New crime intelligence chief denies claims wife is his PA
The newly appointed acting head of crime intelligence‚ Major-General Pat Mokushane‚ used his first appearance in Parliament to defend himself against allegations of nepotism.
He and acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba appeared before Parliament's police committee to detail their plans to restructure the police's criminal intelligence unit.
But MPs wanted to know more about Mokushane's past following claims that there were skeletons in his closet.
Shortly after Mokushane was appointed‚ reports surfaced that he did not have a top secret security clearance and that he had appointed his wife as his personal assistant.
ANC MP and committee chairman Francois Beukman quizzed Mokushane about the security clearance while DA MP Zak Mbhele asked about the appointment of his wife.
Another ANC MP‚ Angie Molebatsi‚ asked whether there were any issues that might "follow him into that position".
Mothiba said: "General Mokushane has assured me he has it‚ but I am still waiting for a copy of it."
Asked how long it took to get a certificate‚ he said: "It doesn't take a long time but General Mokushane has been very busy."
But Beukman questioned how he had made a decision to appoint Mokushane without the correct paperwork already "in the file".
Mothiba admitted that this was something he should have done‚ but said he had been more concerned with Mokushane's experience and background in crime intelligence.
Mokushane meanwhile said he had undergone the vetting and polygraph testing required for clearance about "three or four years ago".
He said during polygraph tests‚ the examiners would indicate whether a person had reacted incorrectly to any of the questions‚ and no such concerns had been raised.
He said reports that his wife was appointed as his PA were entirely untrue.
"My wife is not a PA. She has been with the crime intelligence head office in the technical support unit for about four years. She is not in my office‚" he said.
MPs were also concerned that the restructure of the crime intelligence unit would cause human resource problems.
Mokushane told the committee that the crime intelligence head office was "top heavy" while there was a lack of good intelligence "on the ground" where it was needed.
He said crime intelligence officers weren't getting the information they needed‚ while “you can go into any carwash in any township and get information there for free”.
He plans to shift intelligence officers to station and cluster level‚ but in areas of their choosing.
Mbhele said there had already been complaints from officers and unions who were concerned about officers being forced to move‚ while ANC MP Phindile Mmola questioned whether they would be able to retain their ranking.
Mothiba assured MPs that the process would be properly handled.
“Head office is too big. We need to shift the resources where they belong which is to station and cluster level.”