Feared Boksburg top cop in hot water over loan shark claims

2015-10-14 14:36
Colonel Woolganathan 'Biggs' Govender. (Supplied)

Colonel Woolganathan 'Biggs' Govender. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The station commander of the Boksburg Police Station is facing an internal hearing related to allegations that he ran a loan shark business on the side.

News24 understands that a disciplinary hearing against Colonel Woolganathan 'Biggs' Govender was scheduled for this week in which he would have to answer to several claims, including that of running a dodgy loan shark business.

Two police officers at the station headed by Govender told News24 their boss was feared by both common men and men of the law.

The officers said they had protested against him and even laid complaints with Gauteng's provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba.

One of Govender's subordinates made damning allegations about his boss and accused him of engaging in suspicious activities including a claim that he utilised state resources for personal gain.

"We tried to engage with the provincial commissioner but he says we cannot do anything to [Govender]..." said the police officer, who asked not to be named.

News24 approached Govender for comment on the claims. He first asked to be called at a later time but then refused to comment.

"My lawyer has advised me to not speak to anyone until the matter is finalised," he said.

Even when News24 told Govender that the questions would not relate to the disciplinary hearing, he still refused to comment.

Mothiba's office, however, said it had not folded its hands after receiving the allegations. News24 understands that some senior officers had been tasked with investigating the claims.

Denials

In September, News24 published an article alleging that Govender was a ruthless loan shark who charged exorbitant interest rates.

At least two people who had borrowed money from Govender claimed to have fallen prey to his alleged schemes.

It was alleged that Govender demanded payment sooner than expected and when the men failed to pay up, he repossessed their vehicles. He had kept the documents as collateral for the loans.

The officer who spoke to News24 said some of the vehicles that Govender had repossessed had been parked at the police station.

Govender denied he was a loan shark and said he had legally obtained the vehicles when the owners, who were once his associates, failed to pay money that he had loaned them, interest free.

One of the two police officers who spoke to News24 alleged that the Boksburg Police Station had received donations from an organisation called New Beginnings for renovations to the station.

The officer alleged that Govender, who oversaw the entire project, had seized donated tiles, and those had been replaced with tiles of lower quality.

News24 attempted to contact the donors but they were unwilling to comment.

The police officer said Govender's conduct had tarnished the entire image of the Boksburg Saps. "The community has lost all faith in us," he said. Meanwhile, other than the disciplinary hearing, Govender was to face a harassment case in the Boksburg Magistrate's Court later this month.

Govender has also denied these claims. In his court affidavit, he said the man who had laid the charges against him was an emotionally unstable person who wanted to tarnish his image.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg

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