Former VIP Protection head acts in Mdluli’s old post

2012-06-26 13:17

Police commissioner General Riah Phiyega has appointed Major General Chris Ngcobo as acting head of Crime Intelligence and Protection and Security Services in a move aimed at stabilising the troubled police division.

Phiyega made the announcement in a statement this afternoon, a decision she said would ensure continuity and delivery in crime intelligence division.

“This acting appointment is aimed at bringing stability in the police intelligence environment,” said Phiyega.

Ngcobo, who is a former head of Protection and Security Services in the Free State and a former head of VIP Protection, will immediately take over after the position was vacated last month following the suspension of controversial former police intelligence chief Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli.

Police spokesperson Major General Nonkululeko Mbatha said Ngcobo would bring good experience in the service, having served for 17 years in the protection services and intelligence areas.

Ngcobo joined the police service in 1994 and has been promoted through various ranks, said Mbatha.

“He holds a rank of Major General. He has been recognised for excellence in his work receiving numerous medals. With his grasp of management values and undercover experience, Major General Ngcobo will seek to restore the reputation of crime intelligence activities,” said Mbatha.

The story so far
Ngcobo’s predecessor, Mdluli, was arrested along with three other police officers in connection with the murder of Mdluli’s former lover’s boyfriend, Oupa Ramogibe, 13 years ago.

In February, the charges were provisionally withdrawn against Mdluli.

He was arrested along with Colonel Nkosana Ximba, Lieutenant Colonel Mthembeni Mtunzi and Warrant Officer Samuel Dlomo.

Mdluli has defended himself, accusing other police bosses, including former commissioner Bheki Cele and Hawks boss Anwa Dramat of conspiring against him.

After his arrest last year Mdluli handed the so-called Ground Coverage Report to President Jacob Zuma in which it is alleged that certain high profile ANC leaders, including Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize and Cele plotted to overthrow Zuma.

Ramogibe’s murder, for which Mdluli has been suspended and is being investigated, took place in February 1999 after he had survived another attempt on his life in December 1998.

Ramogibe, who was married to Tshidi Buthelezi, who had a child with Mdluli, was shot dead while apparently driving a car belonging to one of the policemen arrested for his death, Ximba.

Mdluli, Ximba and Mtunzi have been accused of intimidating Ramogibe and Buthelezi’s families by demanding that the two lovers end their relationship.

In March all charges against Mdluli, including fraud and corruption charges relating to the alleged misuse of a crime intelligence slush fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles, and the hiring of family members, were withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority, despite a growing chorus for him to be given the boot.

In May, a storm erupted after Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced that Mdluli would temporarily be moved to another division within the police, but this was not enough to appease growing public anger regarding the uncertainty on Mdluli’s future.

A few weeks later, then acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, who had been rumoured to be the frontrunner for the intelligence post, suspended Mdluli again.

Two weeks ago Mdluli, who is challenging his suspension in the labour court, was successfully interdicted from performing any duties as a police officer when civil rights group, Freedom Under Law, won the interdict.

The court barred Mdluli from entering the SAPS building and instructed him to return all SAPS belongings including his work cellphone.
Mdluli has appealed against the court order.

Yesterday the Johannesburg Labour Court stayed Mdluli’s challenge of his suspension.

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