Embattled KZN police chief Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni has confirmed in a text message that she has been suspended.
A text message to TMG Digital on Thursday afternoon confirms that the KZN Police Chief is on suspension as she wrote: “Yes my dear. I’m on suspension from tomorrow. Thanx for asking. Further enquiries please liaise with head office.”
Apparently, the official suspension letter was served to the KZN Police Chief by Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane on Thursday morning. This follows a notice of intention to suspend Ngobeni which was served last month by the Phahlane.
The call for Ngobeni’s suspension which has been under debate for several weeks is linked to speculation over her connection with controversial Durban businessman Thoshan Panday‚ who has previously been under investigation for fraud.
From what the media reported on the case‚ a PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit discovered that she and Panday were involved in a “possible corrupt relationship“.
Panday who allegedly paid R20,000 for Ngobeni’s husband Lucas’s birthday party‚ is also being accused of being involved in a R60-million corruption tender scam.
However, Panday has strongly denied these claims.
Also, former KZN Hawks head Johan Booysen accused Ngobeni of interfering in his investigation of Panday and other senior officers in the police procurement department.
Booysen narrated how Ngobeni called him to her office and in front of Panday, told him to stop the investigation.
National spokesman for the Hawks, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said that any “matters of this nature” were between the employer and the employee‚ and should not be handled through the media.
“Any decision taken by the acting national commissioner is taken within the confines of our regulatory framework‚ balanced with the interests of the (police) service and the individual concerned in mind‚” he said.