The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) is concerned about the targeted and politically motivated attacks on the POPCRU Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, Cde Loyiso Mdingi, and sees these as an attempt to silence those committed to fighting corrupt elements.
Cde Mdingi’s challenges arose at the time when he was also serving as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson of COSATU in the Eastern Cape, when he was in charge of an investigation into the matter involving the assassination attempt on the OR Tambo ANC Regional Chairperson.
In the above incident, the Regional Chairperson survived, but his bodyguard was killed and arrests were made in 2016. Among those arrested were former senior leaders in the region. At this time there were concerns raised by some that COSATU was arresting its own comrades.
Subsequent to these arrests, a march was organised by a grouping within the OR Tambo region, with a memorandum complaining about, among others, Cde Mdingi’s appointment as the head of Hawks in the area.
Early last year February, while speaking at memorial service in his capacity as the Provincial Chairperson of POPCRU, his address mentioned the challenges of corruption in the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Hawks, which was inclusive of the union’s call for the removal of Mr Phahlane and Nhlemeza respectively.
This matter was handed to Brigadier Govender, the Head of Organised Crime in Gauteng, who declined to proceed with charges, citing that the Chairperson was acting in his capacity as union official, and not as a policeman.
The other part is that when a female Colonel and her husband were transferred at the state’s cost to East London, where they stayed at hotels for 3 months, and after that went to uMthatha without any documentation, Cde Mdingi challenges this act as wasteful expenditure.
Two senior parliamentarians visited the office of the Acting Head of Hawks, Matakata, complaining about General Nongwanya and Mdingi for arresting certain people in the Eastern Cape province, where Matakata promised to deal with Nongwanya and reopen the case against Mdingi.
These charges were reopened after the Chairperson spoke against alleged corrupt activities by the Hawks management, which include the seizure of dockets from Captain Lwana by General Mnonopi; dockets which were taken when Captain Lwana was about to make arrests for corruption, which included a senior politician and government minister who was among these suspects to be arrested.
There was a 2nd seizure of documents from Captain Lwana by General Khan from the Hawks head office, and all dockets seized involved politicians. The cases were as a result of information received from whistle-blowers, and when they were taken, they put at risk the lives of these sources. They are currently at the Hawks head office and there is no information regarding their status.
Currently, Captain Lwana is not given any work and is just idling.
The Hawks management is further angered by the fact that these challenges were raised with the DPCI Judge in the presence of the management, and as a result there is an investigation by the DPCI judge on the issues raised.
The Hawks management misled parliament on the status of cases involving politicians because the initial response included cases involving a senior politician and government minister, but the final correspondence excluded the case involving this senior politician and government minister.
As POPCRU, we view these actions as means to frustrate any investigations into those who are alleged to have committed criminal and corrupt activities, and it cannot be justifiable that those committed to serving the people of South Africa through dedication are persecuted in the defence of those in the wrong.
We call for the reinstatement of Cde Mdingi and those who are currently being victimised for the protection of politicians.
Issued by POPCRU on 02/04/2018