Cop watchdog calls on spooks to probe leak
Acting police watchdog head Israel Kgamanyane has threatened to bring in spooks to identify the “mole” who leaked confidential documents that revealed the daughter of Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu was apparently appointed to a top job without having the required qualifications or experience.
Kgamanyane made the threat after City Press revealed Boniwe Sotyu was appointed deputy director of investigations in the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) Free State provincial office.
In a memorandum issued by his personal assistant on Monday, Kgamanyane warned his staff that they might be subjected to lie detector tests. He also warned that those found to have leaked “sensitive and confidential” information could find themselves jobless.
The three-page memo, a copy of which is in City Press’ possession, states he has “instituted an investigation that will be conducted by the State Security Agency during the next few days”.
Yesterday, Ipid spokesperson Grace Langa said the police watchdog body was exercising its powers by inviting spooks to investigate the leak.
“Ipid has been having [sic] the whistle-blower policy which applies to all staff members and has to be exercised in a respective [sic] and responsible manner.”
State Security Agency spokesperson Brian Dube said he was not aware of the request, but confirmed “the law permits other organs of state to seek our assistance on a variety of investigations”.
Boniwe was appointed ahead of 90 other candidates, even though it was apparent she did not have the necessary qualifications.
Confidential appointment documents in City Press’ possession reveal that, of the seven short-listed candidates, one had more than 22 years of experience as a police officer and joined Ipid as a principal investigator.
Another candidate was the Free State’s principal investigator, who had received six awards for his work. Yet another was an investigator with a law degree.
Boniwe, who only had three years and four months of relevant experience, allegedly has a national diploma in policing, believed to be from the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority.
According to the job advertisement, the position required a relevant bachelor’s degree or a diploma in law or policing, at least four years’ experience in management of criminal investigations, project management and an essential, “thorough knowledge and understanding of criminal law, criminal procedure and law of evidence”.
A summary of Boniwe’s interview reveals she began her career as a case analyst at Ipid’s predecessor, the Independent Complaints Directorate, and at the time of the interview was “serving under the monitoring and evaluation unit, where she checks compliance with the standard operating procedures”.
Nowhere is it stated that she investigated cases or held any management position for the required four years.
Nevertheless, the interviewing panel, which consisted of four senior managers, decided she was the top candidate.
Ipid’s acting chief director of corporate services, Nomkhosi Netsianda, objected to Boniwe’s appointment.
In a document in City Press’ possession, Netsianda wrote that Boniwe’s “national diploma is not the equivalent of a recognised national diploma or degree, she does not have four years of experience at supervisory level managing investigations as advertised and has less than two years’ experience as a supervisor”. Despite this, Kgamanyane confirmed Boniwe’s appointment, insisting she was suitably qualified.
Langa said Boniwe’s appointment was “done in a transparent manner” and “in line with Ipid policy on recruitment and selection, which is guided by public service regulations”.
“We would encourage any person who alleges any wrongdoing or who is not satisfied with the process or appointment of Ms Boniwe Sotyu to please report the matter to the relevant authorities, and Ipid will cooperate with the investigation.”
Langa insisted Deputy Minister Sotyu did not influence her daughter’s appointment. “The decision to appoint resides solely with the accounting officer of the department [Kgamanyane],” she said.
Two senior Ipid sources close to the appointment process told City Press that questions were raised about Boniwe’s policing diploma, which they alleged was not recognised by the SA Qualifications Authority.
The two added that, in their view, the appointment was aimed at pleasing Sotyu and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, to whom Ipid reports.
As deputy director of investigations, Boniwe will receive an annual salary of R532 270.
DA spokesperson on police Dianne Kohler Barnard said she would ask the Public Protector to investigate the matter.