Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sheriff attaches Mthethwa's furniture

Sheriff attaches Mthethwa's furniture
2012-01-19 16:45

Johannesburg - Furniture worth almost R245 000 has been attached at Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa's Cape Town office to cover the costs of civil claims, the DA claimed on Thursday.

"Even when the ministry of police loses in court, it chooses to ignore the ruling, forcing citizens to ask the sheriff of the court to attach goods in lieu of payment," Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard said in a statement.

"I will be submitting a series of questions to minister Mthethwa to determine why the SA Police Service (SAPS) is repeatedly failing to uphold the law and meet its debts."

Kohler-Barnard said the ministry had failed to pay the costs for five cases it had lost on appeal.

Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said the ministry was not aware of the attachments or the cases.

"The ministry of police respects every judgment of the court, and when we are ordered to pay any victim who might have suffered as a result of alleged police brutality, or any other case, we do comply.

"Politicians must refrain from politicising... crime. Clearly, to us, this is example of politicking."

According to the 2010/11 SAPS annual report, R11bn had been earmarked for civil claims against the department, Kohler-Barnard said.

The claims include assault, shootings, damage to property, police actions, vehicle accidents and legal costs.

She said three years ago, law firm Edward Nathan Sonnenberg compiled a 400-page report, at a cost of R8m, into the police's legal services.

"The DA has repeatedly urged the ministry to act on the report's findings. Why two successive ministers of police have failed to act on its recommendations has never been explained."

When the report was commissioned, the backlog of civil legal claims stood at 19 000.

"The minister of police must explain why this state of affairs has been allowed to continue, and what steps he plans to take to curb the SAPS' repeated failure to meet its debts," Kohler-Barnard said.


Read more on: da | police | dianne kohler barnard | nathi mthethwa | zweli mnisi


Ministry denies furniture removal
2012-01-20 16:13

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Sheriff attaches Mthethwa's furniture

Johannesburg - The police ministry has denied that furniture in its office has been carted off by the sheriff of the court.

Spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said on Friday that no-one knew anything about furniture worth R245 000 being attached to cover the cost of civil claims against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Not even the sheriff of the court had any knowledge, he said.

On Thursday, DA spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard accused Mthethwa of ignoring court rulings and forcing citizens to ask the sheriff to attach furniture in lieu of payment.

Mnisi said ministry officials could not establish where or what the DA was on about.

"Both the ministry's Pretoria and Cape Town registry staff confirmed that no such letter [notification] was delivered in the past 48 hours," he said.

The furniture was all still there.

The DA was guilty of "opportunistic publicity seeking" and finding fault where there was none, he said.

Kohler Barnard retorted that the minister did not know what was going on outside his own office door.

"I was shocked to see what is going on there. The sheriff is there every day because a claimant hasn't been paid."

The only reason he had not taken his furniture yet was because the ministry was "quickly doing deals".

"Of all ministries, this is one that should be setting an example," said Kohler Barnard.

She said she was collating at least five cases where the minister had not paid his due.


Read more on: police | nathi mthethwa

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