Cop watchdog calls on spooks to probe leak

CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO abram.mashego@city­

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.

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