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How top cop hired dodgy deputy

Mapiyeye one of 16 witnesses the Ipid interviewed

Jeanette Chabalala Senior Reporter
EMPD chief of police Isaac Mapiyeye.
EMPD chief of police Isaac Mapiyeye.
Image: EMPD

Three months after being handed a damning report by the police watchdog to institute disciplinary action against a senior officer, Ekurhuleni chief of police Isaac Mapiyeye instead promoted the cop.

Mapiyeye chaired an interview panel in November last year, which recommended the appointment of controversial senior police officer Julius Mkhwanazi to the position of deputy chief of police after 139 people applied for the post. He resumed his new role in December. 

In March, Mapiyeye had signed off a report to launch disciplinary action against Mkhwanazi and hired a company to conduct the disciplinary hearings, which never sat. 

At the time Mkhwanazi had been suspended for allegedly dishing out blue lights services to a Pretoria security firm, CAT-VIP Protection, and entering 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 were all linked to his relationship with CAT-VIP Protection, a company owned by Vusimusi Matlala.   

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 the city council.

Early this month, political parties raised their concerns about Mkhwanazis promotion and the DA  wrote to the MMC of community safety, Letlhogonolo Moseki,  the mayor and the city manager to reject the appointment.

Last week city spokesperson Zweli Dlamini told Sowetan that Mkhwanazi was the most suitable candidate for the job.

In his response to the DA at the legislature this month, Moseki said "Mkhwanazi was recommended by the panel as he did exceptionally well in the interview. He demonstrated enough required skills and acumen that is needed for one to be suitably qualified for this position."

EMPD deputy chief of police Julius Mkhwanazi.
EMPD deputy chief of police Julius Mkhwanazi.
Image: facebook

A report by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) found that Mkhwanazi had a case of corruption and fraud that needed to be investigated by the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) and Ipids docket was referred to the National Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision to prosecute. 

Ipid said it had strong evidence against Mkhwanazi. 

The suspect did not have powers to enter into any agreements nor to accept donations from external stakeholders. His actions amounted to fraud and corruption in that he misrepresented himself and further authorised fraudulent registration of vehicles to benefit CAT-VIP, read the document.   

Ipid further said evidence obtained indicated that four vehicles were registered as City of Ekurhuleni vehicles between January 18 and 24 2023. The same vehicles then changed ownership on the eNatis from the City of Ekurhuleni fleet and were registered as CAT-VIP vehicles in March 2023. It cost the city R2,218 to register the vehicles.

Mapiyeye was one of 16 witnesses the Ipid interviewed when it was investigating allegations against Mkhwanazi. 

The Ipid report came after an internal investigation by EMPD into Mkhwanazis conduct. The internal report showed that Mapiyeye had requested divisional head Xolani Nciza to authorise Mkhwanazis disciplinary hearing. 

Asked why Mkhwanazi was promoted despite Ipids recommendation, Mapiyeye said: This is an HR matter and I wont go into detail to explain how these things work in the city, and to speak to a faceless somebody, I am just not comfortable doing that.

Mapiyeye referred media enquiries to the office of the city manager.

Regarding the investigations against Mkhwanazi, Dlamini said: The city appointed an external company to conduct the investigations 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.” 

In August last year the Municipal Employees and Civil Servants Union called for Mapiyeye's suspension after two metro officers gave sworn statements to the police alleging misconduct regarding a car crash on May 25 2019 in which Mapiyeye was one of the drivers. One of the officers, who was on the scene of the accident, alleged that he was instructed not to breathalyse Mapiyeye who also did not have his driver's licence at the time of the crash.  Reply ForwardAttendee panel closed


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