Protector sets sights on Tshwane

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IOL NdumisoJaca Independent Newspapers. Suspended Metro Police Chief Ndumiso Jaca. Picture: Oupa Mokoena.

Johannesburg - Nearly three years after Tshwane’s deputy police chief Ndumiso Jaca was suspended, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is taking on the municipality – which has forked out R3 million for his salary while he sits at home.

It is, however, only one of several issues involving appointments, suspensions and operations at the Tshwane Metro Police that Madonsela is investigating.

Jaca was suspended in 2011 following media reports that he was allegedly driving an unregistered vehicle with the fake number plate BALTYGP, which was also being used on his motorbike.

He had been acting chief when he was suspended.

Initially he was placed on three months special leave but, when he returned to work, he was placed on indefinite special leave. No internal disciplinary action has been taken against him.

The city has instituted a criminal case of fraud against him in the Pretoria Regional Court

but two years on the case is not finalised.

Jaca’s next court appearance will be in June, following a postponement at the beginning of April for new prosecutors to familiarise themselves with the case.

At the same time, Jaca has taken his irregular special leave to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

It is understood he is waiting for a date for the matter to be heard.

Contacted this week, Jaca referred queries to the city.

Public protector spokesman Oupa Segalwe confirmed Jaca’s investigation.

Segalwe said with regard to the Tshwane Metro Police, Madonsela was also investigating:

n The irregular appointment of the current Chief of Police, Steven Ngobeni.

n The deployment of state resources to Qunu for Nelson Mandela’s funeral and to Mbombela for an ANC rally where President Jacob Zuma was the keynote speaker.

n The process around cars being released from the metro police car pound after they had been towed away.

n The construction of a house by the deputy chief of police, Umashi Dhlamini.

n Other irregular appointments of Tshwane Metro Police officials.

He said the first complaint on the matter was received in September last year.

A supplementary complaint was received in March.

“The public protector is conducting a preliminary investigation on the matter to establish whether the basis for these allegations is well founded,” said Segalwe.

Last year The Sunday Independent reported that Tshwane Metro Police had paid R500 000 to escort Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe out of the province to Mpumalanga for the ANC’s election campaign – after spending R700 000 to transport 60 bikers and senior managers to Qunu in the Eastern Cape to provide escort services for Mandela’s funeral.

This happened despite the statesman’s remains being flown to the Eastern Cape and handled by the military.

Segalwe said the office of the public protector would be sending the city additional enquiries early next week, adding they hoped that the investigation would be completed by August.

Madonsela’s probe comes despite the Special Investigating Unit’s four-year-long probe into the Tshwane Municipality.

According to its 2012/2013 annual report, the unit had completed its part of the investigation into the metro police pound and that the municipality was investigating cars released cost-free that were not looked at by the unit.

Although the metro police car pound will be probed by Madonsela, The Sunday Independent understands that, in the main, the complaint laid with the public protector relates to the appointment of Ngobeni.

The allegations are that Ngobeni’s post was never advertised and that he did not meet the qualifying criteria for the job.

At the time of the appointment, the city had said that Ngobeni was headhunted because the position could not be filled when it was advertised and none of the candidates were fit for the job.

Aside from Jaca, former Ekurhuleni head of Metro Police Robert McBride had applied for the position.

Ngobeni’s name was not on the list.

Ngobeni then appointed Dhlamini as chief of staff and later promoted him to deputy chief of police.

Dhlamini has been linked to the process by which two private security contacts to protect the city’s property awarded under his watch went to companies with links to his relatives.

It is alleged that the construction of the house is linked to those security contracts.

Dhlamini said he had heard that the allegations were with the public protector, but they had not been officially brought to him.

He said he did not evaluate contracts and the city would therefore have to test the allegations.

Tshwane Municipality spokesman Selby Bokaba said the municipality had been informed of the public protector's investigation.

Concerning Jaca's case, he said: “The investigation around Deputy Jaca is still in the hands of the courts and we rely on the evidence being presented in court.

“As soon as the court case concludes, disciplinary action will be instituted if he is found guilty.”

“We have no control over the court case and cannot speculate as to when the case will be finalized.

He said the city had instituted their own investigation based on the allegations around Dhlamini. To date they were not aware of the link between Dhlamini and security companies. - The Sunday Independent



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