The Sunday Sun‘s source claimed a case of abuse had been opened against the minister’s wife “for things she didn’t do” at the Empangeni Police Station and was being handled by a top prosecutor. The paper also alleged that his wife, Nothando, had been escorted out of their home by the police at Nhleko’s instruction in KwaZulu-Natal in June.
The minister’s spokesperson, however, said the matter was personal and they would not make a statement about it.
The paper found Nothando living in a single room in Durban, still wearing her wedding ring. She said that she did not know anything about her husband’s rumoured affair and plans to marry another woman, Dr Nomcebo Mthembu.
Last week, the same newspaper reported that Nhleko allegedly started dating the doctor, who is also the organiser of a KZN cultural festival, last year. 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 would “have to accept” the new woman because she was a member of the Shembe church, which allows polygamy. This week, however, his wife told Sunday Sun that she would insist on her legal right to give permission for a second marriage, if that was her husband’s intention.
The SAPS spokesperson, Musa Zondi, reportedly confirmed last week that there was a relationship between Nhleko and the doctor, but seemed to deny it was romantic. 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.
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 two weeks ago 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.