New acting crime intelligence head placed on special leave

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega. (Gallo)

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega. (Gallo)

In a further blow to the beleaguered police crime intelligence division, acting crime intelligence head Major General Chris Ngcobo was on Monday placed on "special leave" because of alleged "discrepancies" in his qualifications.

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega made the announcement on Tuesday.

This comes just over a month after the high court in Pretoria ruled that the charges against suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli should be reinstated "without delay".

Ngcobo was appointed as acting head of crime intelligence and protection services within the police on June 26 2012. At the time, the police said the decision was intended to bring "stability" to that division.

Mdluli was suspended in 2011, and again in May 2012.

On Tuesday, while carefully pointing out that the national commissioner "does not lead alone", Phiyega said the backdrop of her announcement was a commitment to "integrity" within the South African Police Service (SAPS).

It was with a "huge sense of disappointment" that discrepancies were discovered in Ngcobo's official records and qualifications. This was found during a vetting process, and Ngcobo could not explain these discrepancies, she said.

New appointment
"His top secret security clearance was therefore denied.
As such, I placed him on special leave yesterday [Monday] and instructed that criminal investigations and disciplinary action against him be initiated. I want to ensure that this matter is dealt with swiftly," Phiyega said.

Major General Bongiwe Zulu has been appointed as acting divisional commissioner for crime intelligence until further notice.

"Major General Zulu has served for 11 years in the SAPS having moved from the department of education to this organisation in 2002. She joined the SAPS with the rank of colonel. She was promoted to the rank of brigadier in 2007 and major general in 2011.

"Major General Zulu attained her matric in 1987, a bachelor of science in 1993, followed by a bachelor's degree in education in 1996, master's in education in 1998 and her doctorate in dducation in 2000.

"Major General Zulu was a brigadier for approximately three years in Crime Intelligence in the SAPS where she played a strategic management role. She is currently serving in the human resource development division," Phiyega said.

Meanwhile, internal disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against the head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Simon Mapyane, Phiyega announced.

Investigation into allegations of fraud
This followed an arrest, which was made during an investigation into allegations of fraud against Mapyane.

"It is clear that major General Mapyane has a case to answer. I have instructed the deputy national commissioner for policing, Lieutenant General Kehla Sitole to ensure that an internal disciplinary process is initiated against Major General Mapyane.

"Although there is strong evidence in both matters, the purpose of this statement is not to prejudice either the internal or external investigations and disciplinary processes. Both senior officers must present their side of the story before the relevant authorities," Phiyega said. 

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans

Sarah Evans interned at the Diamond Fields Advertiser in Kimberley for three years before completing an internship at the Mail & Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane). She went on to work as a Mail & Guardian news reporter with areas of interest including crime, law, governance and the nexus between business and politics.  Read more from Sarah Evans

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