News24 has reported on the fact that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s chief of staff in the police ministry is an ex-con who was convicted for fraud.
He was reportedly sentenced to four years in jail but did not spend even a year behind bars. The website further reports that a police spokesperson confirmed to them that the police’s chief of staff, Leon Mbangwa, first went to Pretoria Central Prison on December 13 2002, but was released in August the following year.
Mbangwa told News24 he was released “following talks between home affairs, my family and the Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association”.
He had worked elsewhere in government before taking up his senior police post in March this year.
Mbangwa explained that the matter was actually rather trivial, since it related to his ID stating he was born in South Africa, when he was actually born in Zimbabwe. In the years after his release he became involved in a legal battle to try to prove he was the son of a South African woman, which involved DNA testing.
Nhleko’s spokesperson, Musa Zondi, explained that there was no law that said someone could not be hired because of a conviction – as long as they declared it, which had happened in this case. He added that the minister “did not see a problem with acquiring the services of Mr Mbangwa, who has extensive experience in government”.
Mbangwa told the website they were wasting his time and he had done nothing wrong.