The KwaZulu-Natal head of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD), Tabisa Ralo, has been suspended following a series of investigations pertaining to fraud within the unit.
ICD provincial principal investigator Sipho Nene has been appointed as acting head.
It is alleged that Ralo had submitted false travel allowance claims over an undisclosed period.
The police watchdog allegedly uncovered the claims when staff wrote a letter to the national ICD complaining about Ralo's management style.
Staff complained about Ralo's temper and of not seeing eye to eye with their boss, saying this was having a negative effect on their investigations into the behaviour of police officers.
ICD spokesperson Dekeledi Phiri said the ICD suspended Ralo after she took special leave last month. A letter informing her of her suspension was handed to her this week.
"We started a departmental investigation last year and found that there were irregularities.
"And we asked the SAPS commercial unit to look into a [criminal] case of fraud," Phiri said.
"The matter is now within police hands and we do not want to jeopardise investigations."
She said it was "business as usual" at the office.
Attempts to get comment from Ralo were unsuccessful as her cellphone was on voicemail.