Key points must stay secret - ministry

2013-03-11 22:33
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Sapa)

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa (Picture: Sapa)

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Cape Town - Disclosing the country's national key points is a security risk, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's office said on Monday.

"The national key points list is a Cabinet document, as such if the DA wishes to get hold of this list, they would have to approach Cabinet," Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said in a statement.

"We do not disclose the national key points as doing so might compromise the security aspects.

"By the way, this is not a peculiar practice as many other democratic states globally, whether developing or developed, also conform to this mandate."

Earlier on Monday, the Democratic Alliance said it would make sure Mthethwa provided a full list of national key points.

DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard rejected acting Police Minister Siyabonga Cwele's refusal to provide the list because of security concerns.

"It is vital that this list is provided to the portfolio committee on police so that Members of Parliament may conduct their mandated oversight role and hold the government accountable," she said.

Mnisi said the list's non-disclosure should not be seen as inhibiting attempts to hold the government accountable.

"Oversight performance and government accountability are mandates that are constitutionally enshrined. To this we welcome and in fact encourage such oversight on the work of the SAPS," he said.

"However we are cautioning against oversight that is for narrow political point-scoring, because we expect those who monitor our policies to be objective and fair in their analysis."

Kohler-Barnard said the apartheid-era National Key Points Act had not been open to scrutiny, despite taxpayers' money being used for their protection.

"We know that the money is being used and personnel are being paid, but we cannot hold government accountable for the use of this money unless we are given the full details," said Kohler-Barnard.

She referred to security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home at Nkandla, which cost taxpayers around R206 million.

Furthermore, attempts were being made to declare additional sites national key points.

The 2013/2014 SA Police Service budget indicated there would be 197 national key points by 2015/16 - an increase of 15 from 2012/13.

The national key points fell under the police budget line item government security regulator, which would receive R91.5m this year.

Kohler-Barnard said she would ask members of the committee to summon Mthethwa so he could hand over the list of key points.

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  siyabonga cwele  |  dianne kohler barnard  |  zweli mnisi  |  nathi mthethwa  |  politics

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