Booysen fires back at Ngobeni

2015-04-18 00:00

KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen has delivered the latest salvo in the pitched battle to keep his job.

Booysen’s legal team yesterday filed an answering affidavit in the Durban High Court responding to a strike-out application brought by Provincial Police Commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni in March.

His papers indicate that fraud, corruption and bribery investigations into top provincial police officials are still active.

Ngobeni’s application sought to have what she described as “scandalous, vexatious, hearsay and irrelevant” allegations that Booysen made in a high court application to interdict National Commissioner Riah Phiyega from dismissing him, struck from the court record.

In his founding affidavit, Booysen said that an independent forensic audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers had shown a “possible corrupt relationship” between Ngobeni and Panday, and that the provincial commissioner had tried to stop the investigation into Panday and other officers shortly ­before the businessman paid for a birthday party for her husband ­Lucas.

Ngobeni was never prosecuted and has since been awarded a second five-year contract, while corruption charges were ­provisionally withdrawn against Panday.

Booysen alleges that his pursuit of Panday and Ngobeni led to his ­being sidelined, with an agenda to have him drummed out of the police service.

Ngobeni refuted his claims in her application, providing a receipt that she insists shows that she paid ­Panday for organising the party.

She denied stopping the fraud investigation, claiming that Booysen fabricated this “to bolster his conspiracy theory”.

“The fact is that he and his division continued to investigate unabated for five years … but when the results of this prolonged investigation was forwarded to the NPA, they declined to prosecute anyone.”

“He is attempting to obtain undue mileage on these defunct ­investigations by disingenuously ­referring to them as though they are currently active when he knows they are not.”

Ngobeni denied implementing a “strategy” to run him out of his job.

Yesterday Booysen opposed her application and dealt with the “factual or legal questions” she had raised.

Booysen cited an affidavit by Brigadier Kemp, the police’s ­provincial head of financial services, in backing up his assertion that Ngobeni had tried to halt the probe into Panday.

“On May 5, 2010, she [Ngobeni] instructed him [Kemp] to stop the investigation and engaged with him again on 8 May on matters pertaining to it. She formally instructed me to stop the investigation on 10 May 2010,” he wrote.

Supporting his assertion that the cases were ongoing and not defunct, Booysen attached printouts from the police’s Crime Administration System (CAS) for criminal investigations into Panday, Ngobeni and Supply Chain Management officers Navin Madhoe and Aswin Narainpersad that show they have been transferred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

He attached an affidavit from IPID investigator Baatseba Motlhale, dated in January, which said that IPID had approached Ngobeni after receiving a complaint from Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard about her relationship with Panday.

“The provincial commissioner showed anger and was crying at the time when she was commenting on the allegations from Ms Kohler-Barnard. She also asked us as to why we allow ourselves to be used by the DA … I indicated to her that we would request the dockets for ­perusal and communicate to her ­regarding our way forward.”

In March, The Witness reported that IPID had recommended that Ngobeni, Madhoe and ­Narainpersad be suspended and charged departmentally for allegedly receiving gifts from Panday.

All three remain at work pending a decision from Phiyega.

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