Police ordered to visit protector, says union

The two crime intelligence officers suspended after paying an official visit to the offices of public protector Thuli Madonsela were following orders, a senior South African Police Union (Sapu) official, Alfred Tlou, alleged this week.

Tlou said the correct procedures were not followed when Colonel JB Maluleka and Captain Zandi Nkutha were suspended after being accused of raiding Madonsela’s offices on March 2.

“They were called to the national police office on March 3 and told they must submit reasons why they should not be suspended by the next day, which would not even give them time to find legal representation or consult their union office. “This is unheard of in the South African Police Service, as employees are normally given 14 days to respond.”

Tlou said the officers “certainly didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Now I’ll go to the Public Protector’s office’. They were just doing their jobs and were following orders. “These are good police officers and high-ranking too. Sapu is prepared to go to the highest court in the land to defend them,” he said.

He could not say who had issued the orders. It was not clear whether these had emanated from police headquarters, or from the Crime Intelligence Division, where some officers are strongly opposed to Cele’s leadership. The man who allegedly authorised the visit, Colonel Faan Heine, could not be contacted for comment this week.

Awaiting the outcome
Madonsela’s spokesperson, Kgalelelo Masibi, who spoke to the officers, said they had asked for two leaked SAPS documents referred to in the protector’s report on national police commissioner Bheki Cele’s role in the R500-million lease of new national headquarters signed with property tycoon and ANC supporter Roux Shabangu. The memos had not been published in the completed report.

“The protector is now waiting for the outcome of the investigation into why the crime intelligence officers were sent here,” said Masibi. “We did not consider it a raid, as there was no search and seizure or force used.” The two officers have been suspended on full pay, but have not been formally charged. They will not speak to the media, as to do so might expose them to further disciplinary charges.

Tlou said Sapu would hand its report on their suspension to Cele on Thursday. In contrast to police union Popcru, the leadership of which has publicly backed Cele, Sapu called last week for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to place Cele on leave of absence pending further investigation into Madonsela’s damning report.

Saying that the police “could not afford to have a general with such a cloud hanging over his head” and that “it was not enough to say no money was exchanged”, Sapu’s Oscar Skommere called for the involvement of the Special Investigating Unit.

This week Mthethwa told Parliament that “the days of police officers who receive full pay while under investigation for alleged involvement in criminal activities could soon become a thing of the past”.

He said that 105 officers were suspended on full pay in the 2009-2010 fiscal year pending investigations, costing the state about R2,5-million in salaries.

Hawks spokesman Colonel McIntosh Polela said the police were not commenting on the matter at present. “We are waiting for the police investigation to be completed and are not speculating on what happened,” he said.

Advertisting

Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path
Advertising

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.