Top cops slam CID Moodley vendetta

2015-12-28 10:11
Thoshan Panday (City Press)

Thoshan Panday (City Press)

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Pietermaritzburg - Four seasoned crime intelligence officers targeted for tapping Durban businessman Thoshan Panday’s cellphone have asked for their disciplinary hearing to be dropped.

Entangled in a web of alleged corruption among senior police officials and politicians, the four-year-long debacle has escalated to each officer being subjected to South African Police Service disciplinary regulations.

Ex-crime intelligence boss Major-General Deena Moodley and his three unit officers — Warrant Officer Shamalan Moodley, Colonel Brian Padayachee and Colonel Soobramoney ‘Jessie’ Chetty — all appeared at their disciplinary hearing in Durban recently.

During the hearing, it is believed Shamalan Moodley’s attorney submitted on behalf of his colleagues supplementary points in limine — a hearing on a specific legal point which takes place before the actual case referred can be heard, and is a process that addresses the technical legal points that are raised prior to getting into the merits of the case, and relates to matters of jurisdiction.

Moodley’s attorney asked for the hearing to be terminated, based on it being “unfair and unreasonable”.

Leaked to The Witness via a credible source, the application lambasted police management, with accusations of ­prejudice, incompetence and inconsistency in the police probe into the officers.

The document slams the police under the Doctrine of Unclean Hands, stating that the three junior officers are “collateral damage in what clearly is a vendetta to remove Major-General Deena Moodley from the Crime Intelligence Division”.

The officers said, according to the document, that they believe that claims of a pending criminal investigation into the matter, by former police national commissioner Riah Phiyega, is a “bald lie”.

After they were suspended last year, the officers approached the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council where, according to the document, the police management conceded that they had acted unlawfully.

The aspect of material delays in proceeding with the disciplinary hearing was also highlighted, with questions being raised as to why it had taken three years to start the process.

The document also alleged a lack or non-existence of evidence against the four officers.

Using the 11 points submitted, the officers pleaded for the disciplinary hearing against them to be dismissed due to the “lack of procedural evidence”.

They also wished for a finding to be made that the hearing was not timeously instituted or prosecuted, since about four years have elapsed between the police management becoming aware of their alleged misconduct and bringing them before a disciplinary hearing.

Asked to comment, police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said the police have an obligation “that members participate in a free and fair disciplinary process”. “The issues raised from such a process shall remain within the confines of the presiding officer and thus there is no justification on holding a trial outside a trial,” Naidoo said.

The matter was adjourned to February 1 next year.

In his affidavit, Durban businessman Thoshan Panday — who was investigated for inflating hotel accommodation prices for the police during the 2010 Soccer World Cup — said Deena Moodley and the three officers had summoned him to a meeting at their offices.

Panday claims he was played recordings of his conversations with provincial police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni, prominent politicians, female acquaintances and his attorney at this meeting. He alleged that Moodley had tried to get him to turn on Ngobeni and offered him immunity from prosecution.

His claims resulted in the suspension of the Crime Intelligence operatives on the strength of his affidavit alone.

This was despite their vehement denials in four affidavits submitted by their legal representatives.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

Read more on:    kwazulu-natal

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