Calls for cop’s axing

2014-10-07 00:00

PROVINCIAL top cop Mmamonnye Ngobeni has effectively evaded public scrutiny by refusing to disclose a form pertaining to her husband’s birthday in 2010.

Ngobeni faces mounting political pressure with calls for her immediate dismissal, after a Weekend Witness exposé revealed a cache of evidence linking her and businessperson Thoshan Panday.

Panday, once accused in a string of fraud and corruption cases, paid for the lavish birthday party for Ngobeni’s husband Lucas, who is also a policeman and holds the rank of brigadier.

All charges against Panday were withdrawn.

Now The Witness will pursue a Promotion of Access to Information Act application to compel Ngobeni to show what she declared — and what she didn’t.

For the first time, the dossier of credit card slips, invoices, statements and pictures that had been gathered in a corruption investigation into the provincial commissioner were made public at the weekend.

It was the same dossier that the National Prosecuting Authority perused and returned, finding that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction against Ngobeni, who continues to hide behind the ruling.

In the wake of the fresh scandal that besets Ngobeni, allegations that neither she nor her husband had ever declared the birthday “gift” as outlined in strict police regulations surfaced.

According to police policy, any officer with the rank of brigadier or higher must declare any gift worth more than R300.

Two independent and well-placed police sources close to the investigation into Ngobeni said that their probe revealed that the gift had never been declared.

The failure, on behalf of either her or her husband, may result in internal disciplinary action.

The Witness approached Ngobeni via phone and e-mail to ask for her and her husband’s official declarations, which requests she has to date not responded to.

She has maintained, through comment from her spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker, that she was a victim of a vendetta being waged by “nameless sources”.

Her silence came as Democratic Alliance MPL Rishigen Viranna called for Ngobeni’s immediate sacking.

“The information provides conclusive proof of corruption on the part of the commissioner. It is clear that Panday bought his freedom from charges and investigations of corruption.

“The DA is horrified by these serious revelations. The moral fibre of the police commissioner should be beyond reproach,” he said.

Viranna called on Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu to take a firm stand.

“We call on him to present an executive statement to the provincial legislature without delay, outlining the punitive actions he will be taking against Commissioner Ngobeni,” he said.

Panday refused to comment when contacted yesterday.

“Pls [sic] refrain from any future contact with me,” he said in a SMS.

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