the paper reported.

The order, granted by Judge Joshua Khumalo on December 6, 2010, authorised police to record “real time” calls, gain access to all text messages, and use GPS co-ordinates to pinpoint the location of phone users.

National police commissioner Riah Phiyega’s spokesman Solomon Makgale told the publication that police had finalised the criminal investigation into the illegal interception of the cellphones belonging to the two employees of the newspaper and the former national commissioner.

“We believe that there is prima-facie evidence against the three SAPS members who were involved. It is now up to the prosecuting authority to prosecute or not,” he was quoted. – Sapa