Whistle-blower fears for her life after reporting Free State senior cops to Ipid

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Patricia Mashale is an administrative clerk working in the police’s firearms, liquor and second-hand goods control department. Photo: iStock/ Kritchanut
Patricia Mashale is an administrative clerk working in the police’s firearms, liquor and second-hand goods control department. Photo: iStock/ Kritchanut

NEWS


A senior police clerk in the Free State fears for her life after she blew the whistle against her bosses to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) for alleged misuse of state resources.

Patricia Mashale is an administrative clerk working in the police’s firearms, liquor and second-hand goods control department.

She is at loggerheads with her seniors, which has led to serious charges levelled against her, including a pending disciplinary hearing.


Last week the Free State police allegedly sought to arrest her for a breach of protection order that had been awarded against her in favour of Free State deputy police commissioner Major General Solomon Lesia.

The alleged incident followed her featuring in a line-up of speakers at a press conference in Pretoria which was held by cop-turned-advocate Malesela Teffo. The conference, titled From State Capture to a Police State: The Application of Human Rights Precepts to the Emergence of a Return to a Police State in South Africa, highlighted the alleged shenanigans within the police service.

READ: Top police clerk probed for allegedly breaching protection order

City Press has seen an email dated December 14 2020 in which Mashale asked an Ipid official to investigate senior officials in that province.

Mashale also copied the Ipid’s complaints unit in the email.

Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa requested a case number when she was asked about the matter on November 4.

After she was sent a follow-up email, followed by a text message, Langa said she was waiting for a response from relevant officials.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele declined to comment on the matter. He also did not want to comment on the debacle between the province and Mashale, indicating that he had previously responded to the issue.

‘MISUSE OF RESOURCES’

In her complaint, Mashale said she wished to lodge an urgent complaint pertaining to an arbitration award against a major general in the Free State whose name is known to City Press.

She said the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC) had ruled against the major general and issued an award that he be demoted from his position to the rank of a brigadier with immediate effect.

Mashale’s complaint reads:

Since the date of the award [the major general] has chosen to ignore the arbitration award and proceeded in the rank as major general.

She said it was most probable that he was continuing to receive his salary and allowance as a major general. This, she said, was because he was still issuing instructions and directives, and signs all correspondence as a major general.

She then attached the SSSBC award to the Ipid complaint.

‘BIASED’ PROMOTION

According to an award issued by panellist Thabe Phalane, dated March 23 2020, which City Press has seen, another brigadier in the Free State took his colleague and his employer to the SSSBC and the matter was set down for arbitration for several months in 2019 and in February 2020.

The issue, according to the award, concerned an alleged unfair labour practice relating to a promotion that occurred in 2015.

Phalane said in the award that police had failed to demonstrate that the appointment of the major general was done in line with the provisions of regulations in a fair and open manner, therefore it stood to be set aside.

“The conclusion is that the appointment of the second respondent [a major general] was made through arbitrary and invidious considerations on the part of the employer.”

“The result was that the national commissioner [Riah Phiyega] was provided with insubstantial reasons in the motivation to promote and consequently failed to properly apply her mind to the promotion of the second respondent.”

READ: Cele tells police to be calm and professional

“At best, the decision to appoint was based on a wrong principle and or in a biased manner. There is no right to promotion in the ordinary course, only a right to be given a fair opportunity to compete for a post. This right must apply to all employees and the applicant [the complainant],” the award reads in part.

However, Phalane said the major general was not the cause of his unfair appointment and should not be unduly punished.

“His term as when occupying the post must be converted to an acting position and his remuneration be appropriately adjusted ... The applicant is commended for demonstrating a willingness to stand up for what he believes to be just,” the award reads.

Phalane ordered that the award be complied with within 30 days.

City Press understands that police finally complied in May 2021 after Teffo took the matter to court.

‘DISAPPOINTED AND AT RISK’

In an email sent on October 14 2021 to Ipid head Jennifer Ntlatseng, Mashale said she was disappointed in her office.

She said she was failed “dismally” and the matter had “possibly put my life and those of others at risk”.

Mashale said she had requested that the activities of Lesia be investigated because of his alleged gross abuse of power and misuse of state resources to advance his personal interests.

“Nothing has been done although I communicated with yourself as well as with [another advocate] via WhatsApp and you assured me that [the advocate] would handle the matter.”

Mashale’s email reads:

Today my personal phone was seized on instruction of Lesia by Colonel [Christoffel Johannes] van der Merwe, who is investigating a non-existent case of intimidation against me.

“The protection order that Lesia obtained against me was set aside on August 17 because it was found that he misled the court. A protection order was granted against Lesia on the same day to me. I delivered it to Park Road Police Station in order for Lesia to be serviced. On August 30, Lesia committed perjury by lying under oath when he opened a case of harassment against me because he was well aware that the protection order was set aside.”


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Msindisi Fengu 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
msindisi.fengu@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
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