News24

Police minister's slush fund secret

2012-04-08 11:39

Johannesburg - The security wall around his property may explain why Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is determined to shut down a Hawks investigation into a crime intelligence “slush fund”.

City Press can reveal the Hawks were investigating damaging claims that almost R200 000 for renovations to Mthethwa’s house in KwaMbonambi, northern KwaZulu-Natal, was paid out of the “slush fund” when the probe was shut down.

The Hawks also uncovered that Mthethwa drove a luxury Mercedes-Benz SUV, bought by crime intelligence, during a period of 15 months.

This is contained in a top-secret police report that was handed to acting police chief Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi last month, which names Mthethwa in the Hawks’ investigation into the plundering of the R200 million secret service account.

Mthethwa denies benefiting from the secret fund or driving the vehicle, saying Mercedes-Benz is not his “favourite brand”.

City Press spoke to seven police and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) sources with knowledge of the minister’s alleged involvement in the “slush fund” probe, some of whom had insights into the secret report.

Misuse of state vehicles

Last month we revealed that crime intelligence boss Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli was deeply implicated in the looting of crime intelligence through the alleged misuse of state vehicles, safe houses and a police travel agency.

Despite the Inspector General of Intelligence recommending that fraud charges relating to the purchase of private BMWs for him and his wife be reinstated, Mdluli’s suspension from the police was lifted last week and he is back on the job.

Mthethwa was instrumental in the reinstatement of Mdluli and the finance head of crime intelligence, Major General Solly Lazarus, against the will of Mkhwanazi, who was contemplating his future in the police.

Mkhwanazi declined to be interviewed this week, but police sources said he was still “fuming” about Mthethwa’s interference.

Questions are now being asked about the minister’s motives for doing so. Sources told City Press they were convinced Mthethwa was desperately trying to “save his own skin”.

Implicated

“That’s why he’s pushing this thing (the investigation into crime intelligence) down. He knows (that he is implicated),” said one police source.

Another said: “The squashing of the Hawks investigation is coming straight from the minister. If investigations continue, he will also be exposed as a beneficiary of crime intelligence.”

According to the police report, extensive “security renovations” were done at the private residence of Mthethwa in KwaMbonambi after Mdluli conducted a risk assessment in May 2010.

This week City Press visited Mthethwa’s house in an area known as KwaMthethwa on the outskirts of KwaMbonambi. The area falls under the tribal authority. Local residents said it was Mthethwa’s family home.

The house is located along a dirt road – far from the closest neighbours, who live over a hill.

Paid out of secret fund

The huge white wall is made from what seems to be concrete blocks and is plastered, but not painted. It surrounds a main house and several smaller buildings.

Between 14 September 2010 and January 31 last year, three amounts totalling R195 581.45 were paid out of the crime intelligence secret fund for Mthethwa’s renovations.

The report notes it is not clear whether Mthethwa knew where the money came from.

These payments, approved by Lazarus, were illegal as the secret fund can only be utilised to finance secret covert crime intelligence operations.

Security renovations at the homes of Cabinet ministers are done by the department of public works and have to be declared to Parliament.

Renovations

The report to Mkhwanazi also reveals that Hawks investigators found evidence that shows Mthethwa used a Mercedes-Benz SUV, bought in 2010 in Umhlanga with crime intelligence secret funds, between March 2010 and June last year.

The same vehicle was used by Lazarus and was later driven to Cape Town for Mdluli’s use whenever he visited the city. In total, Mthethwa, Mdluli and Lazarus drove 5 600km in the car.

The report describes how investigators from the Hawks found copies of the claims relating to Mthethwa’s renovations in the safe of a senior crime intelligence officer.

The officer claimed Lazarus ordered him to make copies of the claim after an apparent fallout between suspended police chief Bheki Cele and Mthethwa.

The Mail & Guardian reported this week that the Inspector General of Intelligence, Advocate Faith Radebe, recommended on March 6 that Mdluli’s suspension be lifted, but not Lazarus’s.

Mthethwa told Talk Radio 702 this week that Radebe ordered the police to reinstate both.

During an interview with host Redi Tlhabi, Mthethwa barely referred to Radebe’s subsequent letter to the police, dated 19 March, which recommended that Mdluli should face criminal charges for fraud.

