Tshwane city manager Moeketsi Mosola is expected to act against the TMPD's head of crime prevention, Johanna Estresia “Trish” Armstrong, for allegedly falsifying her qualifications. Picture: Oupa Mokoena
Pretoria – The fate of the Tshwane Metro Police Department’s head of crime prevention, Johanna Estresia “Trish” Armstrong, who allegedly lied about her qualifications, is in the hands of city manager Moeketsi Mosola.

Mosola is expected to act against Armstrong for allegedly falsifying her qualifications during the recruitment process.

The damning findings are contained in a forensic report compiled after investigation by the city’s Group Audit and Risk Department in 2014.

MMC for Community Safety Derrick Kissundooth said the report had been sent to Mosola in light of questions asked regarding whether its recommendations were implemented or not.

It had been recommended that legal action be taken against Armstrong, but insiders at the department said that never happened.

Armstrong applied for the position of director within the department, which required her to be a metro police officer, police officer or traffic officer.

The report found that she used a fraudulent metro police diploma to register with the Transport Department as a traffic officer.

Armstrong’s qualifications were probed at the request of Tshilidzi Tsedu, a shop steward for the South African Municipal Workers’ Union and acting director at the metro police.

Tsedu wanted the forensic investigation to establish the validity of information on Armstrong’s CV, including her traffic diploma and certificate of registration as an authorised traffic officer.

According to the report, Tsedu stated that Armstrong received her traffic diploma at Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Training Academy on May 25, 2006, and an SAPS certificate on July 31, 2004.

Tsedu told investigators that the traffic diploma was suspicious because during May 2006 up to September 30 of that year, Armstrong was employed by the City of Tshwane.

At the time, Armstrong held a civilian post as the commander at legal services. She was recently moved to head the crime prevention unit.

In her CV, Armstrong stated that she had a metro police diploma from Ekurhuleni Academy and that she had registered with the Department of Transport as a traffic officer. However, it turned out that the information was fake.

The forensic services found that she used a fraudulent metro police diploma to register with the Department of Transport as a traffic officer in 2009.

Armstrong also claimed she was a metro police chief in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, which was found to be untrue.

Investigators established that she was appointed as a project director at the municipality until her contract was terminated on February 6, 2012.

The report concluded that the information constituted “misrepresentation” on Armstrong’s part.

The report found that Armstrong’s contract did not expire as indicated on the CV, but was terminated. “Armstrong’s conduct resulted in misrepresentation,” the report said.

The report recommended that legal action be taken against Armstrong and that an amount of R1.2million she drew from the municipality between May 6, 2013, up to September 30, 2014, be recouped.

According to the report, disciplinary action should have been taken against Armstrong for misrepresenting herself to the city during the recruitment process.

Former chief of the city’s police, Steven Ngobeni, should have informed the Department of Transport in writing to deregister Armstrong as a traffic officer, according to the report.

Ngobeni needed to have initiated steps to deregister Armstrong because she had “registered as a traffic officer at the department with a fraudulent diploma”.

The report further found that Armstrong was not in possession of an Honours degree with the University of the Witswatersrand, it was a short course of six months that she completed in crime prevention management.

Armstrong also did not obtain an LLB degree and the forensic services could not confirm her registration as an advocate, as she had claimed to the city.

“Armstrong also could not supply forensic services with a certificate proving that she is admitted as an advocate,” the report said.

Armstrong holds a Bluris degree from the University of Pretoria, but the qualification didn’t empower her to practise as an advocate.

Kissundooth said he was aware of the forensic report, which found that Armstrong had misrepresented her qualifications.

He said the report had been sent to the municipal manager after questions were asked over whether its recommendations had been implemented or not. “I spoke to the acting chief of the metro police and the report had been taken back to the city manager,” he said.

The city manager would have to make up his mind about the report because it fell under the administration, he said.

However, Kissundooth said he had previously been told the report was taken through proper processes and that the matter was closed.

Pretoria News