Cops' rogue gallery still in SAPS posts

2018-03-06 21:10
Richard Mdluli (City Press)

Richard Mdluli (City Press)

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Cape Town – The police service has a rogue's gallery of high-level police members with serious allegations against them still in its employ, Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police heard on Tuesday. 

Police commissioner Lieutenant General Khehla Sitole addressed the committee about the vetting of the police's top brass and was asked about alleged rogue cops – former acting crime intelligence Major General Pat Mokushane, Brigadier Leonora Bamuza-Phetlhe, former SAPS captain Morris "KGB" Tshabalala and the children of former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. 

Richard Mdluli

Mdluli had been on suspension for more than six years, earning a full salary with benefits, while sitting at home. 

He and Mthembeni Mthunzi are accused of the 1999 kidnapping and assault of Oupa Abel Ramogibe – Mdluli's ex-girlfriend's husband.

They face charges of intimidation, kidnapping, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice. Both pleaded not guilty.

Mdluli has also been charged with fraud relating to the unlawful appointments of family members as paid police officers in crime intelligence, as well as allegedly misusing money from the police's slush fund to purchase luxury vehicles for his family members.

He was granted early service termination, which includes benefits, in January.

READ: Crime Intelligence boss position up for grabs

During Tuesday's meeting, DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard wanted to know if the seven family members he appointed were still in the service of the police.

Some of Mdluli's children were still employed by the police, said Sitole.

The others had been dismissed after disciplinary procedures. Kohler Barnard asked how many of them had been fired and if this included his wife and ex-wife.

Sitole said he would provide further details in writing to the committee.

He said they had not received special treatment.

Pat Mokushane

While acting as head of crime intelligence, Mokushane did not have security clearance and was being investigated for running his own business from work. 

In a series of articles soon after Mokushane's appointment, City Press revealed that he had a criminal record, allegedly ran his private companies from his office and had had an affair with a subordinate officer's wife. He denied the allegations.

The police committee heard in August last year that a security clearance certificate had been issued to him irregularly. The certificate was printed on instruction from Bamuza-Phetlhe. Shortly after that meeting, he was removed as acting head of crime intelligence and returned to his former position as provincial head of protection and security services in the Northern Cape.

"This is a placement, not a promotion," said Sitole on Tuesday after the committee questioned him about it. He said the investigation into Mokushane continued.

Sitole said Mokushane had still not received a valid security clearance, but this was in the process of being issued after his previous clearance was withdrawn.

Leonora Bamuza-Phetlhe

Bamuza-Phetlhe allegedly falsified security clearance certificates for Mokushane and has a payment of R50 000 from the State Security Agency in her bank account.

On Tuesday, the police also confirmed that she was convicted of theft in 1997, but joined the police force nonetheless in 1999. The police systems were at that stage not advanced enough to pick up her record. She has since successfully applied to have her record expunged. 

As with previous meetings, committee members took a dim view of Bamuza-Phetlhe's continued presence in the police.

"Is she suspended or what?" asked ANC MP Martha Mmola. 

"Has she been fired yet?" asked Kohler Barnard. "If you are involved in that sort of treachery, you should surely be suspended pending the outcome of an investigation?"

"[Bamuza-Phetlhe] is not fired," said Sitole. He said the criminal investigation against her was at an advanced stage, as the docket was with a prosecutor. The police's internal investigation was ongoing.

She took leave just before she was to have been suspended, and upon her return, challenged the suspension on technicalities. 

"The organisation has taken a decision about suspension. The decision stands," said Sitole. He said the suspension letter would be changed.

"This woman lied to you. Why don't you just fire her?" asked Kohler Barnard. "Why are you doing this little dance around her?"

"We do not treat [Bamuza-Phetlhe] with kid gloves," said Sitole. He said she was treated just like any other ordinary member of the police. He said internal procedures must be followed before she can be dismissed.

Morris "KGB" Tshabalala

Tshabalala managed to stay employed by the police after serving only a quarter of a 10-year prison sentence for robbery, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts heard last week. 

A court case is currently being heard in the Commercial Crimes Court in Tshwane relating to the various matters.

The case came to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate's attention in 2012 after an allegation was made that Tshabalala – who was head of the rapid deployment intelligence unit at the time – had used some of its R50m budget to allegedly buy votes at the ANC's 53rd elective conference in Mangaung.

READ: SAPS fires 'Captain KGB' Morris Tshabalala

Mmola said these allegations didn't "sit well" with her and asked if there was "an investigation on this KGB thing".

Sitole said Tshabalala was removed from the police's system in 2013 – he was no longer an employee and he did no longer earn a police salary. He said according to the police's human resources records, in 2016 he was not taken back into the police service, but was placed in the secret service agent programme.

Sitole said he had personally written to the inspector-general of intelligence to gain clarity on the matter.

Read more on:    saps  |  khehla sitole  |  richard mdluli

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