Aziz Hartley

POLICE Minister Nathi Mthethwa must be made to repay R200 000 from the police’s crime intelligence slush fund, used to build a security wall around his private residence in KwaZulu-Natal, the DA says.

And MP Dianne Kohler Barnard is to ask the public protector to probe it. “The (public) is not stupid. They know when (public) money is being wasted. He must pay that money back,” she said yesterday in response to Auditor-General Terence Nombembe’s clearing Mthethwa of corruption.

Nombembe confirmed on Friday that money for the wall was from the police’s crime intelligence slush fund. But he cleared Mthethwa of wrongdoing as there was no proof he knew where the money came from.

But Kohler Barnard, DA police spokes-woman, said: “I think it is inconceivable. No one will have a wall built around his home and not ask who is paying. I’m sorry. I’m deeply suspicious about this. We had the same thing with this minister with his stay at a Waterfront hotel and then he said he did not know it was a five-star hotel.”

Asked what she would do since Mthethwa had been cleared by the auditor-general, she said: “The only recourse now is that I have to go to the public protector. I will be writing to Thuli Madonsela.”

Mthethwa’s spokesman Zweli Mnisi said Kohler Barnard should accept that Nombembe had cleared him.

“Who is she to question the integrity and mandate of the AG? This is a legitimate and constitutionally recognised parliamentary entity, not some back-door kangaroo court. She must not disrespect the AG,” said Mnisi.

Mthethwa had asked Nombembe to probe the matter after City Press had reported in April that about R200 000 from the crime intelligence secret account had been used for construction of the wall at his home.

At the time Mthethwa dismissed allegations that public money had been used.

Kohler Barnard said: “Who did Mthethwa think would pay for it, the fairies? I do not believe for a second that he did not know.”