IN QUOTES | Mdluli, McBride & top appointments: Nathi Nhleko speaks

28 July 2020 - 07:18 By Cebelihle Bhengu
Former police minister Nathi Nhleko defended his hiring of a Zimbabwean by saying, " ... it is absurd and lunacy at best for anyone to suggest that an African person is a foreigner on the African soil ... regardless of what the law may say."
Former police minister Nathi Nhleko defended his hiring of a Zimbabwean by saying, " ... it is absurd and lunacy at best for anyone to suggest that an African person is a foreigner on the African soil ... regardless of what the law may say."
Image: Ntswe Mokoena

Former police minister Nathi Nhleko testified before the state capture commission about alleged corruption at law-enforcement agencies.

He responded to allegations made by former Ipid boss Robert McBride that he (Nhleko) appointed convicted fraudster and Zimbabwean national Leon Mbangwa, as chief of staff in his office despite Mbangwa not having had security clearance.

Nhleko was also quizzed about why the suspension of former police crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli was never investigated during his tenure.

Here are five quotes from his testimony:

Mbangwa’s appointment

“Mr Mbangwa in the KZN legislature was a senior manager ... Given this history and level of qualification, I was satisfied that he was the correct candidate for the chief of staff position in my office and I arranged for the lateral transfer. The issue being raised about his criminal record is an issue that, if this was a fresh and direct employment, would have been declared.

“But [with] a lateral transfer, that person is already within the system with government, so you wouldn’t start the exercise all over again. At the time when I hired him, I wasn’t aware of the criminal offence that he allegedly committed ...”

Mbangwa is not a foreigner

“In any case, it is absurd and lunacy at best for anyone to suggest that an African person is a foreigner on the African soil. It is incorrect to have such a reference, regardless of what the law may say.”

Reference group operations

“These were five individuals, but their scope of work was broad. One of the qualifications I gave in their appointment was that they were also at liberty to co-opt other people to conduct different areas of work. So you’ll find that the report dealing with the fitness of a national commissioner is not produced at the same time as the report on the renditions.”

Appointment of Raymond Mathenjwa

“The consideration was not the question of whether the individual works for the NPA, in the same way that when I asked advocate Kruger to come in, the consideration was not whether he was working for a particular institution somewhere else. I went to these individuals on the basis of their skill set. That was basically the consideration.”

Investigation into Richard Mdluli’s suspension

“There were a lot of happenings at the time and some of the developments overtook others. At some point while the reference group was working, there were pressure points also relating to the individuals that constituted the reference group.

“I never had clarity in terms of why he was on suspension and what the issues were. It was something that we really never got around to.”

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