Cape Town. 27.08.13. National Police Commisioner Riah Phiyega, accompanied by SAPS Generals, was under scrutiny by members of the Western Cape government's safety and security portfolio regarding police issues in the Western Cape. Picture Ian Landsberg

Durban - Allegations have surfaced that top cop Sean Tshabalala informed National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega three weeks before he died that one of her deputies was harassing him over a nepotism and corruption investigation.

One of them, a lieutenant-general, is one of two officers fingered in the allegations of irregular appointments.

The other, a brigadier, is at the centre of a storm over an alleged dodgy job application for a position at a police academy.

The allegations are contained in an explosive confidential dossier that Tshabalala, the divisional commissioner of the inspectorate which monitors service delivery and investigates complaints against officers, allegedly penned in the three months leading up to his death.

The Sunday Tribune has seen a copy of the dossier, which has surfaced in the wake of Tshabalala’s death, and comes as his friends and family piece together the circumstances that led to colleagues finding him dead in his office on Christmas Eve.

According to the dossier, the alleged threatening calls appeared to have taken a toll on Tshabalala.

He would have apparently handed the final document, along with supporting annexures, to Phiyega in the Christmas week, asking her to appoint a competent officer to handle the matter.

Among his frustrations was alleged ill-treatment by one of the officers, his junior.

“This request is based on the call I received in the presence of my staff and family on December 7 around midday, where (the officer) was so disrespectful, rude and uncouth.

“I assume (the officer) was fully briefed on my private conversation with Lieutenant-General (name withheld),” the report states.

Contacted yesterday and asked about Tshabalala’s alleged call to Phiyega and the deputy’s calls to him, Tshabalala’s wife asked to be called later, but then did not answer the calls.

Phiyega’s spokesman, Solomon Makgale, dismissed the claims that Tshabalala contacted Phiyega.

In the dossier, Tshabalala details his preliminary inquiry after the allegations landed on his desk on October 4.

The alleged corruption is in the police’s human resources development division.

At the centre of the allegations is that the brigadier was appointed to head an educational structure in 2010 without producing evidence of a matric certificate in the application.

The application only allegedly contained a Grade 10 certificate, certified days before the applications closed.

According to the dossier, Phiyega allegedly knew of the nepotism and corruption allegations as early as last March, when she received the anonymous letter via the police ministry, but never acted on it.

Instead, she appointed the officer as her deputy.

But Makgale said there was no investigation into the qualifications, and the “wild allegations” arose in October only after the deputy’s appointment.

It was never brought to Phiyega for an investigation.


Tshabalala’s dossier details a different train of events.

According to the official police stamps on the annexures, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s office forwarded the allegations to Phiyega on March 13.

Lieutenant-General Nkrumah Mazibuko, divisional commander of management, assigned the file to a general in the division on July 8, but later transferred it to the human resources development division.

Major-General Stian Nyalungu, acting human resources development divisional commissioner, passed the complaint to the inspectorate on September 13, requesting that a senior officer handle the matter.

According to the document, Tshabalala became aware of the matter on December 6, when he approached one of the officers at a staff function.

After receiving the complaint in October, he allegedly received a second anonymous letter on November 19, which he wanted to discuss “privately and confidentially” with the deputy, who held a senior position in the division.

According to Tshabalala, when he told the officer about the allegation, he was chastised.


The deputy allegedly called him the day after the event and threatened him.

Contacted yesterday, one of the officers referred queries to Makgale. The other did not return calls or SMSes.

Sunday Tribune