More Phiyega ‘meddling’ emerges

2014-09-23 00:00

A PROVINCIAL police commissioner has accused the country’s top cop, Riah Phiyega, of manipulating internal investigations to shield her allies in top ranks.

This revelation is contained in an affidavit by Mpumalanga police commissioner Thulani Raymond Ntobela, obtained by The Witness.

His affidavit has emerged in the wake of suspended KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen bring cleared of misconduct charges last week, and who returned to office yesterday.

Phiyega and other top cop brass faced stinging criticism from Advocate Nazeer Cassim SC, who chaired Booysen’s internal disciplinary enquiry.

Cassim found that Phiyega, KZN Police Commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni and controversial suspended Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli had a hand in ousting Booysen, and keeping him out.

The internal hearing came after Booysen had criminal racketeering charges against him set aside in the Durban high court.

He was indicted on a raft of charges along with 28 members of the Cato Manor Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, who remain suspended from active duty. In his affidavit, signed last month, Ntobela detailed how he had been appointed to investigate Booysen.

He documents what he said were flaws in the decision to charge KZN’s top Hawk. He said he had been appointed in 2012 to the investigate misconduct charges against Booysen by national Hawks head Lieutenant-General Anwar Dramat.

Ntobela said in the affidavit that he had questions about the nature of the investigation.

“Nevertheless, I investigated the matter although it was a very superficial investigation.

“It was a mistake on my part and that superficial investigation might result in a man losing his job.

“All men make mistakes but a good man yields when he knows his course was wrong and repairs the evil. It is upon this background that I want to point out the flaws in the application of the regulations,” he said.

He said that normal processes of charging Booysen had not been followed.

Ntobela described how Phiyega had expressed her distaste when he criminally charged a another highly-ranked officer.

“A typical example is the case of Major General Mapanye, whom I charged in December 2012 for six counts of fraud.

“On his first appearance, the national commissioner, when she heard of the arrest on the breaking news, it was as if she did not know about the pending arrest, yet I had informed her two weeks in advance, but I had not mentioned the name of the major general involved.

“She reprimanded me as if I had committed the crime. Her exact words were, ‘General, there are so many criminals out there, why do you arrest our own?’”, he stated.

Ntobela claimed the officer was never charged internally like Booysen.

He said that Phiyega’s bias was clear, with the way she shielded the controversial crime intelligence boss Mdluli. He drew attention to The Murphy Judgement, in which high court Judge John Murphy reinstated charges against Mdluli. Phiyega had, at the time, withdrawn disciplinary charges against the controversial cop, a move which Murphy over-turned.

Ntobela claimed Phiyega was also “not happy” with his investigation of Mdluli whistle-blower Major General Mark Hankel.

“In 2013 I was appointed by the national commissioner to investigate misconduct by Major General Hankel, who was the whistle-blower in Mdluli’s case.

“After the investigation I submitted my report, which was not what she expected and she was not happy.

“The investigation was then assigned to Lieutenant-General Sithole. Unfortunately for her … Sithole came to the same conclusion. This is just an indication that when the national commissioner wants you out of the service, she will go the extra mile to get rid of you,” he said.

Repeated attempts to contact Ntobela were unsuccessful.

Phiyega’s spokesperson Solomon Makgale did not respond at the time of going to press last night.

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