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Johannesburg - Brigadier Mzwandile Tiyo, whose name is on the so-called SAPS purge list, has been abruptly removed as acting crime intelligence head in the Western Cape.
He happens to be the complainant in the case against the police commissioner, Riah Phiyega, for allegedly defeating the ends of justice.
Tiyo’s name appeared on a list of names of 18 high-ranking officers who should be “exposed or dealt with” before the elections.
The list was revealed by former national police commissioner Bheki Cele at the funeral service for Lieutenant-General Layton Mzondeki “Sean” Tshabalala. It is not known who drew up the list, but all the officers listed supposedly have strained relationships with SAPS management.
Tiyo was on leave when he was removed, and replaced by another high-ranking police officer.
The Star understands that he has not yet been informed of his new deployment. He is expected back at work on Monday.
Phiyega’s spokesman Solomon Makgale dismissed the claims, saying: “No one has been appointed as a permanent head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape.
“Brigadier Tiyo was in an acting capacity and he has now gone back to his original position in the VIP protection environment as part of a decision to separate crime intelligence and the protection and security services environments in the country.”
Tiyo's removal is part of the restructuring of the crime intelligence service, Makgale said on Friday.
"The streamlining process started last year. Various posts in the unit have also been advertised," he said.
However, several sources claimed this was a ploy to get rid of Tiyo because of his involvement in the investigation against Phiyega. “This is not a coincidence,” said one source. “I know they will try to downplay this, but the fact remains, Tiyo is a complainant in the current investigation against Phiyega. That’s the reason he is targeted.”
Makgale said this was “street talk” and would not comment further, while Tiyo declined to comment.
Tiyo instructed one of his officers from crime intelligence to open a case against Phiyega after he allegedly heard her, in a phone conversation, alerting Western Cape provincial commissioner Arno Lamoer that there was an investigation against him by the Hawks and crime intelligence.
The phone conversation was allegedly legally recorded by crime intelligence operatives monitoring Lamoer’s calls.
Lamoer was being investigated for his links with a Cape Town businessman and an alleged drug dealer.
The case against Phiyega is now being investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
Sources said Tiyo had received a call on New Year’s Eve from Lamoer’s personal assistant informing him that Lamoer would like to meet him and other crime intelligence commanders. “As the request was at short notice, Tiyo could not attend the meeting,” explained a source.
According to the source, Lamoer arrived at that meeting and introduced Major-General Peter Jacobs as the new head of crime intelligence in the Western Cape.
According to the source, that same day, Tiyo received a call from his superior, acting divisional commissioner Major-General Bongiwe Zulu, informing him that Jacobs had been appointed as the new provincial head in the Western Cape.
The Star and Sapa