Union wants probe of police funds

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nathi nov 2 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa File photo: Oupa Mokoena

Johannesburg - The SA Police Union (Sapu) urged Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Monday to investigate the use of funds by his department.

“There is total lack of transparency in the whole procurement system in the police,” Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere said in a statement.

Deputy auditor general Kimi Makwetu listed the police department last week as one of eight in the government that spent a total of R24.6 billion on consulting fees over the last three years.

Other departments implicated in the spending spree were listed as correctional services, defence, environmental affairs, health, rural development and land reform, transport, and water affairs.

“The misuse of consultants as alleged by the deputy auditor general is just the tip of an iceberg,” Skommere said.

He said Mthethwa should also probe allegations that the budget for an IT system for firearm control was increased four times.

About R177 million was allegedly spent on purchasing Nyala armoured personnel carriers for the police when the initial budget was R80 million.

Skommere said the situation was cause for concern.

“It seems as if the SAPS (SA Police Service) was not just caught wanting through the Roux Shabangu-SAPS building scandal but is rotten to the core,” he said.

He was referring to property mogul Roux Shabangu's leasing two buildings to the police department for about R1.7 billion. Shabangu allegedly had ties with former police commissioner Bheki Cele.

President Jacob Zuma later fired Cele, saying he had been “dishonest” in awarding the contract.

“Revelations like these are an embarrassment to a law enforcement agency like the SAPS.”

Mthethwa's office said Sapu was reiterating an already existing process.

Spokesman for the police ministry Zweli Mnisi said the ministry was already looking into establishing a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure that those who were given tasks delivered on them.

“We wish to remind them that (the minister) has emphasised to police management both internally through top management forums but also externally through platforms such as parliament and national crime statistics announcement, the need for stricter financial controls,” said Mnisi.

“We have stressed that there must be improved corporate government systems, implementation of key programmes such as police training, human capital and proper financial controls,” he said.

Mnisi said progress was already being seen in the system since the appointment of national police commissioner Riah Phiyega, but he stressed that it was not an “overnight process”. - Sapa


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