Comments
  • Bobby - 2012-04-08 11:49

    I fail to see how this type of information could still be considered news. It is the way things are done. Why they still try to cover up is also a mystery?

  • Ben - 2012-04-08 11:51

    So what if he is found guilty. Nothing will happen.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-04-08 14:27

      And we as a nation....except that he will get off. If all the black folk strike for just a 3% yearly increase....surely there could be a strike action arranged to fight this massive corruption taking place in our country...I for one, would join it if it could be arranged. Maybe the CEO'S of this country to do a mass action strike to show the government that the people have had enough.....or we could just ignore this (like usual) and the corruption might even get worse.Something has to be done. DO NOT DELETE..IF YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY.

  • Frans - 2012-04-08 11:54

    Why are we not surprised? These politicians/fat cats are all the same. Corruption is gonna bring our beautiful country to its knees. Mark my words.

  • Adam - 2012-04-08 11:55

    This is no surprise. The anc cadres been stealing fom day one. Even Winnie got quite a few million when divorcing Mandela, and Im sure it was not earned from salary as president for a short time. anc is raping South Africa...not long now before they break up. Viva "any opposition party."

      Sboniswa - 2012-04-08 12:05

      ha ha ha @Adam Even Winnie got quite a few million when divorcing Mandela, and Im sure it was not earned from salary as president for a short time

  • Maurice Kam - 2012-04-08 12:08

    shame

  • lskosana3 - 2012-04-08 12:09

    They are ALL corrupt these bastards, even the president. So there's no one to save us, what with the Secrecy Bill soon taking effect #hopeless

  • Franklyn - 2012-04-08 12:10

    shameless theft again,yeah...real liberation struggle heros that cant steal fast enough.

  • Mart - 2012-04-08 12:14

    You have a choice.....laugh, cry or get angry, very very angry. Do the right thing !

  • Louie - 2012-04-08 12:17

    it is no wonder that ordinary police officers are"gatvol",and have no incentive to perform their everyday duties,at their measly salaries,when their fatcat bosses are plundering the state coffers,and living in luxury.

      Molebatsi Sehenye - 2012-04-08 14:08

      U said it all police gv thr best nd all thy gt is a petty bonuses wen thy birthday other than that da is nothing motivating them bt thr bosses are accused ryt,left nd centre for corruption with no care to the lower ranks.

  • sandy.langenstrass - 2012-04-08 12:26

    CORRUPTION...CORRUPTION.....WHEN WILL IT STOP......THEY ARE DEPLETING OUR MONEY, DAILY.That the minister of police prevents investigations on money he has swindled....WHAT A DISGRACE. Are you proud of yourself Mthethwa..How many people have you prevented from having a roof over their heads...R200 million....THAT'S a lot of RDP HOUSES that could have been built. Then you and the rest of the ANC criminals that claim to be helping to empower the disadvantaged..PLEASE

      Dawood - 2012-04-08 12:40

      i dont and will never vote DA, but these govt criminals and their cronies need to be taught a lesson...i think the budget of SA should be independently revised,collected and spent by a committee elected by taxpayers...and the courts must be independent and overseen by a higher committee...in this way we probably will decrease the theft by these greedy,brazen criminals...taxpayers must get together and hold back our funds and we should elect our officials to overlook how these monies are spent...and we must be able to charge these thieves.

  • John - 2012-04-08 12:35

    Will all this corruption and the cover=ups ever go away?? It comes from the highest level all the way to the bottom. Unfortunately its only the small fish at the bottom who ever get taken out. What p*sses me the most is the absolute silence in all these cases from Zuma... A spineless bottom feeder - his "mates' must have soo much on him...

      adam - 2012-04-08 12:43

      John, I think there is a big scandal about to break, maybe bigger than the arms deal, and i reckon malema will be the one to blow the whistle.

      farmfreund - 2012-04-08 13:02

      adam - Malema wont blow the whistle. he is the whistle. LoL

  • pal.mabelane - 2012-04-08 12:37

    It has been apparent from the start that he was the most corrupt from the start. In his first few months in his post he raked a bill of R400 000 at the the Table Bay hotel while his deputy Mbalula stayed at the City Lodge because he felt it was too expensive. The only reason he has survived the chop thus far, unlike Shiceka, is that he never actually denied or acknowledged it outright. His comment was his department will review the travel policy...

