Tomorrow, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, will appear before the Portfolio Committee on Police to answer for the very public spat between himself and the head of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), Robert McBride.
However, this is just one aspect which speaks to the wider disarray characterising entities and organisations reporting to the police minister.
Over the past year, evidence of this widespread disarray in our crime fighting organisations has emerged and this should raise serious questions about Minister Nhleko’s fitness for office.
There have been allegations that the Hawks, under Nhleko’s severely compromised ally, Berning Ntlemeza, have been interfering in IPID investigations and are actively involved in trying to force through malicious and politically motivated prosecution of individuals not willing to get on board with state capture, such as Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan.
The DA will therefore ask very specific questions of Minister Nhleko, namely:
- The process he is following to get Parliament to rubber-stamp his decision to suspend McBride has strong parallels with the process he attempted last year to get Parliament to rubber-stamp his decision to suspend Anwa Dramat. He already got a hiding over misusing Parliament once before – how is this time different?;
- Whether, in the light of all the recent allegations about Hawks abuses, he still has faith in Berning Ntlemeza to carry out his job in an impartial manner and if not, why does he not suspend him?; and
- Whether, in light of the general disarray in the Police portfolio and his having fallen foul of the law more than once, in some cases due to his own actions and ulterior motives to protect, on the one hand, and or specifically target others, he maintains he is fit to be the Minister of Police?
We will not let Nhleko or any other public official get away with using the state apparatus at their disposal to play political games, settle personal scores, or advance their own narrow interests at the cost of the people of South Africa.
Zakhele Mbhele MP
DA Shadow Minister of Police