MPs want heads to roll for shoddy vetting
The controversy surrounding acting crime intelligence boss Pat Mokushane’s vetting has deepened, with a police report recommending that the inspector-general of intelligence investigate irregularities detected in his case.
Besides calling for Mokushane’s head, MPs also want acting national police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba to resign for having overseen the numerous vetting bungles that have come to light.
MPs learnt on Wednesday that Mokushane also stood accused of running a side business and had allegedly helped himself to police funds.
Mokushane was among 50 top police officers who were deployed without being properly vetted, Mothiba conceded in Parliament on Wednesday. This had left police intelligence vulnerable to exposure to organised crime syndicates.
It also emerged in Parliament that the police were considering referring Mokushane’s case, as well as others, to the intelligence watchdog after an internal police report that the acting crime intelligence boss’s security clearance certificate had been printed irregularly.
The police want that certificate, as well as the others, recalled for safekeeping and a case referred to the inspector-general of intelligence.
"Gen Mokushane’s clearance expired in 2007. The report I got pointed to irregularities and what he needed to clear himself on," said Mothiba.
"I referred the matter to the State Security Agency, as he is head of a division which includes vetting, so if he were to undergo vetting, he would be getting [vetted] by his juniors and, in effect, vetting himself and that would be inappropriate."
Maj-Gen Dawie Rabie, who was at the meeting in Parliament, said that the police had picked up irregularities in the vetting system such as the printing of top-secret security clearance certificates.
Rabie said that the printing of clearance certificates "is considered irregular".
Counter and security intelligence submitted a report in July on the vetting irregularities.
The report recommended that security clearance certificates be recalled for safekeeping and investigated by the inspector-general of intelligence.
However, MPs queried how Mokushane had risen up the ranks while Mothiba was head of the unit.
"How can we work with you if you fumble and change stories? Why did you hire him when he did not have the vetting certificate? When [will] Mokushane be fired and when [will] you resign yourself, because you cannot be trusted," asked ANC Livhuhani Mabija.
DA MP Zakhele Mbhele said he wanted to know what consequences awaited those who had been implicated in the irregular security clearances.