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Sello S Alcock
07 Feb 2009 06:00
The man at the centre of this week’s crippling strike by Johannesburg metro police, Chris Ngcobo, referred to himself as the “god of the [Johannesburg Metro Police] department”, according to evidence presented to the Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
The South African Municipal Workers’ Union went on strike this week to bolster its call for Ngcobo to be “redeployed” from his position as the country’s longest-serving metro police chief.
The union handed a memorandum to a Johannesburg city official accusing Ngcobo of incompetence and encouraging corruption among his senior management team.
Ngcobo’s alleged “god” statement was revealed in a judgement against the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) handed down by the CCMA.
The case involved JMPD officer Lindiwe Radebe, who was awarded more than R100 000 in compensation for constructive dismissal after the department failed to address her allegations of rape by a senior officer.
After last year’s metro police strike, which led to a shoot-out between metro and South African Police Service officers, Ngcobo and his management team bowed to union pressure by suspending Kganyago, who now faces a rape charge.
The CCMA judgement said Radebe’s pleas for an investigation into her alleged rape were ignored and she was increasingly marginalised and harassed.
She turned to Ngcobo for help, but he ignored her. Instead, the judgement said, Radebe was harassed by JMPD internal affairs officers who once came to her house at night to demand the keys to her official car. She was later relieved from her driving duties. She was informed about this in a letter signed by Ngcobo.
“The letter was signed by the chief of police, but she could not approach him as he said he was ‘the god of the department’. She had written to him saying she had been raped by a senior officer and he did not respond, so she did not see that he would respond to a letter about a car,” according the judgment.
The judgment also said that Ngcobo instructed Radebe to stay home and not to attend staff functions.
JMPD spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said she could not comment on Ngcobo’s behalf, as the matter had been referred to the City of Johannesburg. Attempts to reach city spokesperson Nthatise Modingoane were unsuccesful.
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