Pretoria – Tshwane Metro Police Department senior official Console Tleane is facing an investigation after arriving for a council meeting on Wednesday in a departmental uniform.
Later that evening, images of Tleane in uniform began to circulate on social media, sparking off a flurry of debate as the metro police senior official was believed to be a civilian.
However, it later emerged that Tleane recently acquired a certificate from the Tshwane Metro Police Department Academy, but the circumstances under which he achieved this are being questioned.
Tleane has no metro police or traffic police training and has no known relevant qualifications.
The uniform and rank insignia Tleane was seen wearing is reserved for an officer who attended a metro police college for a minimum period of two years. The person needs to have passed the exam.
A Pretoria News investigation revealed that in a letter dated August 24, 2016, acting city manager Lindiwe Kwele, wrote to all senior managers announcing a moratorium on the filling of all vacancies until further notice.
But on Wednesday, chief of police Steven Ngobeni wrote to commanders, deputy chiefs and staff announcing that Tleane had completed his basic traffic police training at the Tshwane Metro Police Academy and subsequently the rank of deputy chief of police was conferred on him.
This corresponded with his previous position of executive director, where the duties of deputy chief and those of the executive director are the same. In accordance with this instruction, Tleane was within his rights to wear the police uniform.
But those who completed the course said that while Tleane enrolled in December 2013, he did not attend the training for the two years they were there.
The metro police trainees who completed the two-year course (1 925 of the original 2 000) that Tleane enrolled for graduated and took the oath last December at Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.
His only other way of undergoing the training – a short six-months course – would have been under special circumstances reserved for former defence force members, police or traffic officers. Tleane does not fall in this category either. Nonetheless, he was registered as a “traffic officer” on August 12 this year.
According to city insiders, the closing date for applications for deputy police chief was Tuesday this week.This vacancy, and others within the municipality were advertised a few months before the end of term of the previous administration.
Questions were raised on how the appointment could have been finalised, enabling Tleane to attend the ordinary council sitting at Sammy Marks chamber in uniform.
Another internal document, a copy of which the Pretoria News has seen, confirmed the appointment of Tleane as being on August 16. The letter was written and signed the day before.
Those who support Tleane indicated he was “conferred” the position of deputy police chief and “had not been appointed”.
They told the Pretoria News on Thursday night Tleane’s position as executive director was equivalent to the departmental number two, but he was not Ngobeni’s deputy as he had not yet acquired his police qualifications.
Tleane was contacted regarding these allegations, but he declined to comment.
Acting mayoral spokesman Matthew Gerstner said mayor Solly Msimanga would investigate the matter of the uniform.
“This occurred under the previous ANC administration, and if any wrongdoing is found, we will take action,” said Gerstner.
“The Metro Police Department must be led by qualified, capable officers who can protect our people.”
Tleane was City of Tshwane spokesman from 2007 until 2011 when he moved to the metro police.
In 2012, the whole city structure was reviewed, including his administrative portfolio, requiring him to undergo training.
It is not the first time that his qualifications have been questioned, but this was dismissed on the notion that he was being attacked by rival officers.