Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
The SAPS has landed itself in another financial crisis – this time over R35 million spent on a fleet of luxury cars.
The Daily News can reveal exclusively on Thursday that a secret report is to be handed to the joint standing committee on intelligence alleging that acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi authorised the taking of funds from the Secret Services Account (SSA) for operational expenditure in direct contravention of the Secret Service Act 56 of 1978.
This was to ensure that budgeted funds were spent, even though not in the way they were intended.
According to the report, this was done after a decline in the operational spending patterns of crime intelligence due to infighting within the SAPS.
Crime intelligence had been allocated R98m for expenditure and had spent about R60m in the first three quarters of the 2011/12 financial year. In the last quarter, about R35m was spent.
“This is evident that they just wanted to spend the budget,” the report reads.
The money, the report indicates, was used to buy vehicles for other police units, including the police’s notorious amaBarette or Tactical Response Team.
The fund, which was controlled by suspended crime intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Richard Mdluli, has been in the news recently after revelations that Mdluli allegedly plundered it to pay his wife, girlfriends and relatives’ salaries as police informants, give them cars and accommodate them in safe houses – to the tune of millions of rand.
On Wednesday, Mdluli lost his bid to have his suspension lifted, as President Jacob Zuma was poised to fire Mkhwanazi’s predecessor, General Bheki Cele, for his role in the Roux Shabangu lease scandal that cost the police R1.6bn over the leasing of buildings.
The Daily News understands that the acting divisional commissioner of crime intelligence, Fannie Masemola, went on a spending spree, acquiring 140 luxury vehicles, among them BMW X3s, Audi Q5s, the latest Jeep SRTs and the latest BMW 320 models.
There is documentary proof of the transfer of at least five luxury vehicles from crime intelligence to Operational Response Services between January and February.
The vehicles were a Mercedes-Benz ML 350 CDI, two Jeep Grand Cherokees, Mercedes-Benz C300 and a Lexus 350 RXI.
The top-secret document, to be presented to the parliamentary committee, claims: “The allocations for capital expenditures and goods and services for the financial year were adjusted to ensure the Division: Crime Intelligence goes on a spending spree to show National Treasury, the Auditor-General and the joint standing committee on intelligence that they had proper budgetary measures in place. This is a farce, as it was actually (the) contrary.
“The operational budget for goods and services could not be utilised and the current acting management actually committed a serious financial misconduct by shifting vast sums of money to the capital expenditure.”
DA spokeswoman Dianne Kohler Barnard said that the distribution of vehicles to other units was not just irregular, but wrong: “This massive multibillion-rand budget allocated to crime intelligence is mismanaged. We have stations without electricity and water, and people are wasting money on luxury vehicles.”
Mkhwanazi’s spokesman Brigadier Lindela Mashigo said police management was in back-to-back meetings.