Sheriff attaches Mthethwa's furniture

2012-01-19 16:45
Johannesburg - Furniture worth almost R245 000 has been attached at Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's Cape Town office to cover the costs of civil claims, the DA claimed on Thursday.

"Even when the ministry of police loses in court, it chooses to ignore the ruling, forcing citizens to ask the sheriff of the court to attach goods in lieu of payment," Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.

"I will be submitting a series of questions to minister Mthethwa to determine why the SA Police Service (SAPS) is repeatedly failing to uphold the law and meet its debts."

Kohler-Barnard said the ministry had failed to pay the costs for five cases it had lost on appeal.

Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the ministry was not aware of the attachments or the cases.

"The ministry of police respects every judgment of the court, and when we are ordered to pay any victim who might have suffered as a result of alleged police brutality, or any other case, we do comply.

"Politicians must refrain from politicising... crime. Clearly, to us, this is example of politicking."

According to the 2010/11 SAPS annual report, R11bn had been earmarked for civil claims against the department, Kohler-Barnard said.

The claims include assault, shootings, damage to property, police actions, vehicle accidents and legal costs.

She said three years ago, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenberg compiled a 400-page report, at a cost of R8m, into the police's legal services.

"The DA has repeatedly urged the ministry to act on the report's findings. Why two successive ministers of police have failed to act on its recommendations has never been explained."

When the report was commissioned, the backlog of civil legal claims stood at 19 000.

"The minister of police must explain why this state of affairs has been allowed to continue, and what steps he plans to take to curb the SAPS' repeated failure to meet its debts," Kohler-Barnard said.

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

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