  • Grace - 2012-04-08 12:50

    So what's NEWS...?

  • mabeeden - 2012-04-08 12:55

    Oh dear! Mr Cele seems to have led the way!

  • thapelo.devotion.mothibi - 2012-04-08 13:00

    And people praise Thuli Madonsela?..lol I always had feeling she's got side in this issues, I mean seriously now . People are snitching in the media SHAME! It means the public protector is not trusted as we think it is..

      Tsietsi - 2012-04-08 13:16

      Thapelo, I'm lost. What did the public protector do that makes you say she is not to be trusted?

  • Frans - 2012-04-08 13:38

    @Zipho 500 How do you know zipho?What you in fact say if Jan van Riebeeck could steal so could any body else, shame man you sadly expose your lack of mentality, and what's more do remember that theft of government money means less in your pocket and more out,it's time you start using your brains, before you talk.

      sven.gohre - 2012-04-08 13:44

      What did Jannie steal. When he built the fort at what is now Cape Town, there was absolutely nothing but virgin countryside. It is because of him that there are now roads, farms and infrastructure at the Cape of Good Hope. So Zipho, please detail exactly what was stolen? Please do not come with the CancER's version of history, please.

  • Johnnie - 2012-04-08 13:48

    Get rid of this Minister. First it was all the Hotel bills when he started off in the Police and now this - and nobody knows what all in between. Get rid of him now before it becomes more, and knock the wall down too.

      Sylvester.Mohloli - 2012-04-08 16:38

      Zuma fire Mthethwa? Hehehehehe I will buy you a Johnnie walker when that happens

  • ailsa.j.loudon - 2012-04-08 13:49

    Are they all corrupt?!!!!

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-04-08 14:48

      Oh yes, the lot are crooks, The "people" are scared of the cops.

      Sylvester.Mohloli - 2012-04-08 16:41

      No, the president chooses the corrupt ones, like does attract like after all

  • Rob - 2012-04-08 13:50

    Just imagine if 50% or 70% of all corrupt payments in the past 10 years were recovered. Housing, health care, municipal services, roads, the mind boggles at what could be done.

  • Jeffrey - 2012-04-08 14:03

    It's not good to hear these things going on in SAPS top brass. I WISH the M&G will visit Struisbaai Police Station in the Over-berg. They are severely under staffed, and still have to work out of a small building where they can hardly move. They even use the prison cells to work in,it' a disgrace that these guys have to work under such horrible conditions, while these "previously disadvantaged and illiterate" top brass are allowed to LIVE IT UP. The morale of the SAPS here are rock bottom, but they are expected to deliver a service. It's an absolute disgrace, and an embarrassment to the Permanent residents as Tourism is our main source of income. Why cant they channel these "illegal" funds to build proper facilities for our boys in Blue, for the benefit of black, white and coloured members who serve our comunity so faithfully

  • Ridwan - 2012-04-08 14:05

    Whats new? Another scandal...more theft....more corruption....when will it all end? We as tax payers...the minority supporting a nation of 30 odd million...have to takeit on the chin each time? e-Toll, Eskom, rates and taxes, taxes, this fee, that fee...WTF people? Enough is enough! I want to investigate the possibility of suing the government for wasting/stealing my hard earned tax dollars! Something has to be done. What do as as tax paying law abiding citizens have to show for our contribution to the running of this country? Nothing!

  • Dee - 2012-04-08 14:07

    Oh my word. When is the corruption EVER going to end. Its ridiculous. Cry the beloved country. All this money going into fancy walls and overpriced renovations and all the other useless crap, could be used where it is needed so desperately. Pathetic.

