Get ready for more dirt – Mkhwanazi

2012-06-08 07:11

Acting police boss Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has warned that he is aware of a “group of individuals” attempting to discredit him because of his intervention in the police’s crime intelligence unit.

In a dramatic press conference called at short notice last night, a visibly angry Mkhwanazi lashed out at The Star newspaper over a story that alleged he had signed off R35 million from the crime intelligence slush fund for the purchase of luxury cars.

Addressing reporters, he fumed: “I want to warn you, all of you – and communicate this – from now on going forward there are going to be stories written about this management of the SAPS, and me in particular, just because of the things that we are doing as management within crime intelligence.”

He also warned that “there is going to be bad publicity, because I already know of a group of individuals who are planning things”.

In a front page story yesterday, The Star reported that Mkhwanazi signed off on the acquisition of 140 luxury vehicles which were bought from the police’s secret slush fund.

The newspaper quoted a “secret report” which it said would be handed to Parliament’s portfolio committee on police.

The report also said the newspaper had seen transfer records for five luxury vehicles from crime intelligence to other units.

Mkhwanazi last night confirmed that 149 vehicles were acquired at a cost of about R35 million, but said the average cost of each vehicle was only around R235 000 and that they were bought because they were needed.

He said 95% of the vehicles had an engine capacity of between 1.4 and 2 litres and were hardly luxurious.

Mkhwanazi also confirmed that at least five vehicles, bought before he took office had been withdrawn from crime intelligence because they could be better deployed elsewhere.

“When I took over the responsibility of crime intelligence, I realised that quite a lot of senior managers within crime intelligence had the luxury of using (the) cars ... so as part of the intervention we had to withdraw those vehicles,” he said.

Mkhwanazi said these were “vehicles that were mentioned in the media that were bought – we don’t even know what they were bought for – and the majority of them are luxurious cars, not the 1.4- or 2-litre engines”.

He also said he would welcome any investigation into the purchase, whether it be from “Parliament, or the public protector or the United Nations, whoever”.

“They are more than welcome. I’m not going to keep the environment secret. I’m going to put all the cards on the table,” he said.

Last month, Mkhwanazi suspended former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli, amid allegations of alleged fraud relating to the abuse of the intelligence unit’s secret slush fund.

Lawyers for Mdluli managed to overturn the suspension in the Johannesburg Labour Court last Friday, but police lawyers successfully fought the order on Saturday.

Mkhwanazi has also suspended KwaZulu-Natal crime intelligence boss Deena Moodley and a subordinate for alleged unlawful conduct.

Mkhwanazi last night urged members of the media to assist the police by exposing colleagues who had written unverified reports.

“Put them out there,” he said.

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