KZN cop who blew whistle on corruption being ‘persecuted’

photo : iol

 

A Durban police officer who blew the whistle on alleged corrupt activities by two senior officers, is being threatened because of his disclosures.

The officer, who would not be named, was charged with misconduct after his disclosure about corruption at a KwaMashu police station. In February, the officer was found not guilty after an inquiry.

A source said the officer was being persecuted for speaking out against corrupt activities by officers at the station.

The source claimed provincial and national police management were aware of the activities, but no action had been taken since 2010.

“I thought they would fire or transfer him because he has made enemies with more senior people at the cluster.

“He reported these activities to all the relevant parties, both provincial and national. A number of criminal activities were committed by the two senior officials (whose names are known to the Daily News) and a handful of accomplices,” said the source.

The Daily News reported in October that the officers had conducted a random stop-and-search in the area in 2013 when they turned a blind eye to a dead body found in a van.

“The van was stopped and one officer saw the body of a man covered with a white blanket. The occupants of the van were let off after paying a R400 bribe. Only one officer refused to be part of this crime, and as a result he was transferred to another station,” said the source.

The Daily News has seen copies of letters to the national police and acknowledgement of receipts dated May 2010 and April 2013.

Another letter dated April12, 2013, signed by a Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union official, was addressed to suspended provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, calling for an investigation into allegations of intimidation and harassment by the two officers.

Another officer at the KwaMashu station said the matter was too sensitive, and declined to comment.

When contacted at the time, Ngobeni said she should not be bothered because she was on suspension.

According to the closing arguments at the disciplinary hearing, the police service representative maintained that: the whistle-blower did not follow proper procedure; he was not mandated to speak to the media; and he had contravened standing orders and procedures.

The union representatives argued that the officer had reported the acts of corruption, but the provincial and national offices had failed to do their duty after his disclosures.

The union argued that the officer had not made the disclosures for personal gain.

HF Hannaway, chairperson of the proceedings, found that the officer had made the disclosures in line with the Protected Disclosures Act, and therefore was not guilty.

Francois Beukman, chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police, said there was a need for a serious drive to eradicate corrupt elements and tendencies within the police service.

“The fight against crime has to start with removing the enablers within the police service, especially at station level. The national commissioner and the provincial commissioners need to intensify the efforts to weed out corrupt elements within the system,” Beukman said.

Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, provincial SAPS spokesperson, said the police would reply to the Daily News’s e-mailed questions on the matter, but had not responded by the time of publication.

Source :

iol

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