Durban cop’s R15 mln house

2008-05-02 00:00

‘Big fish’ says outside business is better than bribe-taking

A high-flying Durban Metro policeman who lives the life of a rock star in a R15,5-million mansion has denied links to organised crime and says he is “sick and tired” of being labelled a criminal.

And Sergeant S’bu Mpisane (38) says it is common practice for Durban Metro police officers to rake in money from lucrative sideline businesses.

“I do a lot of things other than being a policeman, but I cannot mention them right now,” he said this week.

“If you come to the Metro police and look at all the vehicles parked there, you will be surprised. You’ve got security companies, you’ve got everything, because the salaries they are being paid are not fit for a living being. So they are supplementing that with something else instead of taking bribes.”

He claimed that police can easily make between R2 000 and R4 000 a day from bribes, but choose not to.

Mpisane says he is being targeted by “cheap racist gossips” who are envious of his success. “My life is all about investigations; the Scorpions, NIA, the Serious Violent Crime Unit … Why am I not being arrested, because if I am a criminal, all criminals belong in jail.”

Mpisane — a 13-year Metro police veteran and member of the Dog Unit with a reported salary of R15 000 a month — bought the R12-million property in La Lucia on June 7 last year. Deed records indicate it was only bonded for R5,2 million.

Just over two months later, he bought an adjoining property for R3,5 million.

Mpisane and his wife Flora-Junior are the only registered members of a business called Zikhulise Auto Restorers CC. He is also listed the sole director of a shelf company, Inyanga Trading 559.

A recent report in noseweek magazine said, “[S]o many high-profile ANC politicians are seen at the compound that noseweek was initially told in error that the home was owned by the KZN premier”.

The magazine also reported that Mpisane was linked to a 1998 gun battle between police and taxi hitmen outside the Durban High Court in which four people, including a policeman, were killed.

noseweek said a BMW M5 used as a getaway vehicle was identified by police as belonging to Mpisane, but he says he “never owned that car”.

Durban Metro police spokesman Captain Thomas Tyala refused to comment on the allegations, telling a reporter: “You are dealing with a big fish here”.

He then handed the phone to a man who identified himself as Themba Sosibo and claimed to be Mpisane’s spokesman.

He threatened the reporter in Zulu, saying: “You are not just dealing with a nobody. S’bu will take your paper and shred it … Then you will be in tears and your life might be in danger. Your family will cry.”

Sosibo is in fact Metro policeman Ayanda Msweli. Referring to Mpisane as his “boss”, Msweli said: “There have been a lot of wrong things said … He is not a millionaire. He is a billionaire! … If he was a criminal he should have been arrested a long time ago.”

Msweli and Mpisane are listed as directors of a not-for-profit company, Independent Club, which they describe as a mediation body that intervenes in conflicts between unions in the eThekwini Metro and “brings together … those … who don’t see eye to eye”.

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