KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, expressed shock yesterday that her name was on an alleged “hit list”.
Speaking at the funeral on Saturday of top cop, Mzondeki Sean Tshabalala, former national commissioner, Bheki Cele, referred to a list of about 18 senior police officers who should be “dealt with”.
He alleged that Tshabalala, found dead at police headquarters in Pretoria on December 24, was top of the list.
Ngobeni, who attended the funeral, said she was surprised when Cele told mourners this.
Ngobeni said she was unaware that such a list existed or that her name was on it. “I question its authenticity,” she said.
“The national police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, spoke after Bheki Cele at the funeral and said she too did not know about it and said she would need to look into its contents.”
National police spokesman, Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale, confirmed that Phiyega was not aware of the issues Cele had raised.
It has been established that at least five people on the list have received letters saying their relationship with management is beyond repair.
What is not clear is if they are to be removed from their positions, fired from the force or if their lives are in danger.
Cele’s spokesman, Vuyo Mkhize, said yesterday the former commissioner was aware of five letters from police management outlining soured relationships.
“We have to determine if there is a broader conspiracy… but on the ‘why’ and ‘who’ (drafted the list), (Cele) does not wish to speculate,” Mkhize said.
Another name on the list is Major-General Mondli Zuma, whose appointment as Gauteng police provincial commissioner was withdrawn hours after he had been named by Phiyega when it emerged he was facing criminal charges.
Zuma said he had heard about the list from the crime intelligence community. He was not sure if the withdrawal of his appointment was linked to it.
He said it was common knowledge that there was a case pending against him. But he would not be drawn into revealing whether he had made Phiyega aware of the charges against him.
He said he still went to work. “I have not been charged or suspended, I read in the media that disciplinary steps would be taken against me.”
The head of the police supply chain management division, Lieutenant-General Gary John Kruser, said he was unsurprised by his inclusion.
“If they want me to go, I’ll go. There are (proper) human resource processes. I’m willing to go if they think I’m not doing what I’m supposed to.”
Kruser said he did not know who had drawn up the list, but hoped investigations would reveal if it was legitimate.
Hawks head, Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat, said he was not aware of the list until yesterday, but refused to comment.
Others also refused to comment, including KZN acting crime intelligence boss, Lieutenant-General Thuso Tshika.
Speculation is rife on why Cele, suspended as national police commissioner in 2011, released the list at the weekend. Mkhize said after enquiries – and Tshabalala’s death – he decided to make the list public.