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Top cop laughs off inquiry allegations

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Undeterred by reports that her job was on the line, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni,husband, Brigadier Lucas Ngobeni, and daughter, Khensani, enjoyed a Fathers Day lunch at Spur, at the Umhlanga Sands Hotel. Picture: Zanele Zulu

Her boss may have resigned but the KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner is not about to fall on her sword.

Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, says it will take more than a character assassination or alleged staff betrayal to topple her.

Ngobeni was reacting to weekend reports that she could be in the firing line for her alleged role in the controversial police lease deal with property magnate Roux Shabangu – and her alleged irregular appointment by sacked national commissioner, Bheki Cele.

“For the past two years I have done my best to fight crime. This is nothing but a character assassination and I will not stand for it,” Ngobeni said on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, for those bent on destroying me, I am focused and will continue to do my job: keeping the citizens of the province safe from criminals. I will not abandon my post. From what I read, some of my staff have allegedly been speaking to the media. I don’t feel betrayed. But, I want to suggest to them that they should use all that energy to fight crime rather than mislead society.”

Responding to suggestions that the allegations against her were contained in a report by Judge Jakes Moloi, Ngobeni said she had not seen the report. She had testified to the inquiry.

The Moloi Inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma to investigate whether Cele had acted corruptly, dishonestly, or with an undeclared conflict of interest in relation to the police lease deals.

“The report has not been made public. I have not been privy to it,” she said. “I don’t know where people are getting their facts from. Even talk of me facing a disciplinary hearing is new to me. The newly appointed national commissioner has not approached me about any of this. But, I welcome any investigation. I have nothing to hide.”

Ngobeni laughed off claims that the Moloi inquiry had stressed her and that she had booked off sick, several times, in the past few weeks.

“I am well. I have never been off sick or stressed,” she said. “Why should I be stressed? I have no skeletons in my closet. For me, one of the first signs of stress will be weight loss. I am a big sized person. I have not lost any weight. What does that tell you?”

With regard to her appointment by Cele, two years ago, Ngobeni said everything was above board.

“The post was advertised nationally. I applied for the job and went through the interview process with five other candidates. I got the job on merit. I had the right skills for the job. No-one did me any favours,” she said.

For the 2011/12 financial year, KZN was rated as the number one performing province nationally, she said.

“This shows that we are doing our job. I have regular meetings with my top management and in recent months we have been reshaping the crime fighting strategy of the province.

“This is a team effort and I want to commend my members for not being distracted by all the issues going on, and remaining committed to the fight against crime,” she said.

“This is also a message to the drug lords and criminals that my guard is not down. I am not distracted ...”.

Ngobeni said there had been many challenges and hurdles in the past year, including the transfer of KZN crime intelligence head, Major General Dina Moodley, and the disbanding of the Durban Organised Crime Unit in Cato Manor. “These challenges have made me a stronger leader,” she said. “Allegations against (Major) General Moodley and the Durban Organised Crime Unit, Cato Manor, are being investigated. We will have to await the outcome.”

Ngobeni stressed she had a zero tolerance for crooked cops and said many had been brought to book this year.

“I am also a Christian by faith and strongly believe that God puts us all through tests to bring us closer to him.

“Through all these difficult times, I have sought guidance from Him.”

She said she would not be brought down for the wrong reasons.

“I love my job and will not be derailed by anyone, or false allegations,” she said. “The community must maintain their trust and confidence in me. I will not let them down.” - Daily News


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