Nhleko's comments 'unconstitutional' - SACP

2016-05-25 18:13
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Netwerk24)

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's comments that the SACP should follow proper procedures if it had a problem with the head of the Hawks were unconstitutional, the party said on Wednesday.

"We have the right, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic, to freedom of expression," SA Communist Party spokesperson Alex Mashilo told News24.

"We are not here to clap hands - we are here to offer constructive criticism from a critical point of view and to congratulate when good work is done."

The SACP had consulted its lawyers about lodging a formal complaint against Lieutenant-General Berning Ntlemeza with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the Public Protector, and was preparing documents and an affidavit.

Nhleko on Tuesday criticised the SACP’s recent "unfair, malicious” statement, in which it said an investigation into Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan amounted to "apartheid era tactics".

The SACP last week threw its weight behind Gordhan and criticised Ntlemeza.

Nhleko said it was puzzling that the party was criticising others based on rumours.

He denied claims that some of the Hawks’ cases had a political motivation.

"We challenge not only the SACP, but all South Africans to show us one political organisation whose members have not at one time or another faced a focused eye of the law enforcement," he said.

The Sunday Times reported two weeks ago that the Hawks wanted Gordhan and eight others charged for alleged illicit intelligence gathering and spying on taxpayers during his time as Sars commissioner between 1999 and 2009. 

A so-called "rogue unit" within Sars was allegedly responsible for this. The Hawks and NPA were reportedly waiting for "political go-ahead" before arresting him, the paper reported.

The minister and NPA have denied that there was a political motivation to the investigation. 

Mashilo on Wednesday said the SACP believed Ntlemeza was "harassing communists".

Read more on:    sacp  |  nathi nhleko  |  johannesburg

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