The ANC has filed a criminal complaint against City top cop Robbie Robberts for allegedly defeating the ends of justice and perjury after he laid the same charges against a colleague who ignored his orders. Picture: Candice Chaplin/ANA Archives
Cape Town - The ANC has filed a criminal complaint against City top cop Robbie Robberts for allegedly defeating the ends of justice and perjury after he laid the same charges against a colleague who ignored his orders.

During April and May, a grievance hearing was held in the matter of deputy metro police chief Annalene Marais, more than 20 law enforcement and metro police officers, and Robberts.

Robberts is the City’s director of policing and enforcement services.

Independent commissioner conflict resolution firm IR Change investigated the grievances brought against Robberts and was chaired by Sarah Christie.

During this hearing, Robberts admitted to laying a criminal charge against Marais at the Brackenfell police station for defeating the ends of justice.

This after Marais had chosen not to obey an illegal instruction from Robberts to use a water cannon to deal with potentially violent protest on the N2 in March.

Marais maintained in the hearing that a water cannon was used for crowd control and not putting out fires. Robberts further confirmed that he had withdrawn the same charge on the instructions of executive director of safety and security Richard Bosman.

Richard Bosman

In the hearing, Robberts said: “I was so angry and frustrated and I needed to make a point.”

In her draft ruling, Christie said: “It was clear from discussions that Robberts was under considerable pressure from Alderman JP Smith and others to respond effectively to an imminent threat to City property.”

ANC City council leader Xolani Sotashe said they were of the view that it was a criminal offence to lie under oath.

“Robberts made a false statement when he laid a criminal charge against Marais. He thus lied on a signed affidavit,” Sotashe said.

Today, these and other matters will be discussed behind closed doors at a special council meeting.

But Sotashe said he would request Speaker Dirk Smit to allow for the public to hear the details of the matter.

“The ANC also notes with concern that the DA has banned all councillors from speaking about a ‘special confidential meeting’.

“The citizens and media of Cape Town have a right to know what the DA is hiding from the public in light of the criminal charges laid by the ANC,” he said.

In response to the ANC’s claim, Smith said it was categorically false that he put any pressure on Robberts.

He also said if fire trucks respond to fires at violent protests there is a greater risk of the trucks being damaged by stone throwing.

Smith said City manager Lungelo Mbandazayo was busy correcting a mismatch on Robberts’ contract to allow him to do his job properly without inevitably falling foul of grievances by so doing.

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Cape Argus