Saturday, July 31, 2010
Probe after top cop's party
31 July 2010, 10:26
The acting station commissioner of Hillbrow Police Station looks set to take the rap for organising a farewell party for the top cop in the province - at a notorious Joburg brothel owner's house.
On Friday night, the National Police Commissioner's office confirmed that Colonel Koos van Rhyn was under investigation after Gauteng Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Perumal Naidoo attended the function at Alan Kukard's house in Houghton nine days ago to receive an award as a token of the Hillbrow police cluster's appreciation of his work and leadership.
Naidoo officially retires tomorrow after 37 years service, which began as a beat constable in Chatsworth. He is taking early retirement, apparently on the grounds of ill health.
Last night, Naidoo said he didn't want to talk about the matter, except to say that he had approached his lawyers.
Van Rhyn has been fingered in a letter written by Tebogo Merafhe, president of the National Rental Association of South Africa, as having a cosy relationship with Kukard, who owns the notorious Hillbrow Inn and Maxime Hotels which are openly run as brothels.
Merafhe claimed Van Rhyn was a key member of the so-called Hillbrow Mafia.
Paena Galane, spokesperson for Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, confirmed that the ministry had been informed of numerous allegations concerning Van Rhyn and Kukard, but said the ministry would wait for the outcome of the internal police investigation before acting.
The Independent Complaints Directorate, said this week, it would take its lead from the national police commissioner's office.
The investigation into Van Rhyn comes hot on the heels of a crackdown on corrupt police officers. A total of 15 officers have been arrested countrywide in a 24-hour blitz for a variety of offences, including armed robbery.
National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele issued a blunt warning to crooked police officers at a memorial service on Thursday for the seven officers who died in a helicopter crash while responding to a robbery in Emalahleni (Witbank) last Friday, saying he would not tolerate corruption or dereliction of duty in any form and would be ruthless in eradicating it.
Deputy Police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer said the message from the top brass was clear. "If you don't feel like being in this organisation, pick up, walk and go. We don't need criminals. We are here to fight crime and serve our community," he said.
Yesterday, DA member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Jack Bloom said Hillbrow was renowned as a hotbed of vice and corruption and there was a strong suspicion of police corruption during raids.
According to newspaper reports, the party for Naidoo had been thrown by the Hillbrow business forum.
Kukard was reported as paying tribute to Naidoo for the hard work of the police to make the area safer.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Pretoria News on July 31, 2010
Comments by Sonny
It's because of parties like these that caused Jackie Sebeli to land up where he did with Glenn Agliotti and associates!