Woman detective challenges dismissal in High Court
By Mashudu Netsianda
A FIRED junior woman police detective, who was discharged after she extorted US$2 250 from a suspected forex dealer following arrest, has taken Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to court challenging her dismissal.
Ex-Det Constable, Petty Mlauzi, who was attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit registry in Bulawayo, was discharged on Monday.
Mlauzi seeks an order staying her dismissal pending the finalisation of her application for review before the High Court.
She also wants an order blocking her eviction from a ZRP house at the Western Commonage.
Mlauzi, through her lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, yesterday filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court pending review, citing Comm-Gen Matanga and the Police Service Commission 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 be decided on technicalities,” he said.
Mlauzi said the urgent chamber application followed a radio signal discharging her despite a pending review matter before the High Court.
“I have therefore approached this honourable court with the present application on an urgent basis for an order that my discharge be stayed pending finalisation of my application for review under case number HC7003/18.
The matter is urgent in that there is a risk that I will be immediately evicted from police accommodation and the respondents’ agents were sent to harass me and I ended up seeking refuge at my legal practitioner’s offices,” she said.
Mlauzi said there was also a risk of losing her salary.
“The respondents can still execute the discharge in the event that my application fails and therefore they will suffer no prejudice if they are to stay their processes until this court finalises the matter,” she said.
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. The Chronicle