Judge and police service secretary have it out in Parliament
Politics / 7 November 2019, 4:10pm / MAYIBONGWE MAQHINA
Johannesburg - A fallout between the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge Diale Kgomo and secretary for Police Service Alvin Rapea has spilled into Parliament.
Judge Kgomo and Rapea were at each other’s throats on Wednesday over the independence and lack of resources at the former’s office.
The drama played itself out when the office of the DPCI judge made a presentation to the police portfolio committee on its annual report for 2018-19.
In his report, Judge Kgomo put the blame on the challenges in his office squarely on Rapea. He said he had asked Police Minister Bheki Cele to create a post of chief executive at a level of chief director but with the authority for approval of a post at director level.
Judge Kgomo also said his office was hitting a snag regarding the renewal of a lease for office accommodation and blamed Rapea for wanting to “force relocate” them to an unsuitable building.
He alleged that correspondence to Cele was either kept from him or edited to feed him small “dollops”.
At Wednesday’s meeting, things heated up when questions were asked about the institution’s performance during the year under review.
MPs noted that the annual report contained complaints by the DPCI judge’s office against the civilian secretariat for police service. They said it would be difficult to do justice to the report in the absence of Cele and his deputy Cassel Mathale.
This escalated when the ANC’s Patricia Peacock asked Judge Kgomo why he brought his concerns to the committee. “You should exhaust your issues internally before bringing them here,” she said.
Judge Kgomo told the MPs that Cele had postponed 10 meetings where issues would have been discussed.
He charged that Cele did not listen to anyone other than Rapea.
Emphasising the need for his office, Judge Kgomo threatened to go to court to decide on the matter.
“I have to be independent, structurally and operationally,” Kgomo said.
Speaking at the meeting, Rapea said his crime was to refuse to upgrade Judge Kgomo’s former secretary from the Northern Cape judiciary to be his professional assistant.
“The Public Service Act and the regulation did not allow that,” he said.
Rapea also said as an accounting officer, he had to follow policy. He told the MPs that Judge Kgomo scrutinised him and questioned his integrity.
Rapea alleged that Judge Kgomo wanted his officials to handle the recruitment of new personnel and did not want the civilian secretariat to be involved. “I have said that won’t happen. The whole issue here is that I’m being undermined.”
He told of instances when Judge Kgomo would allegedly mention his former position as judge president when they had disagreements.
Rapea claimed that Judge Kgomo had yet to sign a memorandum of understanding that spelled out how they manage their relationship.