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Durban - A labour relations bungle has meant that KwaZulu-Natal spy boss, Major-General Dina Moodley, and more than 25 other crime intelligence unit officers will be returned to their original jobs within days.
But most of the posts have been filled since the transfers began four months ago, part of a restructuring process in crime intelligence.
It is unclear if the new incumbents will be made to return to their original posts.
On Friday, the unit’s acting divisional commissioner, Major-General Chris Ngcobo, issued a national instruction calling on all members who had been transferred to return to their former posts by August 27.
In a letter, a copy of which is in possession of the Daily News, Ngcobo said the process of reorganising crime intelligence was being revoked on the basis that it had not been done in accordance with a Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council
agreement, which calls for fair consultation and negotiations between the employer and employee.
In May, highly trained Indian and white members of crime intelligence in KZN, with their Gauteng counterparts, were transferred to “dead-end” positions at stations nationwide. At the time they claimed they were being used as “as pawns in a political power play”. They also blamed former crime intelligence head, Richard Mdluli, for the transfers.
Brigadier Jules Ndlovu was the only African to be transferred, allegedly because of his allegiance to sacked former national police commissioner, Bheki Cele.
The development will also affect family members of Durban businessman Timmie Marimuthu, who had been employed as undercover agents at crime intelligence.
Marimuthu’s wife, Colonel Neermala Moodley; his daughter, Captain Shantal Redhi; and son-in-law, Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Redhi had been transferred to Durban North police station.
A police source told the Daily News that none of the members had been informed of the letter by Ngcobo, or that they should report to their original posts.
“It’s all hush-hush. The letter was issued on Friday morning but not a word has been spoken.”
The other members in KZN who had been transferred are Colonel N Moodley, lieutenant-colonels S Govender, Dilon Moodley and Michael Thomas, and captains Venilla Naidoo, S Dhaniram and K Moodley.
Major-General Moodley, who was the head of the unit in KZN, is challenging his transfer to the Pinetown cluster in the Durban Labour Court. His matter is set down for trial next month. His attorney, Carl van der Merwe, said he had not been aware of the letter, but would be looking into it.
Brigadier Thuso Tshika has been acting crime intelligence head in KZN since April. Sources said he had been strongly touted to take over permanently. But the bungle could also see him return to his original post in Gauteng.
The aggrieved members claim the transfers were done without consultation, and that they had been replaced by junior African colleagues who would benefit from promotions.
In May, Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) national negotiator, Stokkie Ngwenya, reached an agreement with police management to halt further transfers.
Regional Popcru chairman, Vusimuzi Shabalala, said while he had been told of Ngcobo’s letter, he had not seen it.
“Members alerted me to it yesterday. They said they had been informed verbally by senior officers in crime intelligence to return to their original posts. But, we are demanding this instruction in writing,” he said.
“The members will not move until they get it in writing. We will be taking this up with the top structures in the police. If that fails, we will be heading to the labour court.”
Shabalala and senior KZN shop steward Ahmed Haniff are expected to meet police top brass on Friday in Gauteng.
In Gauteng, members who had been transferred included Major-General Solly Lazarus; colonels Ravi Govender, DA Naidoo, SH Heine, Nick Brits, AB Nelson, M Lootz, A Krishnadut, K Moodley, Peroz Khan, Colleen Trollip and A van Lith, as well as Captain AM de Klerk.
In an e-mailed response, national police spokesman, Brigadier Lindela Mashiego, said the memorandum that the Daily News had been privy to was strictly meant for processing within the South African Police Service: “It would be appreciated if it can be treated as such,” he said. - Daily News