Police Minister Nathi Nhleko was forced to admit to parliament that he had in effect broken the law that governs his department when he appointed Lieutenant General Nthandazo “Berning” Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks in 2015.
All the same, he is hoping parliament will just let it slide.
He had been meant to inform parliament formally of the appointment‚ as determined by the South African Police Service Act. He told parliament’s police committee on Wednesday that not doing so had been an oversight due to lack of capacity in the office at the time, and he took full personal responsibility for it.
He wrote a letter to Speaker Baleka Mbete on September 14 last week‚ in which he formally told her of his failure to follow the act‚ but asked parliament to condone his blunder.
If this does not happen, then the man who has been relentlessly hounding Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan over the so-called SA Revenue Service “rogue unit” on little apparent basis will immediately find himself unemployed.
It has also been reported that no one from any opposition party, particularly in the police oversight committee, noticed Nhleko’s error.
It is, however, unlikely that anything will come of this, as the ANC has enough of a majority to condone the error when the National Assembly meets in October.