KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni is back at work after her suspension was set aside by the Durban High Court on Wednesday.
“The decision to set up a board of inquiry has been set aside and the decision to suspend her has also been set aside, both permanently,” Ngobeni’s attorney Ravindra Maniklall said.
News24 previously reported that Ngobeni was served with a notice of intention to suspend her by Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane in May. She was placed on suspension on May 19.
She had then approached the court for relief.
Maniklall said this was a landmark decision that would affect provincial commissioners countrywide.
“The court rules that the acting national commissioner does not have the powers to investigate and discipline the provincial commissioner. The judge also ruled that a decision to establish a commission of inquiry was premature and unlawful,” said Maniklall.
He said it was not about winning the case, but about justice being served.
“It is about following proper procedures. The provincial commissioner is back at work fulfilling her official duties to keep our province safe,” he said.
In the judgement, handed down by Judge Nkosinathi Chili, he ordered that her suspension and the board of inquiry into her fitness to hold office be set aside and that the police bear the costs of Ngobeni’s application.
Her suspension related to her links to Durban businessman Thoshan Panday and his associates, who reportedly paid nearly R20 000 for her husband Lucas’s birthday party in 2010.
The bash, thrown by Panday, came at a time when the controversial businessman was a suspect in a fraud investigation.
The National Prosecuting Authority had declined to prosecute her