Leon Abednigo Mbangwa, a convicted fraudster, secured the chief of staff position in the police ministry.
As culled from a News24 report, Mbangwa was found guilty and sentenced four years behind bars for fraud in 2002.
Confirming this, Police spokesperson Sergeant Ann Poortman specified that Mbangwa was found guilty of fraud and jailed for four years on December 13, 2002.
While how he managed to bag the chief of staff position remains a mystery to many, it was disclosed that he assumed the office in the third month of this year.
Mbangwa didn’t deny being a convicted fraudster. He divulged that he spent some time in Pretoria Central Prison for fraud, and was released in August 2003.
According to him, his release was facilitated by talks between home affairs, his family and the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association.
He related that his conviction was inspired by a problem concerning his birth place and his South African citizenship. His ID was informing that he was born in South Africa instead of Zimbabwe.
“That was the issue” he said, “I was not using a fake South African ID.”
Mbangwa asserted that his employers were aware of his conviction. And, argued that his employment isn’t unlawful.
“I am always cleared when they do their vetting. Who said a person with a conviction cannot be employed? Show me any law that says a person can’t be employed. I have declared and everyone knows about it,” he told News24.
Commenting, the Minster of Police’s spokesperson, Musa Zondi said: “Mr Mbangwa joined the police ministry on a transfer from KwaZulu-Natal legislature. So this was not a brand new appointment. The presumption is that the person being transferred would have been cleared.”
Zondi added that Mbangwa has extensive experience in government and that the Minister didn’t see any problem with acquiring the services he can offer.
“…Mr Mbangwa declared the conviction..to both the National Commissioner and the Minister. They were satisfied.
“Remember, there is no law that says you can’t be hired because of a conviction. The requirement is that you need to declare, which happened in this case,” argued Zondi
Speaking for the Independent Police Investigation Directorate (Ipid), Robbie Raburabu said: “…the State Security Agency (SSA) is responsible for the final clearance. I can confirm that Ipid facilitated the clearance of the chief of staff.”
Meanwhile, SAA refused to comment on the outcome of the final clearance.