Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

The KwaZulu-Natal head of the Independent Complaints Directorate, Tabisa Ralo, has been suspended following an investigation of fraud.

ICD provincial principal investigator Sipho Nene has been appointed as acting head.

It is alleged that Ralo submitted false travel allowance claims over an undisclosed period.

The claims were allegedly inflated to influence the outcome of financial audits.

The police watchdog allegedly uncovered the claims after staff members wrote a letter to the national ICD office complaining about Ralo's management style.

Staff also complained of 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 Dikeledi Phiri said the ICD suspended Ralo after she took special leave last month. She was given the letter of suspension last week.

The matter has also been referred to the police's commercial crime unit to investigate criminal charges..

"We started a departmental investigation last year and found that there were irregularities," Phiri said.

"We asked the SAPS commercial unit to investigate a case of fraud.

"The matter is now in police hands and we do not want to jeopardise investigations," she said.

Phiri said the suspension has not affected the directorate's work.

"It's business as usual and we are carrying on with our workload."

Phiri confirmed that Nene has been appointed as acting head.

Attempts to get comment from Ralo were unsuccessful as her cellphone was on voicemail.

l This story was supposed to be published in Sowetan's Friday edition. Due a technical error this did not happen and management wishes to apologise for any inconvenience.