Police Ministry reacts to accommodation claims

Sunday, October 18, 2009
By: 
Chris Bathembu

Pretoria - The Ministry of Police has described the continued allegations related to Minister Nathi Mthethwa's accommodation and travel programmes when fulfilling his official duties as disturbing.

Certain media at the weekend claimed that the minister spent more than R500 000 on accommodation at a five star hotel in KwaZulu-Natal in April.

Earlier this month concerns were raised at the R235 000 bill for Mthethwa's stay at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town during the Budget Votes while flood damage repairs were being done on his ministerial house.

The ministry said the reports were intended at discrediting the minister and shifting the focus away from his mandate.

"We believe such acts are perpetrated by elements that are intended on shifting the focus away from the fight against crime. The ministry will not be deterred by such elements," the ministry said.

Mthethwa was in KwaZulu-Natal in April on official programmes aimed at engaging local stakeholders in the fight against crime, which included consultation with local authorities as part of preparation for the elections.

Mthethwa's stay in the province further helped in foiling plans to destabilise the national election process particularly around the Nongoma area.

"The police officials were further requested not to take leave during this period in order to win the war against criminals."

The programme entailed conducting road shows, meeting with the local stakeholders involved in the crime fighting initiatives. These included communities, local policing structures, leaders of political parties as well as traditional leaders.

The road shows would at times be conducted with other national and provincial government leaders who form part of the government's security cluster.