Top cop being probed

2009-11-13 00:00

FRESH allegations have emerged against a redeployed senior Mountain Rise police station officer. This time the officer is alleged to have been involved in the disappearance of government property within the station.

The Witness has learnt that equipment valued at more than R50 000 went mis­sing at the station. This was disco­vered just a week after new management took over the station. The senior officer’s name is known to The Witness but cannot be revealed at this stage.

Police Director Phindile Radebe confirmed that equipment went missing at the station, but would not comment on what exactly it is the value.

Mountain Rise hit the limelight when it was hailed as the best police station in the country after it recorded a sharp decline in crime statistics for 2007/2008. Celebrations were short-lived, however, when the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) swooped on the station and seized boxes containing dockets that were allegedly not recorded on the CAS system.

A whistleblower, Craig Josiah, was allegedly suspended for leaking the information to the police.

The ICD advised police minister Nathi Mthethwa to charge the senior officer implicated in the missing equipment. A directive to charge the senior officer was put on ice by the then provincial commissioner Hamilton Ngidi. Instead, he launched an internal investigation which led to the new finding.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance reacted with shock to reports that the 10 members of Mountain Rise police station who were redeployed to the provincial office are tasked with assessing the performance of other police stations in KZN.

DA KZN community safety and liaison spokesperson Sizwe Mchunu labelled the move as a promotion, and described it as “shocking”.

“That provincial management have seen fit to move these officers into a position which gives them unrestricted access to police matters within the pro­vince is incongruous. Their preferential treatment also flies in the face of President Zuma’s promise that government is committed to stamping out corruption and mismanagement.”

Radebe dismissed these allegations, saying that the reports are “confusing the public”.

“There are no promotions here; it’s the media that is confusing the public. If there was a promotion, there would be advertising of the positions and people would apply and necessary pro­cesses would be followed. These members are each placed under strict supervision.”

She appealed to the public to be patient and gave an assurance that the investigation into alleged crime statistics fixing is in good hands.

“The investigation is going very well. We even included the Hawks as part of the investigation. But it’s a process and it relies on the evidence before the investigators, so we cannot put a time frame”.

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