In the Commercial Crimes Court today for the first time, a police officer has been charged with creating false information to get permission from a judge to tap the phones of two Sunday Times journalists Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Stephan Hofstatter.
EWN's Barry Bateman is in court and talks to Stephen Grootes about the police officers charges..
He used false names of suspects, there were five suspects and seven telephone numbers he submitted on his application.— Barry Bateman, EWN Reporter
But using those false names, he then submitted the telephone numbers of these journalists, but not only the journalists, This matter also involves police chief Bheki Cele. His number was among those on this very same application that was submitted— Barry Bateman, EWN Reporter
And through this, a three month interception period of these phones was obtained.
Bateman says it was uncovered by a covert intelligence operation inside Crime Intelligence headquarters.
It is unclear at this stage of proceedings who was behind this attempt to gain access to these phone conversations.
Bateman says the Right To Know Campaign has expressed concern at the ease with which it is possible to intercept phones, and the lack of oversight.