PARTY

Mthethwa hasn't met with NUMSA over Irvin Jim

Police ministry says protection assessments are carried by crime intelligence

MINISTER MTHETHWA HAS NOT MET WITH NUMSA TO DISCUSS VIP PROTECTION FOR ITS SECRERATY GENERAL

Security assessment of any citizen is an operational function performed by SAPS, not the Minister

PRETORIA - 13 August 2011.  The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa today dismissed reports in yesterday's Mail & Guardian newspaper by faceless sources alleging that he was asked to assist in organising protection for the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) Secretary General, Mr Irvin Jim with police's VIP protection; as his life was deemed to be in danger (see report). 

The Mail & Guardian article states, quote: "Sources close to Jim in the labour federation confirmed that Mthethwa was asked to extend protection to the union boss after Numsa president Cedric Gina reportedly told journalists in Johannesburg last week that Jim's life was in danger, "especially in the light of concocted media lies and labelling levelled at him".

Strangely, the Ministry received an emailed letter yesterday, long after the story was published (12 August 2011, at 10h10 and acknowledgement of receipt was sent to NUMSA at 11h47).  The letter states, quote: "Dear Honorable Minister...NUMSA National Office Bearers would like to request a meeting with you to discuss matters of mutual concern.  We would appreciate it if the Minister can confirm his availability to meet with us.  Your positive response will be highly appreciated..."

For the record, Minister Mthethwa has previously and publicly stated that he does not get involved in any security assessments, irrespective of whether they are politicians, union representatives or any citizen of the Republic.  Such an assessment is an operational matter that is conducted by SAPS Crime Intelligence. 

The Minister would never influence nor interfere in any such decisions on whether who gets granted protection or who does not.  In addition, when a decision is reached in terms of terminating such protection, this also becomes an operational function and decision based on the assessment as it were.

As per any meeting request that is directed to the Minister, his acceptance would be informed by the nature of the request.  In this case, the letter said they would like to confirm a meeting to "discuss matters of mutual concern." 

To better coordinate and derive benefit for both parties, the Minister would also in some instances invite relevant SAPS management to form part of the meeting.  Where appropriate, he would further task the management to meet with the concerned organisation, without his presence. 

We therefore urge any individual or organisation to ensure it follows the correct procedures when requesting to meet with the Minister; while also urge all media organisations to refrain from attributing unconfirmed reports to faceless and nameless sources. 

Statement issued by Zweli Mnisi, Spokesperson to the Minister and Deputy Minister of Police, August 13 2011

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