Cele 'golden handshakes' probed

2011-11-30 22:37

Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is investigating a slew of golden handshakes worth R31m given to policemen on the watch of suspended national commissioner Bheki Cele.

Mthethwa told MPs on Wednesday that in a bid to stop long-running abuse of the police's special pensions system, he had decreed that the national commissioner may no longer award pay-outs without his approval.

"If you are applying this section 35 thing I have to know. I have to say 'yea' or 'nay'," he said, adding that the SA Police Act would soon be amended to this effect.

"The issue is that it has been a culture of section 35s being implemented without informing the executive authority... this is a huge matter, it cannot be left to the national commissioner alone," he told Parliament's portfolio committee on police.

Mthethwa's remarks follow controversy last month over a R1.1m pay-out given to former Gauteng crime intelligence chief Joey Mabasa, on top of his pension.

He was one of 19 policemen retrenched under section 35 of the act in the past two financial years. They received pay-outs totalling R31.2m.

Cele denied that his decision on Mabasa was informed by allegations linking the crime intelligence chief to Czech fraud accused Radovan Krejcir.

Instead, he told incredulous MPs last month, the police no longer had a suitable position for Mabasa because of internal restructuring.

Mthethwa said he had discussed the case with Cele and although he had been assured that Mabasa had no case to answer, he was not convinced that this applied to all the other recipients of special pensions.

He was in the process of scrutinising every successful section 35 application in recent years, not to recover the money, but to make sure people had not been released to cover up wrongdoing.


"You can't review. It would be difficult to get the money back from them, in fact it is impossible because it is pension money.

"I have instructed the secretariat to interact with the police to make sure that indeed nobody gets away with murder.

"I wanted to understand who these people are for the sole purpose that you can't, because you have been granted section 35, get away from a criminal investigation.

He added: "What is most worrying... when we focus on those people we will be missing the point, they did not give themselves the money.

"I think for ourselves the focus has been rather, knowing not only the 20 we are talking about, but how many others, because it has been going on for years. It has been a culture that has hardened."

Mthethwa said he had been surprised to learn that deputy national commissioner Andre Pruis was among those who received a section 35 pay-out.

"What is not provided for is that when somebody is in any event going for a pension you give section 35 - that is part of abuse that is investigated."

Mthethwa said amendments to the act would be fast-tracked and should reach Cabinet within months.

"We have the final draft. I will be taking this to Cabinet next year."

He said he was also investigating some 20 cases in the past two years where people were recruited within the police after external applications were invited under section 45 of the act.

"Section 45 appointments are under investigation because it is my contention that if you apply section 45 the way it has been applied in the police currently, I need to have substance out of that.

"People would go and advertise and then appoint somebody in the police. Why not just go straight and appoint somebody in the police?"

Cele was suspended by President Jacob Zuma last month over his role in the police headquarters scandal. Mthethwa told MPs he had the fullest confidence in acting commissioner Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

  • Bob - 2011-11-30 23:02

    Screw harping on the past for now Mr Mthethwa's gone! More importantly why are you not commenting on and focusing most if your attention on immediate plans to curb the current runaway crime and totally corrupt police force!

      Mandla - 2011-12-01 09:50

      @Spyker.... My word, so eloquently put. If you have ever wondered why the masses prefer the evil they know, your brilliantly written nonsense is the reason. The masses can't shake this feeling that white South Africans still think blacks are, as you put it, "inherently corrupt and criminal by nature" and they deserve everything apartheid threw at them. And judging by the thumbs up, the masses are not as dumb as we think they are for voting for the evil they know. From behind your PCs your true inherent nature reveals itself - Inherent hatred... But anyway, that was brilliantly written Spyker.

      Shadoz66 - 2011-12-01 13:04

      Well they are for the most part corrupt and greedy by nature. Lets look at the African Countries that are doing well....wait THERE ARE NONE!!!. Black people get corrupted by power they start off with good intentions and then greed gets the better of them.Hense the saying "the road to hell is paved by good intentions". NO we don't want the former government back. So stop telling us we do. You all need to wake the F up and look what is happening around you before it is to late and we decide enough is enough and do something about it.

      Maai - 2011-12-01 14:58

      @Shadoz very true. It would seem that corruption, dishonesty and violence is a genetic trait the majority of our black brothers. Let me ask you Mandla, where would you prefer your car to break down in the middle of the night? A black township or a white suburb?

      Spyker - 2011-12-01 15:07

      Mandla, lacoste.m and alike.., Africa is like an alcoholic, it refuses to admit it has a problem, despite the glaring, f@^%ing, obvious slapping it through the face, day in and day out... I trust you will know what to tell your grand-children when they ask you why SA had a world-leading economy from the 1950's to the -70's (even into the '80's) and they are dying of starvation and living in the filth like flies. You should rather take note of what Pastor Manning has to say about South Africa and about black people at large – but you will not, that much is evident... Good luck my feckless foe. Perhaps one day you will wake from your state of wilful blindness. In the interim - removing my post, will NEVER remove the truth... So much for the 'FREEDOM' you demand yourself, NEWS24...

