Suspended KZN top cop one step closer to being back in office

2016-12-13 17:20
Mmamonnye Ngobeni. (City Press, file)

Mmamonnye Ngobeni. (City Press, file)

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Durban - The police are expected to take their fight to uphold the suspension of KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Ngobeni's suspension was overturned in August, with the South African Police Service applying for leave to appeal the judgment.

Their application for leave to appeal was overturned in the Durban High Court on Tuesday.

Ngobeni's attorney Ravindra Maniklal confirmed that the application for leave had been dismissed.

"The application for leave to appeal was dismissed in court this morning. At this point I am sure my client is relieved and she is one step away from being back in her post," he said.  

Maniklal said they had also filed an application to enforce the court order that overturned her suspension.

Police to 'follow due process' 

"Judgment in the matter has been reserved but we should have an order on that soon," he added.

He said the state attorney would take the matter on appeal, meaning that Ngobeni would not return to her office yet.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mashadi Selepe said the matter was one "between an employer and employee".

"The department will follow due processes as prescribed by the law not through the media," she said.  

In August the court ruled that acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane did not have the powers to establish a panel to test Ngobeni's fitness for office.  

"It's clear from the provision of section 207 (2) of the Constitution that the national police commissioner does not have the untrammelled powers to investigate and 'discipline' the provincial commissioner," Judge Nkosinathi Chili said in his judgment.

Establishing a board of inquiry without following the proper procedure was "premature, unlawful and falls to be set aside".

Alleged corrupt relationship

Her suspension, in effect since May, related to her links to Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and his associates. They reportedly paid nearly R20 000 for her husband Brigadier Lucas Ngobeni's birthday party in 2010.

The bash, thrown by Panday, came at a time when he was a suspect in a fraud investigation. The National Prosecuting Authority declined to prosecute her.

Panday had allegedly secured police procurement contracts and tenders worth millions.

In the lead-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, police discovered a startling rise in the cost of accommodation for the deployment officers on operations around the province.

They found an allegedly corrupt relationship between senior officers in the supply chain management unit and a Durban businessman who was banking millions to secure accommodation as a broker or middleman.

Investigating officers uncovered what they believed to be links to the upper echelons of the provincial police in the scandal.

A R1.93m draft forensic audit, paid for by the State, revealed how Panday plied key police figures, including Ngobeni, with gifts.

Read more on:    saps  |  fifa  |  mmamonnye ngobeni  |  durban

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