Nelson Mandela Bay’s Mathabathe short-listed for high-paying watchdog position

Pinkie Mathabathe Picture: Judy de Vega. ©The Herald
Pinkie Mathabathe
Picture: Judy de Vega. ©The Herald

Sacked Nelson Mandela Bay Metro police chief Pinkie Mathabathe has been short-listed for another high-paying job – this time as the chief director at the national police watchdog’s office.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed that Mathabathe is one of those on the short-list for the top job.

She was seen at the Ipid head office in Pretoria on Monday.

The post of chief director of investigations and information management at Ipid was left vacant when Matthews Sesoko was fired for misconduct.

His post was advertised within days and the closing date listed as September 16 – less than a month after he was axed.

Similar to Mathabathe’s metro post, the annual salary for the Ipid job is listed as more than R1-million.

Mathabathe was fired as metro police chief in June and took the municipality to the Labour Court.

Acting city manager Johann Mettler said Mathabathe had engaged with both the CCMA and the Labour Court in an appeal process, but her appeal to the Labour Court had been dismissed on Friday last week.

His office confirmed that neither the city manager nor corporate services had been contacted as a reference for Mathabathe.

Ipid spokesman Robbie Raburabu said simply: “The candidate has been short-listed.

“Like all the candidates though, no further information will be released [yet] as the process is still unfolding.”

At the interview session on Monday, representatives from the NPA and Hawks were present, as well as newly appointed corporate services head Molefe Matsomela.

However, Matsomela is also under investigation for allegedly being appointed illegally earlier this year.

A letter and documents, titled “corrupt appointment” and seen by The Herald, highlighted that Matsomela had been pre-approved for the post of chief director: corporate services before it was advertised.

He was appointed shortly after the advert was placed.

Mathabathe’s attorney, Cinga Nohaji, failed to respond to voice mails.

According to the Ipid advert, the candidate would undergo security vetting and “his or her character should be beyond reproach”.

It also lists a string of skill requirements, including that the person be results-driven.

Duties will include managing investigators, developing investigation policies and overseeing investigation integrity, quality, standards and performance.

Ipid, which falls under Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, investigates cases involving police, such as police misconduct, deaths in police custody, and other human rights abuses.

Mathabathe is no stranger to the spotlight.

Last year, the municipality was accused of wasteful expenditure for paying her an annual salary of almost R1-million to run the non-existent metro police force.

Mathabathe was recruited as the Bay’s metro police chief in 2014 after a stint at the Tshwane metro police, where she was a deputy chief.

However, she had been booked off on sick leave, later changed to “special leave”, from February this year.

In November, she was appointed acting head of the safety and security department when former executive director Shane Brown asked to be demoted. But in March, she asked to be relieved of those duties and return as metro police chief.

She was fired in June for under-performance and failure to declare a second income.

The second income related to her being a non-executive director of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), which falls under the Department of Transport.

According to the RTMC annual financial statements, Mathabathe attended several RTMC board meetings during her stint as metro police chief for which she was paid about R300 000 in one year and about R38 000 the previous year.

Acting chief Arlin Robile is at the helm while a new metro police chief is being appointed.

Mettler said: “We have finalised the interviews for metro police chief and are currently in negotiations with the preferred candidate. We expect the position to be filled on November 1.”

Seseko’s disciplinary inquiry came after Ipid executive director Robert McBride and the provincial head in Limpopo, Innocent Khuba, were accused of doctoring an Ipid report to cover up former Hawks head Anwar Dramat’s alleged role in the rendition of five Zimbabweans to the Zimbabwean police in 2010 and 2011.

The Constitutional Court ruled earlier this month that McBride’s suspension by Nhleko was unlawful.

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