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'I don't want the SSA near me': Police whistleblower refuses to allow agency to do threat assessment

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'I don't want the SSA near me': Police whistleblower refuses to allow agency to do threat assessment

SAPS

1st December 2022

By: News24Wire

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A police whistleblower doesn't want the State Security Agency (SSA) to conduct a threat assessment on her because it is implicated in the alleged police corruption she exposed.

Patricia Mashale, a former senior administrative clerk at the Free State firearms, liquor and second-hand goods control department, blew the whistle on corruption in the South African Police Service (Saps), and her allegations implicated senior management officials.

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She has since been dismissed and has been in hiding since February.

On Wednesday, she and human rights advocate Mary de Haas appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Police. The committee sat virtually to hear the police's response to the allegations because Mashale was too scared to attend in person.

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But Mashale and De Haas did not get to do a presentation because committee chairperson Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the committee needed to receive their documentation in the correct format. Joemat-Pettersson said the committee secretary would work with Mashale and De Haas to ensure that they submit new documentation.

She also asked national police commissioner Fannie Masemola to carry out a risk assessment on Mashale.

Masemola said the police carried out an assessment but, "according to the commanders, the proper procedures were not followed, and the report was not accepted". The assessment found that Mashale's life was at risk.

Masemola said he didn't think it was a "good idea" for the police to do the assessment and that he could ask the SSA to do it instead.

However, Mashale said her allegations implicated the SSA. It is alleged that the SSA was involved when the police confiscated her phone without a warrant and did not return it.

"There have been two attempts on my life… I cannot be exposed to the SSA. I don't want the SSA near me," she added.

According to De Haas, the officer who compiled the report was also asked by his superiors to change it but he did not.

The officer was not found guilty during disciplinary proceedings, De Haas said.

Mashale said she only trusted the officer who did the initial assessment, but added that his commanders had tried to force him to give them her whereabouts.

Eventually, Joemat-Pettersson said that if Mashale had no confidence in the police, the SSA, and the committee chairperson, "we cannot call anyone if you don't follow the process".

"We will assist with the threat assessment. But I request, can you cooperate? If you do, we will do all that's possible to assist you," Joemat-Pettersson said.

Speaking to News24 after the meeting, De Haas said she had written to the committee all year about the threats against Mashale.

"I'm just very angry, we did not ask to make a submission."

De Haas said the last attempt on Mashale's life occurred three weeks ago.

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