Police investigators get reprieve in transfer dispute
POLICE investigators who are challenging their controversial transfers to other departments by Commissioner Holomo Molibeli have won a temporary reprieve. This after the High Court issued an interim court in their favour on Tuesday.
The investigators had filed affidavits in the High Court on 12 August 2022 praying that their transfers by Commissioner Molibeli be stayed until the matter is finalised.
In their affidavits, they cited Commissioner Molibeli and Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.
In his ruling, Justice Molefe Makara said Commissioner Molibeli’s decision to transfer them without affording them a hearing was unfair.
“A rule nisi is hereby issued and returnable on the 25th day of August 2022, calling upon the respondents to show cause why the rule shall not be made final;
“The rules as to notice and forms of service are hereby dispensed with on account of urgency.
“The 1st respondent’s decision to transfer the applicants without any hearing whatsoever is hereby held in abeyance pending finalisation hereof,” Justice Makara said.
He gave Police Commissioner Molibeli until 25 August 2022 to “show cause” why the interim order should not be made final.
Commissioner Molibeli had on 27 July 2022 slapped the seven investigators with letters asking them to “show cause” why they should not be transferred to other departments after he dismantled the Special Investigations Unit (SIU).
Commissioner Molibeli said he was disbanding the SIU because it had fulfilled its mandate. The unit was set up in 2017 to investigate high profile criminal cases.
The investigators, Inspectors Mpho Mohoang, Khabu Nthejane, Rapelang Nkeane and Sergeants Morero Ramokhele, Leseli Mapapane, Katiso Mongali and Thebe Ranthimo were expected to have responded to the letters by 3 August 2022.
After receiving the letters, the investigators wrote back to Commissioner Molibeli asking him to furnish them with some information which they said would help them respond.
The investigators said they were unable to react to the “show cause” letters unless they received the information.
“We hereby request the following information so that we will be in a position to make the required representation.
“What kind of cases were handled by the Special Investigations Unit that we were part of? We humbly request to be furnished with a detailed status of all the cases that were investigated by the Special Investigations team,” the investigators said in their letter.
The officers also want Commissioner Molibeli to specify the number of cases investigated by the SIU and how many were taken to court.
They also want a detailed report on the number of cases still to be taken to court and also for the commissioner to state whether or not the unit was set up for a specified period.
“Was the alleged special duty for a fixed period? If yes, when was the commencement date and the expiry date?
“We must place it on record that we are not against the contemplated transfers, but we are unable to respond to the show cause letter in the absence of the aforementioned information,” the investigators said.