Transferred senior cops lose bid to return to previous postings

2012-06-08 00:00

THE country’s top cop scored a minor victory yesterday when two senior officers he transferred in controversial circumstances lost their bids to return to their previous posts.

KwaZulu-Natal intelligence head Major-General Deena Moodley and his deputy Brigadier Sithembiso Ndlovu argued in the Labour Court in Durban last week to be reinstated in their posts after acting police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi redeployed them to other police stations.

They also wanted an order preventing police from filling their vacancies.

Yesterday, Judge David Gush struck their application off the roll, pending final review, saying there was no convincing argument for urgency.

The country’s police chief had made public declarations in recent months that he would clean up what he saw as widespread corruption in the service, particularly within the intelligence divisions in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Moodley and Ndlovu initially faced suspension, when Mkhwanazi suddenly changed tack and instead transferred them in March.

Moodley is now cluster commander in Pinetown and Ndlovu is Inanda station commander. Both retained their levels and salaries.

Mkhwanazi denied that the transfers were intended as a form of punishment.

His actions mirrored similar battles he had waged against national police intelligence chief Richard Mdluli, who was barred from his job after the group Freedom Under Law (FUL) asked the court that he be barred from performing any duties as a police officer.

Mdluli was suspended twice from the services after the criminal charges were laid.

He obtained an order for his reinstatement in the Labour Court in Johannesburg last week, but on Sunday the court overturned the decision.

The Durban court said in the absence of having established in their founding affidavits that they will suffer irreparable harm if their transfer is not set aside pending the review of the decision or if they are required to take up the positions to which they have been transferred, the threat of withholding salaries falls away as the papers establish that this threat was only made in the face of a refusal by the applicants to make up the posts to which they had been transferred.

They both claimed their transfers were “unlawful”. They want to interdict and restrain the commissioner from permanently appointing any other members to their former posts and to reinstate them instead.

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