  • Neil - 2011-11-30 23:15

    It would seem that the corruption within the police "farce"; I can't get myself to use the word force with this lot, has infected every single one of these high ranking career criminals. why can't you recover the money if it was paid to prevent them from doing their job of investigating a crime. If they were paid to shut up, prosecute them, get the money back and then investigate what it is they were paid to suppress. if that is what the leaders are like, what chance does a fresh recruit have of making a career out of being a honest policeman.

      Shadoz66 - 2011-12-01 13:08

      do you really think they still have that monies? it was spent on cars and houses and other things.

      infijar.ken - 2011-12-01 14:28

      Shadoz 66, have you ever heard of "Sequestration?"

  • Dave - 2011-11-30 23:25

    Dive into the cesspit Mthethwa and recover the taxpayers' missing millions, after all, IT HAPPENED ON YOUR WATCH.

  • Manny - 2011-11-30 23:35

    This is called distibution of the wealth to the comrades of the ANC at the expense of the needy.Why worry about crime,it's allready out of control because the top brass are more worried about filling there pockets than fighting crime.

  • TembaVJ - 2011-11-30 23:56

    Where have all the good men gone? Is there anyone on gov payroll who is not corrupt? Surely we have now gone through the list at least once? Viva Africa... But all they need to do is drive into the townships a month before voting in their bleck x5's promising everyone some stuff and boom 4 more years to plunder. The problem is the money has run out but the golden pot is SA can still borrow billions and billions. When the east stops borrowing they will have a revolution, blame the white man and nationalise the last of the honey pots. What the poor don't know is all this lost money could have done so much for them. Shame was once a great country.

  • Herman - 2011-12-01 00:31

    Golden handshakes = wasteful expenditure R35BILLION + R31,2 MILLION and counting...

  • Marius Koen - 2011-12-01 01:12

    Wow! Instant multi- millioners. I work at the wrong place.

  • felican - 2011-12-01 06:17

    I am actually running out of thoughts, words and can only just shaik (oops) shake my head at all the worms in the woodood popping out of the pnholes..

  • Roy - 2011-12-01 07:24

    Because these crooks cannot do any decent work,they are given jobs by their pals in Government. Once this happens they start stealing and when caught,this is all prearranged,they are put on criminal investigation,on full pay nogals,and knowing what is bound to happen they get the "golden handshake" and everyone walks away with a smile waiting to be given another position in Government and the process begins again.

  • Hunter - 2011-12-01 07:31

    If you look at the content of the quotes, this man comes across as a bit of a fool. How can we expect him to sort this out. But then, this kind of incompetence is the case in virtually all the ministarial portfolios.

      Silvana - 2011-12-01 08:29

      You think, huh? LOL

  • Msholozi - 2011-12-01 07:38

    they must first probe the golden handshakes of the ill gotten wealth of those who benefetted from opression

      Ari - 2011-12-01 08:12

      Such as . . .?

      Silvana - 2011-12-01 08:33

      @Ari. You won't get a reply, because the ANC's rhetoric manual that they give to the mushrooms that vote for them, doesn't give answers to cut andpaste.

      Kaizer - 2011-12-01 14:30

      i agree fully. I wanted more money made off the sweat of your father and mother's back, but alas, i only got 2 million and 2 useless garden workers......

      Maai - 2011-12-01 15:00

      Like who? Mandela and the rest of the "freedom fighter" cronies? They all did very well out of Apartheid....

  • Lynn - 2011-12-01 07:45

    Bunch of Criminals.

  • Garth - 2011-12-01 07:59

    By the time the ignorant anc are finished raping the resources of this once proud country, we shall all not have a pot left to pi$$ into. These fools are supported in their quest to make the poor poorer, by the fools that retain them in power - not so msholozi? Almost 70% of the voters in this country support the thieving anc, so they may not complain about their heroes' quests for wealth at any expense. `Instead, he told incredulous MPs last month . . .': certainly only opposition MPs; anc MPs were only incredulous because of how little was stolen!

  • Johann - 2011-12-01 08:20

    Wow! and this still excludes the takings on the deal with Roux .

  • Silvana - 2011-12-01 08:25

    "If you are applying this section 35 thing......" Oh very professional, Mthethwa. So a rule, a clause, a law, an act is called a "thing". BTW your hands are squeaky clean, Right?

  • Sue - 2011-12-01 09:01

    More wasted money that could have been used for a far better cause! This govt sucks and they are wasting the tax payers money. If you are suspended for crooking the books, not doing your job etc it should be WITH NO PAY especially for these govt people who think they can what they want with our money! After all we are their EMPLOYERS and they should be answering to us the people of SA!

  • ludlowdj - 2011-12-01 10:21

    Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa is being closely watched to see if he can turn the police force back into a force for law and order from its current position of leader in the organised crime world.

  • TawwaTienie - 2011-12-01 12:30

    Just another Corruption on top of all the other Corruptions, never ending.

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