Police division under investigation

2011-12-02 09:19

A key division within the SA Police Service (SAPS) is to be probed after claims of maladministration, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said today.

“It has come to my attention that this particular division’s head has seriously violated the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA),” Mthethwa said in a statement.

He had since been advised by acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi that the investigation into the matter would be carried out by an external agency. It would be concluded within five days.

“There is empirical evidence on the table on the matter,” said Mthethwa.

“The person involved is not suspended but will be shifted from the division they are currently heading to ensure unhindered interference with the process, pending the investigation.”

The ministry had started monitoring spending of public funds in all other divisions in the police.

It did so after it emerged that a slew of golden handshakes worth R31 million were given to police officers on suspended national police commissioner General Bheki Cele’s watch.

Mthethwa told MPs on Wednesday he had decreed the national commissioner may no longer award pay-outs without his approval.

Mthethwa’s remarks follow controversy last month over a R1.1 million payment to former Gauteng crime intelligence chief Joey Mabasa, on top of his pension.

He was one of 19 police officers who were retrenched under section 35 of the SA Police Service Act in the past two financial years. They received pay-outs totalling R31.2 million.

“We are proactively coming forward with [these announcements] to the public to avoid perceptions that we are shielding mismanagement,” Mthethwa said.

“As and when we discover it, we shall ensure we deal with those who are involved, without fear of favour.”

Mthethwa said he expected excellence and sound administration from all officials, particularly from senior managers. All officials guilty of mismanagement of state resources should be criminally charged, he said.

“We hope by so doing, we will be able to minimise these acts.”

Mthethwa said there would be a senior management reshuffle to improve efficiency and ensure effective management in the police.

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