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Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says he has asked the Public Protector to investigate allegations that the Ministry of Police authorised a R30 million payment to a NGO alleged to have links with him.

He said this when he briefed the media in Cape Town on Tuesday, following a media report on Sunday.

“… This matter has been reported to the President and [we are] appraising him of the key issues at play. It is up to the President to decide how this matter needs to be dealt with.

“We have also written to the Office of the Public Protector to investigate. Such a matter … can’t be left hanging without being investigated…

“The accounting officer – the Acting Secretary in the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service – is engaging the services of the Public Service Commission and has written to the Public Service Commission to investigate the matter in the interest of good governance and accountability,” he said.

In its report, the City Press reported that Nomcebo Mthembu, who heads an NGO called Indoni, charged more than R30 million for six months of work, starting in April last year, to organise anti-xenophobia workshops and cultural events following the outbreak of attacks on foreign nationals last year.

 The report also alleged that Mthembu is the Minister’s girlfriend. The Minister declined to comment on the nature of his relationship with Mthembu.

Nhleko added that the Police Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indoni in 2014 prior to the appointment of the current Minister of Police.

 The MoU, which is aimed at funding crime fighting programmes, is due to expire in May next year.

The minister said after the country was confronted with challenges of attacks on foreign nationals last year, the Ministry of Police started a campaign called ‘We are one Humanity’ – conceptualised by Indoni – as a vehicle to unite the people of South Africa.

He said the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service paid R384 000 to Indoni. He said the City Press report was inaccurate, as the alleged R30 million payment could not have been covered by the amount of R6 million – which is the budget amount for public participation.

“At the time the xenophobic attacks flared up, there was only R1.5 million left in the budget.

“It goes without saying then that the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service could not have paid R30 million, as alleged in the media reports,” he said.

The Minister said based on these facts, it was clear that the relationship between Indoni and the Ministry of Police is managed in line with the policy prescripts of government and the existing MoU.

“While we acknowledge the role of the media in keeping the public service accountable and the people of South Africa informed, we however note with concern instances of untruthful and incorrect stories, which are not based on facts and the principles of fair reporting,” he said.