Picture: Ian Landsberg/INLSA.
Police Minister Bheki Cele is asking Parliament to pull the plug on the request made by his predecessor Nathi Nhleko on the salary package of the head of the Hawks.

Nhleko was previously criticised for not following the correct processes by giving former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza a salary package of R1.6million without Parliament’s approval.

Almost two years ago, Nhleko wrote to Parliament asking it to endorse Ntlemeza’s salary package.

But in a recent letter penned to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, Cele noted that he now wished to rescind that request.

“The then Minister of Police, Mr NPT Nhleko, on October 31, 2016, submitted a request for the approval by Parliament of the remuneration scales of the above mentioned official. It had been confirmed that the request had been directed to the portfolio committee on police, but has not yet been considered or reported on,” wrote Cele.

“In order to finalise the matter in compliance with the requirements of the (SAPS) Act, (we) plan to make a fresh determination of the said remuneration scales in concurrence with the Minister of Finance and to re-submit proposals in that regard for the consideration of parliament and if in agreement I will be in the position to publish the remuneration scale of the national head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation in the gazette, as required by the Act,” he said.

Cele said a new submission would be made soon.

The SAPS did not respond to further questions about other contents of the letter at the time of going to print.

Meanwhile, Nhleko, who once served as the minister of public works, was heavily chastised and accused during his time at the SAPS of undermining Parliament by not asking for its approval for Ntlemeza’s salary package. 

He stayed mum on the matter until opposition parties raised it in the House of Legislations, saying he needed to get approval from MPs first.

But Nhleko then defended his decision, saying there was no deadline for him to submit the request to Parliament. He maintained this could be done at any time, but the law clearly stipulates that a minister is required to inform Parliament of amendments to salary packages.

Chairperson of the portfolio committee on police Francois Beukman on Saturday said he had not seen the letter.

He said it would only deal with the contents of the document once it is was sent to the committee.

“In terms of the process, the scales will have to be forwarded to us to make recommendations. We must consider it and then go to the House. At the end of the day, it must be in line with the prescripts or SAPS Act. Like any referral from the Speaker, we will follow the normal process,” said Beukman.

Weekend Argus