Suspended KZN top cop faces hearing into fitness for office

Mmamonnye Ngobeni is expected to answer questions over a corrupt relationship with Thoshan Panday.

Picture: SAPS.

PRETORIA - Suspended KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni is now expected to face a hearing into her fitness to hold office and answer to allegations of a corrupt relationship with businessman Thoshan Panday.

Ngobeni received her notice of suspension yesterday, more than a month after acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane notified her of his intention to suspend her.

She is accused of a corrupt and improper relationship with Panday, who was the subject of a R60 million tender corruption case, which Ngobeni allegedly made go away.

Ngobeni will now have to explain the nature of her relationship with Panday, who paid R20,000 towards the top cop's husband's birthday party in 2011.

This was around the same time that Ngobeni allegedly ordered former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen to stop his investigation into Panday's business dealings with the police.

Panday and supply chain management officer Navin Madhoe were eventually arrested but their charges were withdrawn, while Booysen faced ostensibly unrelated internal and criminal cases.

An internal disciplinary hearing against Booysen, chaired by advocate Nazir Cassim, found that he was charged internally to prevent him from doing his job, particularly from investigating Panday and Ngobeni.

Furthermore, police management has declined to comment on the suspension of Ngobeni, however Eyewitness News has confirmed the development.

Booysen said in affidavits that his office started an investigation into Panday and police procurement official Madhoe and uncovered evidence of corruption.

Booysen has been on suspension since February 2012, while all charges of fraud and corruption against Panday and Madhoe have been withdrawn.