Nhleko accused of flouting Police Act

The accusation comes after he took a year to inform Parliament about Berning Ntlemeza’s appointment.

Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko during a media briefing at the Imbizo Media Centre in Cape Town. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has been accused of contravening the Police Act after he took a year to inform Parliament about Berning Ntlemeza's appointment as head of the Hawks.

Nhleko has asked Parliament to condone the late notification in a letter that was tabled yesterday.

The Police Act lays down that Parliament must be informed within 14 days of the appointment.

Nhleko was tackled on the issue while briefing Parliament's police committee this morning.

The Democratic Alliance's Zak Mbhele wanted to know whether Ntlemeza's appointment last September was still valid.

"Would the minister agree that this late submission by his office in fact renders the appointment of General Ntlemeza, at the very least, as procedurally irregular and open to having that set aside on technical grounds?"

The Freedom Front Plus' Pieter Groenewald says Parliament should not condone the lapse.

"Well, he's already in contravention of the [Police] Act, so I'd like to have clarity on why after a year it is only now that he informs Parliament."

Nhleko has told Members of Parliament it was an oversight for which he takes responsibility.

But he insisted Ntlemeza's appointment followed due process and is legitimate.

At the same time, the police minister has asked Parliament to condone the lapse and has rejected suggestions that the breach of the law makes Ntlemeza's appointment procedurally irregular.

"Basically that section [of the Act] does not seek for approval from Parliament, it's about reporting to Parliament. And it's true, we did not comply within the stipulated 14 days."

Ntlemeza was appointed last September.