Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN
Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

Nathi Mthethwa may have been gifted a Mercedes-Benz purchased by crime intelligence’s secret service account during his tenure as police minister in 2009.

This according to crime intelligence officer Col Dhanajaya Naidoo, who told the state-capture inquiry that the E-Class Mercedes was specifically purchased for Mthethwa, who is currently the sports, arts and culture minister.

Naidoo, who is now in witness protection, said he personally delivered the car to Mthethwa’s Pretoria residence.

Mthethwa is the fourth high-profile figure to be linked to the secret service account after senior journalist Ranjeni Munusamy and the current police minister Bheki Cele. Both have denied involvement.

Naidoo said the car was purchased for about R373,000 using funds from the secret service account. The commission has previously heard how the account was allegedly looted by senior crime intelligence officials, including the division’s former boss Richard Mdluli, to purchase luxury vehicles, bribe journalists and pay for overseas flights and accommodation.

“This vehicle was specifically purchased for use by Nathi Mthethwa, who was minister of police at the time. Myself and FM11 [a crime intelligence official, whose name has been redacted to protect his identity] delivered this vehicle to his residence in Pretoria. It was registered in the name of FM11,” Naidoo said.

“The minister utilised this vehicle for a few months. I remember this because Mdluli instructed me to pick up the vehicle from the minister’s house as the minister informed him he no longer wanted to make use of this vehicle because journalists were following him.”

Naidoo’s testimony is ongoing.