Minister Mthethwa does not command Police operations
20 Jun 2012
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa has noted the ongoing media campaign aimed at discrediting him by one journalist, Paul Kirk from The Citizen newspaper. The Minister has now consulted with his legal team and will be taking forth the matter on the latest development.
The latest malicious allegation by Kirk relates to, quote: “in the early hours of this morning an operation was launched to attempt to arrest members of the Durban Organised Crime Unit. The operation was launched by a General Mabula from the Hawks, the South African Police Service (SAPS) Air Wing and the Special Task Force. The claim has been made that Minister Mthethwa personally ordered this operation and gave the instruction that certain members of the Organised Crime Unit were to be arrested.”
The Minister dismissed the allegation, pointing out that he does not give orders on police operations. Whether Kirk has an imagination of thoughts or an excessive obsession with the Minister’s name, brings into question his journalism principles. As the Ministry we have in the past taken liberty to educate and re-educate this journalist on clear reporting lines between the Ministry and SAPS functions and processes, yet he still peddles misleading and inaccurate information.
For the record, all police operations across the country are planned and executed based on the decision of police themselves. At no point does the Minister have to rubber-stamp or give approval for each and every police operation. Otherwise, if that was the case he would spend every hour signing-off approvals because such operations are carried out almost daily, whether targeting drug syndicates, roadblocks, search and seizures, firearms, etc.
We also need to highlight publicly that there is a pending case before the Press Ombudsman against Kirk which was lodged by the Minister in April this year. We are still awaiting the Press Ombudsman ruling on the matter.
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Issued by: South African Police Service
20 Jun 2012
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