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'My interventions at Crime Intelligence not at operation level'

Fikile Mbalula downplayed reports that there is conflict between himself, Major General Lesetja Mothiba and Major General Bhoyi Ngcobo.

FILE: Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Louise McAuliffe/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says his interventions at Crime Intelligence are not at an operation level but are part of efforts to provide oversight to stabilise the troubled unit.

Eyewitness News reported on Monday of concerns that the minister had effectively seized command and control of the division by issuing orders directly to the divisional commissioner.

Mbalula provided a briefing in Pretoria on Tuesday on new police regulations.

Minister Mbalula says he recognises concerns of political interference in Crime Intelligence.

“Don’t view the intervention of the minister at the level of Crime Intelligence as some form of addition of rougueness, no.”

The minister insists he has not overstepped his authority.

“You can’t have the minister running operations of Crime Intelligence, it means that I will direct them next time to basically go and look at so and so. That’s not what I do. We need to be clear about that.”

ELEMENTS TO DISCREDIT

Mbalula believes there are elements within crime intelligence waging a campaign to discredit him.

He says he's working together with the acting national police commissioner and the Crime Intelligence divisional commissioner to implement a turnaround strategy in the troubled unit.

Mbalula downplayed reports that there is a conflict between himself, Major General Lesetja Mothiba and Major General Bhoyi Ngcobo.

“An action plan was developed by Crime Intelligence, together with the ministry, to refocus the SSA [State Security Agency], account to good corporate governance albeit with the corporate understanding of the covert nature of activities. Generals Mothiba and Ngcobo have agreed with me on this and we work professionally well together.”

The minister says his office has developed regulations which improve financial oversight.

“The misallocation of resources, lack of security vetting of certain SMS members, the Auditor General’s findings and others. Some of these were also expressed by the joint standing committee.”

He says there are elements within crime intelligence waging a campaign against him.

“There is a campaign by certain individuals to sidetrack and besmirch me in all manners possible, including shoddy journalistic performance with a tinge of sensationalism. Journalists are urged to be careful of information peddles with the security environment.”

POLICE EMPLOYMENT REGULATIONS AMENDED

Mbalula says he’s amended the police employment regulations following the Auditor General’s recommendations.

The changes were gazetted last week.

Mbalula says he’s included a clause in the employment regulation which ensures he has a say in key decisions.

“Minister must concur to certain categories of actions, in particular, those the Auditor General has highlighted as problematic, causing us the qualified audit.”

Mbalula says these issues fall within his mandate.

“Powers of promotion, transfers of members within the service, including all other matters around conditions of service, are for the minister to regulate.”

The minister did, however, confirm that the regulations would have to be gazetted again because some clauses which he did not approve crept into the final document.