20 June 2012

South Africa: Mthethwa Notes 'Media Campaign Aimed At Discrediting Him'

Pretoria — Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa says he has noted the "on-going media campaign aimed at discrediting him."

The campaign relates to journalist "Paul Kirk from The Citizen newspaper," says the Police Ministry in a statement.

The minister has consulted with his legal team and will be taking the matter forward following the latest development.

"The latest malicious allegation by Kirk relates to, quote: "in the early hours of this morning an operation was launched to attempt to arrest members of the Durban Organised Crime Unit.

The operation was launched by a General Mabula from the Hawks, the SAPS Air Wing and the Special Task Force. The claim has been made that Minister Mthethwa personally ordered this operation and gave the instruction that certain members of the Organised Crime Unit were to be arrested."," the ministry said.

Mthethwa dismissed the allegation, pointing out that he did not give orders on police operations.

"Whether Kirk has an imagination of thoughts or an excessive obsession with the minister's name; brings into question his journalism principles.

As the ministry we have in the past taken liberty to educate and re-educate this journalist on clear reporting lines between the ministry and SAPS functions and processes, yet he still peddles misleading and inaccurate information," it added.

The ministry stressed that all police operations across the country were planned and executed based on the decision of police themselves.

"At no point does the minister have to rubber-stamp or give approval for each and every police operation. Otherwise, if that was the case he would spend every hour signing-off approvals because such operations are carried out almost daily, whether targeting drug syndicates, roadblocks, search and seizures, firearms, etc," it said.

The ministry added that there was already a case lodged against Kirk by the Mthethwa in April this year which was pending before the Press Ombudsman.

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