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National 9.5.2017 02:33 pm

What the ‘poisoned chalice’ Joburg chief of police post entails

JMPD attends to the scene on the R28 just outside of Silverstar Casino where two vehicles colided and caught fire. Image: Michel Bega

JMPD attends to the scene on the R28 just outside of Silverstar Casino where two vehicles colided and caught fire. Image: Michel Bega

An advert for the vacant position of JMPD police chief – offering a salary of R1.45m a year – reveals some interesting details.

If you have a degree or an equivalent in an “appropriate field” such as policing and/or management and are a qualified member of metro police service, you may be the candidate Herman Mashaba is looking for as chief of police.

Former chief of police for Johannesburg City Zwelibanzi Velaphi Nyanda was recently in hot water when Mayor Mashaba accused him of colluding with opposition parties to disrupt city business.

The incumbent will receive a salary of between R1.3 million and R1.45 million and must have five years’ experience in “senior management position in a large enterprise”. Candidates are told to have the “ability to work with political representatives and work under highly stressful conditions”.

The position of police department boss in the city has become something of a poisoned chalice. Former chief of police Chris Ngcobo, who occupied the position before Nyanda, was forced to voluntarily step down after a week-long strike by metro police service members in 2009.

Officers were baying for Ngcobo’s blood in particular, requesting that he step down or be redeployed. Allegations of corruption, nepotism and incompetence were also levelled against Ngcobo, deputy director Abel Nkosi and Roodepoort testing station manager Koti Essau.

Speaking at the conference, a feisty Ngcobo described himself as an honest person and believed he would be back in his office in three months’ time. But to clear the way for a proper investigation and to put a halt to the strike that was dragging, he felt he should remove himself from his chair.

“In one of the last meetings with the acting city manager, Dr Refik Bismilla, I offered to recuse myself from the JMPD leadership in the best interest of the community and so that metro police officers could return to duty and that they can serve the community,” he said.

Ngcobo was also accused of illegally fitting his BWM with blue lights in contravention of rules.

The succesful candidate is also expected to have the “ability to manage strategic behaviours, including, but not limited to, managing change, people, resources, interfaces, achieving results, managing relationships and self as a leader”.

Some of the key responsibilities will include coordinating and ensuring the development and implementation of a crime prevention strategy for the City. The incumbent will also be expected to develop “the delivery mechanisms and systems for crime prevention, bylaws and other regulatory enforcement, as well as traffic policing and guide, operate and maintain an efficient and effective Metropolitan Police”.

They will also be expected to “reduce and/or eliminate crime in the area of jurisdiction of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, implement law-enforcement initiatives on behalf of the City and interact with communities on crime prevention and law enforcement”.

JMPD was recently in the news when its members were accused of murdering well-known investigative journalist Godknows Nare in cold blood in Florida, in the west of Johannesburg. Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said the police’s claim that they were defending themselves “did not make sense”.

There was no firearm found in Nare’s possession on the scene.

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