The South African Police Service (SAPS) turned down a sanitiser donation by Afriforum as it did not go through Treasury Regulations, said Police Minister Bheki Cele.
This comes after media reports this week indicated the SAPS in Gauteng had refused to accept a donation of hand sanitisers from the organisation.
While this was a leaked official and internal correspondence, the Police Minister believes it was published with the malicious intention of blowing things out of proportion.
In a statement, the Minister reiterated that, as with all government departments, the SAPS has a responsibility to uphold Treasury Regulations and in this case, implement the donation policy of the organisation.
"Let me repeat what I said to SAPS management when we were still under a State of Disaster: the national crisis we find ourselves in can never be used as justification to flout processes and procedures," the Minister said in the statement.
Cele has encouraged Afriforum and any other individual or organisation wishing to assist the SAPS with supplies, to engage with the SAPS management at a national level for the necessary exemption in relation to gifts/donations.
The Ministry said the sanitiser donation by Afriforum was to a specific SAPS unit in Gauteng.
"The offer is welcome as a sign of goodwill and for this, the Minister will encourage the SAPS Management to engage the Afriforum to better coordinate this process of handing over and receiving of the donation," said the Minister.
Cele, however, has also welcomed the goodwill of some civil society organisations who have extended a hand to the law enforcement agencies, augmenting what management has put in place in terms of hygienic and protective supplies to the members.
Meanwhile, Cele has acknowledged that the COVID-19 21-day lockdown regulations have left police struggling with the shortage of protective and hygienic supplies for officers.
The Minister said the limited supply of much-needed necessary hygienic disposables such as masks and hand gloves, as well as sanitisers was a worldwide dilemma.
The SAPS, whose members are in the coal face of this pandemic, is also facing this same challenge of shortage of protective and hygienic supplies.
In the statement, the Minister commended the efforts by SAPS management to ensure as best as possible, that all members on the ground and all police stations are adequately protected and observing the requisite hygienic protocols.