Union wants top cop booted out of police force

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Policing Union (Sapu) wants the Benoni police cluster commander accused of fraud to be totally removed from the SAPS.

The union says Brigadier Vuyokazi Ndebele, who is facing fraud charges, has a long history of improper conduct.  

Ndebele was back at work on Tuesday after being arrested on Monday.

Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere said the union wanted her kicked out of the force as her presence in the SAPS compromised the justice system.

Ndebele was released on a R2,000 bail on Monday, for her alleged involvement in irregular recruitment procedures within the police department.

The 49-year-old allegedly changed the Moroka police cluster recruitment list to include three candidates that had not met the SAPS criteria. Her arrest is part of an ongoing investigation into corrupt SAPS recruitment processes.

“A report document was submitted to the minister of police and to the national police commissioner in 2012 [and] called for Ndebele to be removed from the police service for misconduct. We have not heard any feedback on that report till to this date. Now, the SAPS is dealing with another embarrassing matter involving Ndebele which could have been avoided if someone had implemented the finds made in that 2012 report,” Skommere told eNCA.com.

The 2012 report found Ndebele guilty of verbally abusing junior staff, transferring members without following procedure and picking on several officers when she was employed as the emergency commander of the Midrand 10111 call centre, Skommere said.

The report, compiled by Sapu and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), recommended that she be removed from the police service.

In 2009 Ndebele was cleared of 55 counts of fraud by the Parys Magistrate’s Court. At the time it was alleged that she had defrauded the Vaal Toll Plaza by refusing to pay the toll fee. It was alleged that although she was off duty when she passed through the tolls, she told operators that she was on duty.

She was acquitted on all charges.

“Sapu is not saying Ndebele is guilty on the fraud charge she faces, that is for the court to decide, but we are saying the SAPS must act against misconduct even amongst senior commanders. Ndebele must be removed from the entire police service because she is an embarrassment to the service,” said Skommere.

Ndebele was back at the Benoni police station on Tuesday, but it was not clear whether this was in contradiction of her bail terms. Gauteng police spokesman Neville Malila could not be reached to confirm the conditions of Ndebele’s bail.

When asked about the report, national police spokesman Solomon Makgale said it was an internal police matter.

eNCA.com contacted Ndebele for comment on Tuesday, but she referred all queries to Malila.