MPs slam Mothiba for failing to act against brigadier accused of fraud

Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba under fire.
Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba under fire.
Image: PUXLEY MAKGATHO/Business Day

Acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba has come under fire in parliament for failing to suspend a seemingly “untouchable” senior official accused of fraud who has instead been offered an official trip to France.

ANC MPs on Tuesday expressed their anger over why Brigadier Leonora Phetlhe had not been suspended for a dodgy R50‚000 payment she received.

Phetlhe had also unlawfully instructed the vetting section commander to print the security clearance of a senior officer‚ despite him not undergoing the normal vetting process.

MPs lashed out at Mothiba and acting crime intelligence chief Bhoyi Ngcobo for their failure to adequately deal with the matter and suspend Phetlhe pending an investigation.

The lawmakers were told that no action had been taken against Phetlhe who has since been offered a trip to Paris later this month. This provoked the ire of ANC MP Martha Mmola.

“Is it true that Brigadier Phetlhe will be taking an official trip to France on November 19? If so‚ why was Phetlhe chosen considering all these controversies around her recently?” asked Mmola.

Another ANC MP and chairperson of the committee‚ Francois Beukman‚ added saying it “can’t be correct” that no action has been taken against Phetlhe even though they had previously raised the matter with SAPS management.

“We had serious allegations at committee level. We gave strong directives with regards to issue and we hear that she’s not on suspension and it’s business as usual‚” said Beukman.

Angelina Molebatsi‚ also from the ANC‚ said it appeared Phethle was untouchable.

"She is too powerful. She even controls her seniors. She does as she wishes. She’s untouchable in fact. Why is she feared like that?"

Mothiba was also accused of making too many errors of judgement.

“Why are you misfiring so much? Things are happening that we do not expect as a committee under your watch. Is there something that we do not know that which you cannot tell us? It’s worrisome. It’s sabotaging the work of the committee. Such careless mistakes. We need to have confidence in you‚” said Livhuwani Mabija also of the ANC.

Mothiba said Ngcobo was not aware of the R50‚000 payment at first‚ but he was aware of the case of fraud that had been opened.

“There is the illegal printing of security clearance and disciplinary steps put in place and the R50‚000. But it is correct that she was nominated (for the trip to France) and I raised that concern‚” said Mothiba.

Ngcobo said the R50‚000 payment had landed in Phetle’s account for a particular workshop.

“The acting national commissioner gave me instructions that I need to follow. I said I’m waiting for a report on the issue of Brigadier Phetlhe. If that report came to my possession I will be able to take action in suspending the member‚” said Ngcobo.

On the trip to France‚ Ngcobo said he had nominated another official‚ but they did not have an official passport.

“He’s using his private passport and I was advised to remove him. The next available person was Brigadier Phetle and I nominated her name to be on the trip‚” said Ngcobo.

In August‚ Mothiba appointed Major-General Ngcobo as acting head of crime intelligence.

Ngcobo is a former senior member of President Jacob Zuma’s protection unit.

- TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.