How Fikile Mbalula's deputy 'misbehaved'

30 July 2017 - 00:03 By THABO MOKONE
Bongani Mkongi, left, is said to have been given a 'dressing-down' by Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula, right.
Bongani Mkongi, left, is said to have been given a 'dressing-down' by Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula, right.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/THE TIMES

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is said to have reported his deputy, Bongani Mkongi, to President Jacob Zuma for misbehaving.

Sources in the police told the Sunday Times this week that Mbalula called Mkongi to a meeting and gave him a dressing-down.

Mbalula is said to have lost patience with Mkongi, who claimed that 80% of the Johannesburg suburb of Hillbrow was occupied by foreigners who were hijacking buildings. Mkongi said locals had no places to stay, and suggested that even a future president could be a foreigner if South Africans did not fight for their land.

If I was not married, I would have girlfriends all over Africa
Bongani Mkongi, deputy police minister

Mkongi defended his remarks during an interview on Power98.7 this week.

"If I was not married, I would have girlfriends all over Africa," Mkongi told the radio station in an attempt to defend his remarks.

A police insider who did not want to be named said: "The guy is not following the lead of the minister.

"He's actually disturbing Mbalula's campaign to win back the confidence of the public in the fight against crime.

"[Mkongi] has been doing all sorts of reckless things. He inspects police stations without even consulting the minister first, so the minister has asked the president to intervene."

But Mbalula's spokesman, Vuyo Mhaga, insisted that all was well between Mkongi and the minister.

Mkongi had not responded to requests for comment by the time of going to print.

He is no stranger to controversy. Last year, while still an ANC backbencher in parliament, he called for a Cape Town building on which a #ZumaMustFall billboard had been erected to be burnt down and its inhabitants to be "burnt to death".

Mkongi escaped with a slap on the wrist following the remarks.

His comments were described as incitement to violence, and then-ANC chief whip Stone Sizani ordered Mkongi to make a public apology.

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