At the same time that Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa was calling for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to investigate “systemic corruption” within the SAPS, Crime Intelligence officers were being made to sign confidentiality agreements to prevent them from whistleblowing.
This is hardly the way to end corruption, and the timing of a gagging order preventing Crime Intelligence officers from whistleblowing is both suspicious and ironic.
The gagging order follows the recent suspension of Crime Intelligence head Richard Mdluli after serious charges of corruption and criminal activity were revealed based largely on leaked information from his former colleagues.
The proposed confidentiality agreements will effectively gag any Crime Intelligence officers who wish to come forward with evidence of corruption against colleagues, thus ensuring that corruption remains hidden and accountability is effectively avoided.
The DA welcomes the Minister’s call to address corruption. Now he must show that he means what he says by taking concrete action to weed out corrupt members of the SAPS. The fact that the SAPS disciplinary hearing of Mdluli was postponed “indefinitely” this week does not bode well for the Minister’s new-found commitment to fighting corruption within the SAPS ranks.
The Minister has called for proposals on how to deal with the scourge of corruption. The DA knows how to correct the ill-considered, self-serving and consequentially disastrous decisions taken by Jackie Selebi during his tenure, and that is to first and foremost re-instate the specialised Anti-Corruption Unit. Since 2007 the Minister has ignored repeated calls by the DA to re-open specialised units, and despite evidence of escalating corruption within the SAPS still resists the reopening of the Anti-Corruption Unit.
As a member of the Portfolio Committee on Police, I also encourage SAPS whistleblowers to contact me directly with evidence of corruption in the Police and Crime Intelligence services.