Mkhwanazi wants details on bribing of journos

Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has requested details on journalists being bribed to fabricate stories.

The Hawks. Picture: Sourced.

JOHANNESBURG - Acting National Police Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi confirmed his request on Monday for Hawks boss Anwar Dramat to furnish him with details on allegations that journalists were paid by Crime Intelligence to fabricate stories.

The claim was contained in a report compiled by Colonel Kobus Roelofse about the investigation into controversial policeman Richard Mdluli.

The editor of the Sunday Times Ray Hartley in response challenged the South African Police Services (SAPS) to provide evidence against his journalists or retract the claim.

Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi said he wanted more information from the Hawks about the allegations before responding to Hartley.

He said Roelofse said in his report that he had statements confirming the allegations.

Mkhwanazi wanted to make sure any criminal activity is investigated.

"If it is part of the criminal case docket that means action was taken. But if it's not, then I want answers as to why there was no case opened against the individuals concerned."

Hartley said if there was evidence, he would take the strongest possible action against his journalists.

The report compiled by Roelofse was addressed to the commander of the anti-corruption task team and formed part of Freedom Under Law's application in the North Gauteng High Court.

The 24-page document compiled in March this year revealed several incidents of interference in the Mdluli investigation.

Roelofse revealed how an unnamed witness claimed he had heard Mdluli's ally, Major General Solly Lazarus, discussing how he paid journalists to write a story to cast suspicion on those individuals perceived to be a threat.

Roelofse also detailed how the chairperson of Parliament's Standing Committee on Intelligence, Cecil Burgess, was repeatedly approached by Lazarus without his division head knowing about the visits.

Lazarus apparently attempted to convince Burgess that the Mdluli investigation compromised national security.

Roelofse also detailed how head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya, informed him that he had been taken to task by certain police generals for allowing the investigation to continue beyond its scope.

Earlier this month, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, announced Mdluli's move to another division within the police services.

In 2011, Mdluli faced fraud and corruption charges relating to alleged misuse of a crime intelligence fund, the purchase of luxury vehicles and the recruitment of family members.

Mdluli also faced a murder charge for the alleged murder of his former girlfriend's husband.