A high-ranking police official has allegedly gone into hiding after she failed to produce original qualifications when asked to do so.
The officer, whose name is known to City Press, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general last month.
She claimed, among other things, that she possessed a doctorate, that she was a DJ and she was a professor before being appointed as head of technology management services in the SA Police Service (SAPS).
The officer went on to repeat her “qualifications” on a popular SABC radio station. She claimed that she was the first person in the world to graduate with a doctorate in data analytics, obtaining a PhD in information systems science. She said she was studying at the University of Cape Town and went on an exchange programme with the University of Canada.
However, shortly after her appointment, the officer failed to submit her original qualifications to the police service’s human resources division when asked to do so. This led to her colleagues, some of whom were overlooked during the interviewing process, questioning her credentials. And now she is nowhere to be found.
Bethuel Nkuna, president of the Independent Policing Union of SA (Ipusa), said the Dr/DJ/professor absconded after the SAPS leadership demanded that she hand in original documentation to prove that she indeed possesses the qualifications she claims.
Nkuna said it was norm in the SAPS that “one provides copies when you make an application, but produce originals during the interview for screening purposes, of which she didn’t”.
“Ipusa has learnt that she failed to do so during the interview and when asked later, referred management to the union. It is the management’s prerogative to manage the service and the unions. Ipusa has also learnt that since her employment, the officer has not been activated on Persal [the personal and salary system, the central system used for the administration of the public service payroll] as they are still waiting for proof of qualifications. If she has received a salary, that will be advance-based, which must be paid back when her Persal is activated.”
The officer’s appointment came with a new BMW 3 series, a driver, an office and a R2 million a year salary.
“She changed the lock to her new office and disappeared. She took with her the issued car, office keys, cellphone and her driver. The lieutenant-general cannot be reached on her cellphone and senior management has given directives in writing to security guards not to allow her access to the building as they allege to have suspended her,” Nkuna said.
Ipusa wants the SAPS management to explain to South African taxpayers how such a thing continues to happen within the police service.
The union said the appointment was “an insult to rank and file, dedicated, hardworking and experienced members of the SAPS, and, more importantly, to those major-generals who have been working for years but were not considered for this post.”
The police service is yet to comment on the issue.