DA disputes claims of list of targeted senior cops

2014-01-06 00:00

THE police say they do not know about a list of 18 senior officers who are allegedly being targeted to drive them out of the service, while opposition members are taking the existence of the list “with a pinch of salt”.

On Saturday, former head of the police Bheki Cele told mourners at the funeral of a top police officer that such a list exists.

Spokesperson Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale yesterday told sister paper Beeld that the police were not aware of such a list.

Cele was attending the funeral of Lieutenant General Layton Mzondeki “Sean” Tshabalala, section commissioner of the Inspectorate in Randburg.

Tshabalala was found dead in his office at the police headquarters in Pretoria. Cele said his name was on top of the list of 18 names.

The Sunday Tribune yesterday reported Cele’s claim and said the newspaper had been in possession of the list four weeks before Tshabalala’s death.

The names of 18 senior police officers who had all been members of Mkhonto weSizwe (MK) allegedly appear on the list.

The names include that of Lieutenant-General Gary Kruser (head of police’s acq­uisitions), Major-General Chris Ngc­obo (suspended acting head of crime intelligence), Lieutenant-General Mma­monnye Ngobeni (KwaZulu-Natal’s police commissioner), Major-General Bethuel Zuma (who was appointed in August as Gauteng’s police commissioner, but who lost the post after it became known that he is facing a charge of drunk driving), Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat (head of the Hawks), Lieutenant-General Thuso Tshika (acting head of crime intelligence in KwaZulu-Natal), Major-General Solly Lazarus (suspended financial head of the police’s crime intelligence unit) and Major-General Jacob Tsumane (deputy commissioner of the Hawks in the Free State).

Sapa reported that Tshwane metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba, who also attended Saturday’s funeral, had tweeted that Cele said Tshabalala’s name was on the list.

Mokaba yesterday said he had attended the funeral in his private capacity and not as a spokesperson. He did not want to talk about Cele’s claim. “I do not work for the SAPS. I talked to my friends on Twitter. It is better to talk to the people on the list,” said Bokaba.

Cele confirmed to Sapa that he had talked about the list, but did not want to say more.

DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said she took anything said by Cele with a pinch of salt. “He acts as if he was innocent when he was fired. He is simply trying to make himself relevant again.”

Kohler Barnard said the people on the list could be under the spotlight for several reasons. She said some of the officers listed were being investigated for criminal deeds and they could be fired.

Kohler Barnard said others on the list were people who should have left the SAPS long ago. She added Cele might be trying to cut short legitimate processes with his shot in the dark.

She said there were names on the list who were being targeted for other reasons, including that they were doing a good job.

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