Former ICD boss still to face music

THE KwaZulu-Natal Independent Complaints Directorate has yet to resolve a misconduct case involving its former head Tabisa Ralo.

ICD national spokesperson Moses Dlamini said yesterday the case involving Ralo was ongoing.

Ralo was suspended while she was on special leave more than a year ago after a staff member allegedly sent written complaints accusing her of abusing her powers.

The staff member had also questioned her management skills.

Ralo was unavailable for comment.

Despite Ralo's absence, the ICD said it was business as usual over the past year in a province boasting that it was able to convict 13 police officers with penalties ranging from fines to 15 years' imprisonment imposed.

Dlamini said their task was made difficult by investigating officers "who know how to cover up".

"For instance, in one case involving an officer in Phoenix, the officer had 14 assault cases against him and police management did nothing until he shot somebody.

"Even then the senior officer tried to cover up for him. But in the end he was convicted and sentenced to 15 years after an ICD investigation."

According to acting ICD head Len John a total of 40 cases involving KwaZulu-Natal police were on the court roll.

He said these included 20 cases of murder, six of attempted murder and eight of corruption.

John said taxi violence involving the police was high on the ICD's agenda.

"The investigations are ongoing and cases are being investigated."

John said the case involving the police shooting of a 15-year-old boy last month during the search for a prison escapee in Esikhawini, near Empangeni, was almost complete despite the fact that statements from the police involved were outstanding.

The four police officers implicated in the kidnapping and killing of Lungani Biyela were arrested last week by the ICD.

Biyela was shot in Melmoth in 2009 while police were following up on information relating to their investigation.

Dlamini said the ICD's annual report for 2008-09 indicated there were 912 deaths in police custody in South Africa.