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Parties raise alarm over ‘tainted’ top cop’s promotion

Mkhwanazi faces allegations of graft, abuse of power

Jeanette Chabalala Senior Reporter
Ekurhuleni senior metro cop Julius Mkhwanazi has just landed a new role as deputy chief of police.
Ekurhuleni senior metro cop Julius Mkhwanazi has just landed a new role as deputy chief of police.
Image: FACEBOOK

The NPA is expected to decide whether or not to prosecute controversial Ekurhuleni senior metro cop Julius Mkhwanazi, who has just landed a new role as deputy chief of police. 

Police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said it was still waiting for feedback from the director of public prosecutions on whether to prosecute Mkhwanazi, who is facing allegations of corruption, abuse of power and gross dishonesty. He allegedly committed these offences when he was still director of specialised services at the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD).

Mkhwanazi was suspended last year for just three months after he allegedly dished out blue lights services to a Pretoria security firm CAT-VIP Protection and entered into questionable and unapproved deals with the company on behalf of the city. An internal investigation found that he had to be charged with abuse of power and six charges of gross dishonesty which are all linked to his relationship with CAT-VIP Protection.

“The Ipid handed the docket over to the NPA, and we are still waiting for a decision,” spokesperson Phaladi Shuping said. The docket was handed over in November last year. 

According to the charge sheet, in 2021 Mkhwanazi wrote a memorandum using the council’s letterheads giving instructions for the private security company owned by Vusimuzi Matlala to use blue dash-light vehicles from the council. 

Mkhwanazi was also charged with dishonesty for accepting four luxury cars from CAT-VIP Protection as a donation to the EPMD without declaring them to council. He further arranged for the vehicles to be registered under the council in the eNaTIS system without his superiors’ knowledge. 

The city hired a private company to the tune of R600,000 to conduct an internal disciplinary process against Mkhwanazi. Ekurhuleni said it was waiting for the full report into the investigation. 

Despite facing serious charges, Mkhwanazi was promoted to his current position in December last year. His appointment has irked some political parties who have asked for an investigation into his appointment. 

Ekurhuleni spokesperson Zweli Dlamini said the city received 140 applications after the post was advertised in August last year and only two people were interviewed for the job. 

Dlamini said Mkhwanazi was recommended by the panel as the best and most suitable candidate for the job.

However, DA spokesperson for community safety in Ekurhuleni Jaco Terblanche said Mkhwanazi’s promotion was concerning, adding that he wrote to the MMC of community safety, the mayor and the city manager to reject Mkhwanazi’s appointment.

He said he would demand a full investigation be conducted as to whether the city did investigate Mkhwanazi.

“I am prepared to take this to the public protector for a full investigation if I don’t get any responses,” he said.

ActionSA’s Siyanda Makhubu said he had also written to the MMC for community safety and city manager asking why Mkhwanazi was shortlisted. 

“Last year we objected to him being shortlisted and we said he was not the appropriate candidate most especially because he was meant to go to a disciplinary hearing and it never materialised – so we are asking questions.

“Why would they want to keep Mkhwanazi in his job? This is a promotion, from one rank to the next. We want his recruitment process document to be made public. We want to know how he got through. We made objections when we heard that he was shortlisted, and we demanded to know what was happening with his disciplinary hearing."

Makhubu said he believed that Mkhwanazi was being “protected”.   

But Dlamini said no one was protecting Mkhwanazi, adding that he was recommended for appointment by the panel, which included the chief of police.  

Dlamini said they appointed an external company to conduct an investigation based on “numerous inconsistencies found in the Ipid investigation report during an internal process”.

“This necessitated that, for the purposes of proceeding to any recommended action, we needed to ensure that everything is above board."

Chabalalaj@sowetan.co.za


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