Johannesburg - The “hit list” containing the names of 18 police officers is a fabrication, and any issues it created have been put to rest, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Monday.
Mthethwa met with the affected officers in Pretoria earlier in the day.
“The meeting went well because the major issue was this list of people, and these are the people I met, who actually distanced (themselves) from this,” he told Sapa.
“They don't know where this comes from, but our discussion revolved around what they are supposed to do, the major tasks of the police and not to be distracted. I also resolved we are not going to be chasing ghosts... someone came up with this thing.”
The list first came to light on Saturday during the funeral of Lt-Gen Layton Mzondeki “Sean” Tshabalala, whose name was reportedly on it.
City of Tshwane spokesman Selby Bokaba tweeted that former national police commissioner Bheki Cele told mourners at Tshabalala's funeral in Randburg, Johannesburg, that there was a list of police officers who had been badly treated.
Bokaba told Sapa at the time he was tweeting in his personal capacity and was attending the funeral as he and Tshabalala were friends and had worked together.
Cele, when asked by Sapa whether he had made the comments about the list, said: “I did speak about that.” However, he said his comment on the matter “ends there”.
Mthethwa said the ministry and police were not going to waste their energy on a “drama” whose origin was unknown.
“It is put to rest. I think any man can wake up any day and compile a list. It's a distraction and an inconvenience, malicious in intent and a fabrication,” the minister said.
“We do not want to focus on such things and for us really, if you have this kind of thing, it can create confusion and despair unnecessarily.”
Mthethwa said following the meeting, both the ministry and police management were focused on their jobs.
“People from time to time will come up with this thing. You have a lot of tattlers out there,” he said.
“I asked Cele what is this thing, and he says it comes from the management, and the management know nothing of this. For me, it is a piece of press basically.”
A police investigation has been launched into the death of Tshabalala, the police inspectorate's divisional commissioner. His body was found in his office at police headquarters in Pretoria on Tuesday. - Sapa