The South African Police Union (SAPU) has welcomed the suspension of Deputy National Police Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya, saying the Police Ministry cannot move forward if corruption continues.
Mgwenya was arrested last week in connection with a 2017 multi-million rand blue-lights tender fraud case with the Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement, a company she had close ties with.
Her arrest followed the nabbing of former Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and former Gauteng Commissioner Deliwe de Lange.
SAPU Spokesperson Oscar Skommere says: “Corruption is a matter that is unacceptable in any government. We think it was the right decision for the general to suspend her. We are disappointed to see senior managers getting involved in corruption and we think it was the right thing to do for the suspension because we must be seen as a clean department doing right things moving forward”.
Mgwenya released on R20 000 bail
Mgwenya appeared in court last week and was granted bail of R20 000.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, Mgwenya had a close relationship with Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement owner, Vimpie Manthata.
She and other senior South African Police Service (SAPS) officials apparently colluded with the company to ensure it was awarded a contract to install 1 550 police vehicles with warning lights at an inflated price.
It’s believed that during the procurement process, the accused ignored the competitive bidding process and committed SAPS to pay R191 million in favour of Manthata’s company in exchange for benefits they received from Manthata.
The video below outlines court proceedings during Mgwenya’s last appearance:
Axing of former police commissioner
In July, former acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane was fired following a three year suspension.
His axing was also in connection with charges of fraud against him relating to a police tender.
An internal police finding revealed that he should be dismissed with immediate effect.
Forensic Consultant, Paul O’ Sullivan says Phahlane’s suspension was long overdue:
-Additional reporting by Prabashni Moodley