'This is a lie' - KZN police commissioner on Mapisa-Nqakula's SAHRC July unrest testimony

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  • KZN police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi called Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula a liar.
  • He said statements she made about him during her testimony to the SAHRC was simply not true.
  • The SAHRC is conducting hearings into the July unrest.


KwaZulu-Natal's provincial police commissioner, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, on Wednesday labelled former defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula a liar during his testimony at the SA Human Rights Commission's (SAHRC) hearings into the July unrest.

In discussing his interaction with Mapisa-Nqakula, he rejected a statement she made before the commission last week.

Evidence leader Smanga Sethene quoted Mapisa-Nqakula's statement to the commission that the deputy provincial commissioner for visible policing, Major-General Phumelele Makhoba, attended meetings from 17 July because Mkhwanazi was on leave.

News24 last month reported that Mapisa-Nqakula told the commission that the provincial police commissioner's "immaturity" and "ego" led to the army being deprived of information during the July unrest.  

READ | No directive to stand down - KZN police commissioner on July unrest

Mapisa-Nqakula said she found Mkhwanazi to be difficult to work with, but that, when Makhoba took over when he was on leave - his wife was meant to give birth to their baby – things began flowing more smoothly.

Replying to this, Mkhwanazi said Makhoba only started acting as provincial commissioner on 19 July when he went on leave, not 17 July.

When asked about Mapisa-Nqakula's statements he said: "This is a lie."

To this, Sethene said Mapisa-Nqakula would have to be brought back to the commission.

"We invite the former minister and speaker of parliament to come back here, and deal with the evidence of the provincial commissioner."

READ | Mapisa-Nqakula operated out of luxury Durban hotel during July unrest - senior cops tell SAHRC

Mkhwanazi said the minister did not care for him after he called her out during the unrest for allegedly lying about the number of soldiers on the ground.

"I told her, you cannot go on television and speak lies that 800 soldiers were on the ground. She didn't say anything. This happened during a closed meeting on 15 July. It was the first and last meeting I had with her."

Save SA Breweries

Mkhwanazi said that, during the unrest, Police Minister Bheki Cele told him, "people are crying about SAB [South African Breweries]".

"I asked Minister Cele what is it about SAB that we must protect? He [said to] me he was told it was not because of alcohol, but there were canisters that they use that contains high compress gas. If that were to be set alight, it would explode and destroy everything in a 2km radius."

Mkhwanazi then checked on Google Maps, and realised this was true.

The commission continues on Thursday. 

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