  • Ridwan - 2012-04-08 14:13

    @Zipho500....Jan van Riebeeck may have been a thief but he took care o the nation first! just like our previous government, they all helped themselves...BUT the difference is that they took care of the country first. Roads, Safety and Security, Education and and and and...your government is shifting their responsibilty to the private sector because all the funds have been stolen! Question? What are CoJ's financial affairs like? Another Limpopo in the making.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-04-08 21:45

      @ kabelo.... your location is the way it is for a number of reasons(not to say you are personally responsible)...but your people produce to many kids..which is hard to keep up with in providing services....your people also moved in mass from the rural areas after '94 into the cities...your people also need more education..therefor can not find well paid employment to buy a house in serviced suburbs..and lastly...WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR COMMUNITY UNITING TOGETHER AND SORTING OUT WHAT IS NEEDED IN YOUR LOCATION? Remember the Indian people also lived under apartheid.. yet they are amount the richest people in our land today...DON'T always look to blame others...LOOK AT YOURSELVES TO..and ask where are we going wrong...START TO DO THINGS FOR YOURSELVES..DON'T WAIT FOR OTHERS TO DO IT

  • Roy - 2012-04-08 14:13

    And so it goes on and on and on. Thieves,crooks and anyone connected to the ANC do and steal as they please and know that they will get away with it. Have these damn people absolutely no shame?

  • boltonbarry - 2012-04-08 14:25

    WOW the native Africans leaders in this country are like a huge big cancerous growth that destroy anything it comes in to contact with. I am surprised that they have not destroyed themselves yet

      Paul - 2012-04-08 22:17

      As if European or American leaders were/are any better..?? Hitler was a European so to was Mussolini.. Bush (a natural idiot) an American??.... and look what effect they've had on world history.... CANCEROUS?? Whats cancerous is all the countries the British have colonized and all the wars the Americans have orchestrated... and not to mention all the lies that have been spread to cover European pilgrims inadequacies.. now that's cancerous...

  • Mark - 2012-04-08 14:30

    It explains all the walls, security and secrecy as the last thing they need is for their own people to know what they're actually doing. Elected officials se voet, they're a bunch of crooks nothing more and nothing less.

  • kgalalelo.malesele - 2012-04-08 14:48

    All they care about is SECRECY CORRUPTION BILL just so they can hide all this legally

  • paul.prinsloo3 - 2012-04-08 14:49

    If not the one than the other. Is there any hope for Africa and in particular for South Africa. So many starry-eyed foreign former ANC supporters are now disillusioned to the point of regretting the stance they took during Apartheid.

  • Ian - 2012-04-08 14:57

    Hey people, I think we need a military coup in this country now. We need a dictator. We need a dictator that has ordinary South Africans at heart. We need a dictator that will put a stop in all this corruption and crime. Billion of rands that has gone missing would have changed a lot in this country. A dictator will a country's people at heart is not bad at all.

      Mike Purchase - 2012-04-08 16:54

      well said ian we need some old school boys......problen solved.

  • Sidney - 2012-04-08 17:08

    Nathi"BIG SPENDA, GANGSTA RAPPA" Mthethwa strikes again, remember when he and some or other squeeza spent a couple of weeks living in a hotel at our expense, the eventual cost being more than R500,000. These people are lowlife thieving scum and the sooner the majority of the electorate realise this the better

  • Stephen - 2012-04-08 17:09

    Wow what a shocker, both top brass in scandals. No wonder their juniors thinks it's all right to be corrupt.\r\n\r\nWhy not hand members on ground more resources

  • Dennis - 2012-04-08 18:13

    I'm not quite sure this government understands what it is to be corrupt. The mere fact the were elected to office by the public seems to evade everything they do. Instead of putting tax payers money to good use in repairing roads and constructing new ones, the splash out on extravagant lifestyle, with the mentality of a kingdom. They fail t make the connection that the reason they are there is only because the ignorant public were too stupid to elect someone that may be more wiling to serve, than to spend. Ah well I wonder what would happen if those good tax payers woke up and stopped paying. What would they splash out on then. I suppose they would venture over seas in their private jets with escorts and all, cupped hand begging for help. Isn't it always the way. LOL the world doesn't give a dam anymore. They are beginning t see their money disappearing into a black hole. MMM and that's probably not gonna go away to soon.

  • Alf - 2012-04-09 08:29

    NEW POLICE MINISTER AND NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSIONER NEEDED. ONLY CANDIDATES WITH TOP CRIMINAL RECORDS WILL BE CONSIDERED!Such is life in South Africa's Kleptocracy!

  • michel.pieterse - 2012-04-09 11:39

    Eish, its almost like running into that huge WHITE wall, plastered but NOT painted, both very frustrating and very confusing...

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