I take responsibility for not telling Parliament about Ntlemeza - Nhleko
21 September 2016
Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has taken full responsibility for his department's failure to notify Parliament of Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza's appointment a year ago.
It was an oversight due to lack of capacity in the office at the time, he told Parliament's police committee on Wednesday.
But this did not allay concerns from MPs about the office's culpability in the oversight, with members of the committee questioning what led to the mistake and what corrective measures have since been taken.
This after the Speaker on Tuesday tabled a letter from Nhleko informing Parliament of the appointment, a full year after he was appointed.
A letter was received on September 14, 2016, informing Parliament of Ntlemeza's appointment as head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation with effect from September 10, 2015.
"Requesting Parliament's condonation of his late notification of this appointment as required by section 17CA(3) of the Act," the minister asked of Parliament in the tabled document.
On Wednesday the minister faced a barrage of questions on the failure to account to Parliament on time, with Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald questioning the capacity of the legal office in the police minister's office.
Democratic Alliance MP Zakhele Mbhele said ministers in other countries resigned following such oversights.
"The minister is not going to resign...he has nine lives," Groenewald responded.
Nhleko told the committee that there was no confusion about the appointment of Ntlemeza and under which Act he was employed.
"I do take responsibility for not reporting to Parliament within 14 days. It was an oversight on my part," Nhleko said on Wednesday.
At the time, he said, it had been a matter of lack of capacity at the office, but the matter had been rectified as soon as the staffing issue was sorted out.
Mbhele questioned whether the minister's letter to Parliament was due to a written question the DA MP had submitted to Nhleko's office.
"No, your question was not a trigger. In fact, I haven't seen it," he said.
This article first appeared on News24, see here.