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Johannesburg - The suspended head of crime intelligence has been accused of using the special task team as his private army.
Sources told The Star that police chief Riah Phiyega disbanded the task team because she believed Major-General Chris Ngcobo used the officers as his “private army”.
Ngcobo, who established the task team to perform special operations, was put on special leave last week after he failed to explain discrepancies in his qualifications.
Those who worked under him will now be transferred to other police units.
He was put on special leave two days after Western Cape crime intelligence members opened a case against Phiyega.
“The gloves are off. Why would she keep people who were reporting directly to Ngcobo because they will continue spying on her,” DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard said on Thursday.
She described Phiyega’s move to disband the special task team as “inappropriate and “self-serving” because crime intelligence operatives had opened a case of defeating the ends of justice against her.
She allegedly alerted Western Cape police chief Arno Lamoer about their investigation against him. The scandal prompted the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to investigate Phiyega.
In a phone conversation, Phiyega discusses with Lamoer a parliamentary question by the DA about an investigation by the Hawks against him for taking a bribe.
Phiyega makes Lamoer aware of similar allegations by Hawks boss Anwa Dramat that he was linked to a druglord in Cape Town and also discloses that Ngcobo told her the same information.
She then tells Lamoer that she did not commission any investigation against him, and neither did Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa.
Kohler Barnard said: “This is the most extraordinary move considering what is going on.
“She (Phiyega) is absolutely targeting this task team because of their relationship with Ngcobo. This move is self-serving, and this is something she should not be doing.
“I’m most fearful that she will try and interfere with the investigation against her. That is why I said she must be suspended.
At this stage, it is totally inappropriate, considering the chaos in crime intelligence since the Mdluli saga.”
On Wednesday, Phiyega’s spokesman, Solomon Makgale, said the task team had not been disbanded because they had done nothing wrong.