KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni’s suspension has been set aside.
Handing down the judgement today, High Court Judge Nkosinathi Chili, also set aside the decision to set up a board of inquiry to determine whether Ngobeni was guilty of misconduct and her fitness to hold office – Chili described the establishment of the board as “premature, unlawful and falls to be set aside”.
In addition, Judge Chili ordered that the police bear the costs of Ngobeni’s application.
Speaking afterwards, Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni’s attorney, Ravindra Maniklall, described the court’s judgement as a well-deserved one and a landmark decision that would affect provincial commissioners countrywide.
Ngobeni was suspended on May 19 by the acting national police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane.
Her suspension was linked to her deals with Durban businessman, Thoshan Panday and his associates, who reportedly paid nearly R20 000 for her husband Lucas’s birthday party in 2010.
Afterwards, she lodged an urgent application to have her suspension set aside. Thereafter, her application was brought against the acting national police commissioner, police minister, Nathi Nhleko and the provincial executive council in KwaZulu-Natal.
In her application heard by Judge Chili in June, she argued that the acting national police commissioner had no power to suspend her without the police minister and the Provincial Executive Committee consents.
According to her affidavit, the acting national police commissioner failed to refer allegations leveled against her to the provincial executive council for consideration.
Charges Leveled Against Ngobeni
Count one alleged that she flawed by receiving “an undue benefit” from uMhlanga businessman Thoshan Panday, who allegedly paid for her police officer husband’s birthday party in 2010.
Count two alleged that Ngobeni was guilty of defeating the ends of justice by impeding criminal investigation against Panday.
Count three alleged that she failed and or omitted to work actively toward preventing any form of corruption and to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The fourth count referred to the three other counts in that; she allegedly breached the principles of the police code of conduct.