Sunday tabloid Sunday Sun has reported that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has been in an extramarital affair with a doctor and that they checked into a Holiday Inn in Richards Bay together.
The tabloid named the doctor, whom they described as Nathi’s “Nyatsi”. The paper tried to make light of the situation, joking that the minister was not receiving medical treatment at the hotel. They claimed his wife discovered they were at the hotel together, but did not confront them.
The minister married his wife, Nothando, in 2014, and allegedly started dating the doctor, who is also the organiser of a KZN cultural festival, last year. The doctor, named in the paper as Nomcebo Mthembu, reportedly confirmed to the tabloid, through her assistant, that she and the minister “loved each other”, but the assistant seemed unaware that there might be a wife in the picture or that Nhleko was in a relationship with anyone else.
According to the newspaper, Nhleko’s wife will “have to accept” the new woman because she is a member of the Shembe church, which allows polygamy. There was speculation, but no certainty, that this may have already happened.
The SAPS spokesperson, Musa Zondi, reportedly confirmed that there was a relationship between Nhleko and the doctor, but seemed to deny that it was romantic. He also denied any meeting between the pair at a hotel. He said there was a “memorandum of understanding” between the SAPS as a sponsor of the Miss Indoni Cultural Festival, which existed before Nhleko took office, said Zondi.
The tabloid claimed its journalists were “kicked out” of Nhleko’s home when trying to ask his wife for comment.
Nhleko is probably most famous for being the man who insisted in a report to parliament that a pool built using public money at the home of President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla was a “fire pool”, and therefore a security feature. This interpretation of the upgrade to Zuma’s estate was ultimately rejected by the Constitutional Court, which agreed with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that the pool’s resemblances to a swimming pool were not easy to ignore.
The justices ruled – aside from dropping one bombshell that he had violated the constitution – that Zuma needed to pay back the money spent on installing the pool at his private home. He has until September 29 to pay R7.8 million for the pool and other nonsecurity upgrades.
It was reported last week that Zuma is looking to take out a home loan with a little-known black-owned bank in order to pay back the money in time.