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Fired woman police officer takes Commissioner-General Matanga to court

by Staff reporter
17 Feb 2020 at 06:08hrs | Views
A JUNIOR female police detective, who was fired for allegedly extorting US$2 250 from a suspected forex dealer following an arrest, has taken Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court for disregarding a court order directing him to reinstate her.

Ex-Det Constable, Petty Mlauzi, who was attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit registry in Bulawayo, was discharged from the police service last year in July.

Mlauzi then approached the High Court seeking an order staying her dismissal pending the finalisation of her application for review.

Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva granted the order in Mlauzi's favour and blocked her eviction from a ZRP house at the Western Commonage.

In the latest application filed last week at the Bulawayo High Court, Mlauzi, through her lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, wants an order directing Comm-Gen Matanga to comply with the order issued under case number HC1576/19, failure of which the police boss should be sentenced to 90 days imprisonment for contempt of court.

In papers before the court, Comm-Gen Matanga and the chairperson of the Police Service Commission Dr Vincent Hungwe were cited as respondents. Mlauzi, in her founding affidavit, said she was tried by a single officer for violating the Police Act, convicted and sentenced to eight days' imprisonment at the detention barracks.

Dissatisfied with the conviction and sentence, she appealed to Comm-Gen Matanga and the appeal was dismissed.

"I filed an application for review under case number HC7003/18 querying the decision of the first respondent (Comm-Gen Matanga) to dismiss my appeal on a technicality against the settled principle that labour matters must not be decided on technicalities," he said.

Mlauzi then filed an urgent chamber application following a radio signal discharging her despite a pending review matter before the High Court and the respondents were ordered to immediately reinstate her.

"My discharge was stayed pending finalisation of case number HC7003/18 and the order was served on the respondents' lawyers and a return of service was issued. However, to date the respondents have failed, refused or neglected to reinstate me into the Police Service Commission in flagrant contempt of an order of this honourable court," she said.

 Mlauzi said the respondents were deliberately ignoring the court order directing them to reinstate her.

"The respondents are in serious contempt of court and their actions are bringing the justice system and the integrity and dignity of this honourable court into utter disrepute in the eyes of the public. The dignity and respect of this court and its legal process must be protected from respondents who are in clear and willful disregard of a valid court order," she said.

"Respondents are in contempt of an order of this honourable court by refusing to comply with it and have deliberately continued to prevent the applicant from being reinstated into the Police Service Commission. The respondents must be sentenced to 90 days imprisonment with labour until they fully comply."

According to court papers, it was stated that on December 8, 2017, at around 11AM, the complainant Ms Sicelo Sibanda and one Mr Mehluli Bhebhe were inside their car, a Toyota Ipsum, parked near Bulawayo Centre in the Central Business District counting US$4 250. Mlauzi who was in the company of Detective Sergeant Thomas Hofisi, approached Ms Sibanda and Mr Bhebhe and identified themselves as police officers.

They got into the car and accused Ms Sibanda and Mr Bhebhe of engaging in illegal foreign currency trade and arrested them. They directed Mr Bhebhe to drive towards Bulawayo Prison and along the way they demanded money in exchange for their release.

They took US$2 250 leaving the complainants with only US$2 000. Ms Sibanda contacted her husband who is based in South Africa. A report was made to the police, leading to the arrest of the two detectives.


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Source - chronicle

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