In-fighting escalates at crime intelligence

2017-08-17 18:24
Acting head of crime intelligence Major General Pat Mokushane in Parliament on Wednesday. (Jan Gerber, News24)

Acting head of crime intelligence Major General Pat Mokushane in Parliament on Wednesday. (Jan Gerber, News24)

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Johannesburg - In-fighting and accusations at the police crime intelligence unit have intensified following a fallout over a lack of security clearance of its acting head Major General Pat Mokushane.

Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba told Parliament on Wednesday - despite his earlier promises that Mokushane’s security clearance would soon be sorted out - that Mokushane did in fact not have a security clearance and that he was being investigated for running his own business from work. 

READ: Crime intel boss investigated for security clearance, misuse of funds

The police’s portfolio committee also heard that Mokushane had served an invalid suspension on the police officer who informed Mothiba that he had been misled about Mokushane’s clearance. Furthermore, it was revealed that the brigadier who ordered the security clearance certificate for Mothiba be printed, did work for him even though she was appointed elsewhere.

News24 has reliably learnt that Mothiba afterwards asked Mokushane to go on long leave, but police would not confirm this. 

A dodgy past

In a series of articles soon after Mokushane's appointment, City Press revealed that he had a criminal record, allegedly ran his private companies from his office and had an affair with a subordinate officer’s wife. He denied the allegations. The paper said Mokushane was found guilty in 2002 for violating the National Road Traffic Act and in 1993 was arrested for possession of suspected stolen property.

The paper also revealed that crime intelligence’s head of counter and security intelligence Major General Dumezweni Zimu wrote the letter revealing that Mokushane and two senior colleagues, Brigadier Leonara Bamuza-Phetlhe and Brigadier VVV Mazwi, obtained their top security clearance certificates in an “unprocedural, unlawful and fraudulent” manner.

Zimu stated that Bamuza-Phetlhe ordered that the clearance certificates be printed on June 30 despite Mokushane still having to submit outstanding information to the vetting team and that the security vetting panel had not met to consider his application. 

Take action against Phetlhe

In issuing the order that the certificates be printed, Zimu recommended that Bamuza-Phetlhe be criminally charged or internally disciplined and that the inspector-general of intelligence investigate her. 

“Brigadier (Bamuza) Phetlhe must be temporarily transferred or suspended with immediate effect pending the finalistaion of these serious matters,” Zimu wrote, adding that she “should not be exposed to the sensitive crime-intelligence environment until her security competence is confirmed”.

Zimu’s letter also referred to a R50 000 transferred to Bamuza-Phetlhe’s bank account - in contravention of Treasury stipulations - when she was tasked with getting refreshments for a three-day police conference.

Bamuza-Phetlhe hits back

News24 has learnt that after Zimu wrote to Mothiba revealing all of these irregularities, Bamuza-Phetlhe laid a grievance, got a protection order and opened a case against Zimu for allegedly threatening her life. 

In one letter to Mokushane and Mothiba on July 30, Bamuza-Phetlhe said she was writing to them to update them on the "ongoing spats" within the division. 

These spats, she wrote, have great potential to undermine the mandate of the crime intelligence division and SAPS; as well as frustrating personnel to the extent that the intelligence division would be deemed "dysfunctional" or be "compromised”.

Bamuza-Phetlhe also claimed in the letter that Zimu allegedly threatened her in a phone call he made to her on July 8. She said that when he called, Zimu asked her if she knew General Mxolisi Dladla, who is the head of the Presidential Protection Services. Dladla has recently been implicated in a tender kickback scandal

'Dictatorial, demanding, demeaning'

She confirmed she knew Dladla. Bamuza-Phetlhe said in the letter Zimu’s tone of voice was "dictatorial, demanding, demeaning and belittling". 

According to Bamuza-Phetlhe, Zimu said to her: "You see Brigadier, there are certain things which are very-very dangerous and might put your lives in great danger when you involve yourselves in, so you and Major General Dladla must watch your backs [sic]."

Bamuza-Phetlhe said she felt intimidated by the call and subsequently opened a case against Zimu, citing that "it is common course that victims or their families of such statements normally gets hurt [sic]".

“I learnt along the way that the same person is pursuing officials within the Division and those individuals who are being pursued includes myself, the acting Divisional Commissioner and other officials.” 

'An opportunity for assassination'

She also mentioned the R50 000 paid into her account for the conference, pointing out that it “baffled her” to realise she was supposed to receive this large amount of money in hand to pay for all the expenses. 

“This brought to mind that the desire for me to carry such would have opened an opportunity for assassination,” she said.  

Bamuza-Phetlhe said Zimu accessed her banking details and she did not know how many people he had passed on this information to.  

“His actions have left me numb, confused and in danger… I feel scared for my life and these threats have already instilled a sense of uneasiness and thus distracts me from performing my duties effectively and efficiently.”  

The suspension letter

Mokushane then issued Zimu with the “invalid” suspension letter Mothiba referred to in Parliament. Mokushane also told Zimu he was prohibited from leaving Gauteng. 

Mothiba said that Lieutenant General Jimmy Ledwaba, provincial police commissioner of Limpopo, was appointed to investigate the allegations against Mokushane and the State Security Agency would take over the matter of his security clearance.  

Police spokesperson Major General Sally de Beer said the matter was the subject of an internal process and it would not be discussed in the media space.

*Do you have information for our investigative journalists? Send an email to tips@24.com.

Read more on:    saps  |  lesetja mothiba  |  pat mokushane  |  johannesburg  |  corruption  |  crime

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