Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is considering investigating Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for alleged abuse of power and coercion, the lobby group AfriForum said on Monday.

AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said this had been confirmed in a letter.

“The letter was sent in reply to a complaint lodged by AfriForum against Minister Mthethwa in January, regarding his handling of the march protesting against farm murders... which took place on 1 December 2012,” Roets said in a statement.

He said Mthethwa had declared the march illegal, even though the statutory obligations had been met.

Roets said at the time that an urgent court order had been obtained from the Pretoria High Court so the march could proceed.

“The minister paid no attention to the court order and continued to handle the march as illegal,” he said on Monday.

“No police officers were dispatched to the Pretoria central business district to ensure the safety of the protesters. The officers who were present were there coincidentally, and had no knowledge of the march.”

He alleged that Mthethwa tried to prevent the march from taking place, and that his spokesman allegedly “made it very clear during telephonic conversations that we should not expect a meeting with the minister as long as we were planning to focus attention on this matter by means of public protest”.

Madonsela's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi confirmed in an e-mail that Madonsela was looking into the matter. No further details were given. - Sapa