Monday, November 29, 2010

'Bad' cop gets top job

'Bad' cop gets top job
Nov 29, 2010 Anna Majavu 156 comments
Officer fingered in fraudulent claims probe now heads tender unit at police headquarters
A FORMER Free State deputy police commissioner earlier accused of abusing state funds has been transferred to police headquarters in Pretoria, where he now holds a key position.

Thapelo Mamabolo is now the director of support service in the supply chain management division. The supply chain management division ensures that all tenders issued by the police service are done lawfully.

Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo has confirmed the appointment.

In January this year the Independent Complaints Directorate recommended that Mamabolo and some of his deputies be fired over fudged crime statistics, the abuse of travel allowances and giving jobs to pals.

The police watchdog found that Mamabolo and Pierre le Roux claimed money for petrol and accommodation to go to the funeral of former Free State provincial police commissioner Amon Mashigo's father-in-law.

When the ICD later investigated, their internal report (in possession of Sowetan) said "no policy could be found that legitimises the trip".

Sources within the police told Sowetan that to make matters worse, Mamabolo had claimed expenses though he had been given a lift free of charge to the funeral.

The ICD recommended to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa that disciplinary action be taken.

But for the past 10 months, Mthethwa had not acted.

The Congress of the People has slammed the move, saying it was as if Mamabolo was rewarded for being involved in unlawful activity.

Cope spokesperson Phillip Dexter said: "These kinds of revelations are unfortunately becoming an everyday occurrence in the SAPS under Bheki Cele. We want a full disclosure to the public about the ICD report and we would want to see disciplinary action taken. Transferring police who do wrong is not the solution."

Independent Democrats president Patricia de Lille said the government was in the habit of shifting people accused of corruption to other departments or giving them golden handshakes.

"It is unacceptable. They should have laid charges and let the law take its course," she said.

But the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said they were just pleased that Mamabolo, Mashigo and the other deputy provincial commissioners had been removed from Free State.

Popcru Free State provincial secretary Rankle Msinto said he did not have a problem with Mamabolo being sent to work in the supply chain management division.

"They did not add any value in Free State but their placement remains the prerogative of the national commissioner (Cele). We understand the investigation into the ICD report is still ongoing but it is the national commissioner's decision whether to suspend them or not," Msinto said.

Three angry sources in the police complained that instead of being punished, Mamabolo was promoted.

Naidoo could not say why Mamabolo was never subjected to disciplinary hearings.

"This matter is still receiving attention, therefore it will be premature to comment on it right now," Naidoo said.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed that police headquarters had never paid any attention to the ICD's recommendations.

"There has not been an official response to the ICD's report by SAPS management since it was handed to them," Dlamini said yesterday.

Mamabolo declined to comment yesterday.
( The Sowetan )

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