/ 9 December 2015

Lost gun shoots Durban Hawks into controversy

Lost Gun Shoots Durban Hawks Into Controversy

It has been reported that Lieutenant-Colonel Nkosinathi Nomvalo was appointed to head the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation two weeks ago, despite his superiors knowing that a criminal case had been registered.    

But since his appointment, the dockets have been removed from the custody of the National Prosecuting Authority and returned to police.

The reason for pulling back the dockets, when the investigation was complete, remains uncertain.

Two impeccable police sources with knowledge of the incident confirmed that Nomvalo and another officer had reported their firearms stolen from a car while it was parked at the Galleria Mall in June this year.

CCTV footage
It is understood that the matter was investigated by the Hawks, who obtained CCTV footage of the parking lot where the alleged theft took place.

The footage is understood to show that nobody gained access to the car while the officers were away, casting doubt on their version of events.

News24 has not seen the video footage.

The case was investigated and referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on whether or not to charge Nomvalo for the negligent handling of his weapon.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said that cases of theft out of a motor vehicle and negligent loss of firearm were opened at Amanzimtoti police station.

“It was transferred to Durban Organised Crime Unit. These were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision,” he said.

However, the dockets were pulled back by police less than a day later – the same day that Nomvalo was appointed.

Nomvalo’s appointment justified
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said, “I have spoken to the Senior Public Prosecutor at Amanzimtoti Court and she advised that the dockets were brought to her on the 30th November 2015.

“The very next day, 1 December, the [investigating officer] went back to her office and fetched them, citing that he urgently needed to take them back to the SAPS provincial office.

“Due to the short time frame at her disposal, less than 24 hours, she was unable to make a decision [on whether or not to charge Nomvalo].”

Nomvalo’s appointment was justified by Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

“On the application form the member disclosed the case, including the CAS number as per requisite. “During the interview he confirmed the case but upon processing of fingerprints with our criminal record centre there was no reflection or record noted on our system,” he said.

The allegations were put to Nomvalo over the phone. He declined to comment. –  News24