Police spy boss faces criminal charges

2013-10-22 14:37

Acting police crime intelligence head Chris Ngcobo is facing criminal charges over what appear to be false declarations of his qualifications.

In a press release issued today, national police commissioner General Riah Phiyega said that Ngcobo “had so far failed to explain discrepancies” between the qualifications he had declared to police and what they had on record.

“As such, I have placed him on special leave and instructed that criminal investigations and disciplinary action against him be initiated.”

As a result of this, Ngcobo’s top-secret security clearance had been denied.

Phiyega announced that General Bongiwe Zulu, who has a doctorate in education and joined the SA Police Service in 2002, would be replacing Ngcobo.

According to the press statement, Zulu spent three years as a brigadier in the crime intelligence division. Ngcobo’s suspension is the latest in a series of scandals that have rocked the police’s beleaguered crime intelligence unit. Last month, City Press reported that Ngcobo had abandoned his office at the crime intelligence headquarters as a result of being undermined by a faction of crime intelligence officers who were loyal to suspended crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli. Ngcobo was appointed to replace the powerful Mdluli last year, after Mdluli was suspended amid sustained controversy over the alleged looting of the crime intelligence slush fund.

Mdluli famously wrote to President Jacob Zuma ahead of the ANC’s Mangaung elective conference offering his “assistance” if Zuma intervened in what Mdluli called a conspiracy to get rid of him.

City Press was told that the crime intelligence unit now has fewer than 20 intelligence projects, down from around 120 a few years ago.

Rights group Freedom Under Law was last month successful in having decisions to drop criminal and disciplinary charges against Mdluli overturned in the North Gauteng High Court.

That case has been appealed by police and the National Prosecuting Authority.

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