Call for Nhleko’s head

Cape Town - Opposition parties have called for the head of the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, for bungling the appointment of head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Berning Ntlemeza.

In a letter to Parliament on Wednesday, Nhleko asked MPs to condone his late notification of Ntlemeza’s appointment.

Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko. Credit: Independent Media

But Pieter Groenewald, of the Freedom Front Plus, and Zakhele Mbhele, of the DA, told him he needed to get his act together.

Nhleko has only now remembered to inform Parliament of Ntlemeza’s appointment, which took place last year. The law required Parliament be informed within 14 days of the appointment, which was last September.

Groenewald said Nhleko would survive this latest scandal as he has done in the past.

It is up to Parliament to decide whether to grant him condonation for his late notification.

The FF Plus said despite Mbhele’s call for Nhleko to resign, he won’t go.

“Minister, I can assure you I did not gang up with honourable Mbhele.

"I can answer for the minister. He won’t step down.

"Like Winston Churchill said, war and politics are the same, the only difference is that in war if you are killed you die once, in politics you die many times.

"The minister has nine lives like a cat,” said Groenewald.

But Nhleko said he did not believe he had the luck to survive like a cat.

“Honourable Groenewald, be careful what you read. Do I have nine lives, eh eh. Like a cat. No?” he said.

He said every appointment in the police was carried out under the SAPS Act.

He said the appointment of Ntlemeza was legitimate – the only outstanding thing was to inform Parliament timeously.

“There was no way we could put together a cabinet memo detailing the appointment and turn around and say there was a confusion. There was no confusion,” he said.

However, the appointment of Ntlemeza would have to receive the support of Parliament.

The DA said it suspected Nhleko acted on this after it alerted him of this error in its question to him two weeks ago.

Groenewald said somebody was sleeping on the job in Nhleko’s office.

Nhleko said he had not seen Mbhele’s question that had been sent to his office on the procedures in the appointment of Ntlemeza.

He said he had been away on business and only returned to his office a few days ago.