MPs call for the resignation of 'untrustworthy' Mothiba

16 August 2017 - 16:00 By Babalo Ndenze
The announcement was made by the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service‚ Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba. File photo
The announcement was made by the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service‚ Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba. File photo
Image: Supplied

MPs have called for the resignation of "untrustworthy" acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba over his bungling of the security vetting of the head of intelligence.

Mothiba faced the wrath of MPs following reports that he appointed the acting head of crime intelligence‚ Pat Mokushane‚ without a valid security clearance certificate. Mothiba admitted at a meeting with the portfolio committee on police that Mokushane had not been vetted and was under investigation following claims that he had appointed his wife as a PA.

This angered MPs who called for Mothiba‚ who was appointed by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in June‚ to step down.

ANC MP Livhuhani Mabitja said during the last committee meeting‚ they asked Mothiba about Mokushane’s security clearance and he assured members that it was sorted out.

“Here we are stuck - there’s no correct certificate. It means that you are untrustworthy. How do we work with you when you sometimes just fumble‚ just day dreaming in fact. You can’t just say certificate is there‚ I’ll bring‚ and next thing there’s nothing. And when are you resigning yourself because you are not fit to lead this department of police because you are untrustworthy? Why did you hire him when not having the vetting certificate? I am very disappointed‚” said Mabitja.

Crime intelligence officers need the clearance to be allowed to view top secret documents containing highly sensitive information.

Mothiba confirmed that Mokushane’s clearance certificate was printed irregularly.

"What I’ve done, honourable chairperson, was refer the whole process of his vetting to the State‚” said Mothiba.

He said someone in a “vetting environment” had told Mokushane that “you qualify”. Mokushane told the committee that he could not sign his own clearance certificate.

"All of us at crime intelligence have subjected ourselves to that process (vetting) that the national commissioner is referring to‚" said Mokushane.

EFF MP Phillip Mhlongo said it was a “disgrace” that such a thing could happen at this level. “How do you appoint a person prior to you giving them a security clearance? It’s a violation of the act. This thing is bordering on criminality that must be stamped out at all costs‚” said Mhlongo.

Major-General Leon Rabie told the committee that a full investigation was conducted and that the certificate had since been “rescinded”.

“Printing of the top secret clearance certificate is considered irregular as the vetting process was not concluded‚” said Rabie.

 

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