Senior cop charged for using state petrol card for personal trip
Johannesburg - Charges of fraud, for alleged abuses of State resources for personal gain, against a senior police officer, have highlighted Police Minister Bheki Cele’s recent criticism of supposed corruption within the SAPS.
Lieutenant-General Dumisa Magadlela, the former head of the national forensics unit, is facing fraud, forgery and defeating the ends of justice charges, for the alleged unlawful use of a police vehicle for a personal trip in January.
Magadlela allegedly filled petrol to the value of about R9000 - which The Star has seen receipts of - on a trip home to the Eastern Cape, from January 17 to January 20, using the police card, while earning well over 200 points on his personal Clicks store loyalty card.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) confirmed the charges against Magadlela, who, sources said, was now heading the project to form a new detectives’ academy.
Allegations are that Magadlela committed fraud, by forging two police personnel numbers, to book out a SAPS Nissan Pathfinder SUV, and allegedly misrepresented himself as a sergeant in the logbook.
Addressing the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union conference in Durban on Wednesday, Cele lamented alleged corruption within the SAPS, which the minister said “killed the morale” of police and the community.
The Star has seen the logbook entries, with the alleged fraudulent personnel numbers, as well as the illegible name of the sergeant.
The misrepresentation, well-placed sourced said, was because officers with high police ranks, such as Magadlela, receive designated drivers and are not allowed to use State vehicles.
According to an investigative report, which The Star has seen: “It has been noted that the recorded Persal (personnel system) number of the driver differs (when booked in and out), which is unusual for any member of the service to incorrectly record their own Persal number. Both recorded Persal numbers are invalid, as the numbers do not exist on the system.”
Sources said that Magadlela was suspended with pay for 90 days, but has not faced any internal disciplinary action.
“This is because Magadlela is a high-ranking officer and the SAPS wants to protect him,” said a source, who asked to remain anonymous.
Magadlela told The Star that the matter was under investigation and that he respected the law, and declined to comment further.
Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa confirmed that the directorate had concluded fraud, forgery and defeating the ends of justice investigations, into Magadlela, in July.
Seisa added that Ipid had sent the case docket to the National Prosecuting Authority for a final decision on prosecution.
Lirandzu Themba, Minister Cele’s spokesperson, said the matter was operational and referred all queries to the SAPS’s national office.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the police did not comment on internal disciplinary issues because this could prejudice and compromise the people involved.