Suspended KwaZulu-Natal head of the Independent Complaints Directorate Tabisa Ralo has hit back at her bosses.
Ralo said yesterday that her suspension was "trumped up to get back" at her.
She said her bosses had colluded against her because of her high-level investigation into a fraud syndicate and corruption involving high-profile senior police officers.
She has vowed to take her bosses to the highest court of the land to fight her suspension.
Ralo 32, nicknamed the "Golden Girl" by many of her admirers for holding the police accountable, was suspended for allegedly submitting false travel claims.
She was also accused of abusing her powers and has had her management skills questioned.
Her clean-up operation resulted in the suspension of her deputy Len John after more than 100 dockets were found "locked away" in the provincial offices.
A source in the ICD offices yesterday told Sowetan that Ralo was being undermined by her male colleagues who did not acknowledge her position or her success.
He said the backlogs in cases were piling up as a result of her suspension.
"There are people who have a stereotypical mentality. They do not want to be led by a woman.
"She was holding people accountable for their actions and some senior staff wrote a letter of grievance to our national office, making false claims against her.
"Our office is in a state of collapse now," he said.
Ralo was seconded from Eastern Cape last year and was able to implement a turn-around strategy in dealing with police misconduct.
Her attorney, Naren Sangham, said yesterday: "It's clear that our client is not [legally] suspended.
"Her ICD bosses have not even followed the correct procedure. Her travel allowance did not even reach R3000 and was for the investigation linking senior police officers to a drug syndicate."