Legal battle looms over selection of new City of Joburg police chief

Johannesburg – A legal battle for the plum job of City of Joburg chief of police has broken out after one of the candidates threatened to interdict the city from appointing an acting chief of Joburg Metro Police Angie Mokasi.

Mogale City chief of police William Nchefu has written to the City of Joburg asking it to make an undertaking it will not appoint Mokasi to the R2.2-million per annum top post.

Nchefu, who has been a career cop for 31 years and holds a masters degree in public administration and a degree in traffic management, said the municipality’s intention to appoint Mokasi would be irregular and unlawful as such an appointment should by law be made by the city council, which has not sat due to the recent local government elections.

In a letter of demand sent to the municipality by his lawyers, Albert Hibbert Attorneys, on Wednesday, Nchefu said he was shortlisted and interviewed for the position, which was advertised in July last year.

He said recommendations to withdraw the appointment of the successful candidate were made during a January council meeting for reasons unknown to him. Nchefu, who was the president of the Institute of Municipal Public Safety in Southern Africa, said he then filed a formal request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act for the City of Joburg to furnish him with the rationale behind the withdrawal of the appointment.

He said when he received no response, he made an internal appeal with no success. As a result of the city’s failure to co-operate with him, he said he had filed papers in the Joburg High Court to review and set aside the city’s decision not to grant him the reasons for withdrawing the appointment.

Nchefu said after filing his court papers, the municipality revised the requirements of the job and allowed Mokasi to apply. He said this was a smokescreen to circumvent the appointment of the successful candidate.

“It had furthermore come to the attention of our client that an appointment for the chief of police position is to be made to Ms. Angy Mokasi during the course of the coming two weeks and, if such an appointment is to be made, it will be grossly irregular as there were no council meetings scheduled in the coming two weeks and the appointment will not be made in accordance with section 64c of the Police Act,” reads the letter.

He said the police chief should, among others, ensure that traffic police services were not prejudicially affected and develop plans which set out the priorities and objectives of the municipal police service, which include the prevention of crime.

“The appointment of an individual who does not have the expertise … will cause serious harm, chaos and will be to the detriment of the city.”

He asked the city to halt the process until the matter was heard in court and threatened to interdict her appointment. Nchefu declined to comment.

City of Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane also declined to comment, saying the matter was sub judice.

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