Absa had every right to wait 15 months before it closed down the accounts of Gupta-owned companies‚ .
At a media briefing on Tuesday about claims made in the City Press newspaper at the weekend‚ Nhleko said it was a “lie” that he had authorised a R30 million payment to Indoni‚ an NGO run by Nomcebo Mthembu.
He said that the police ministry had signed a memorandum of understanding with Indoni before his appointment as police minister.
In the wake of the xenophobic attacks in the country in 2015 and 2016‚ Indoni was chosen to run the “We are one humanity” campaign. Nhleko said this was based purely on the fact that an MOU was already in place with the NGO and they were based in KwaZulu-Natal where the majority of the attacks were taking place.
Nhleko said that the Civilian Secretariat for Police‚ whose funds he was alleged to have disbursed‚ did not even have that kind of money available at the time.
“At the time the xenophobic attacks flared up‚ there was only R1.5 million left in the budget. It goes without saying then that the CPS could not have paid R30 million as alleged in the media reports.”
Nhleko said he had written to the public protector to investigate the claims. He had also briefed President Jacob Zuma‚ he said.
Nhleko would not field questions about the nature of his relationship with Mthembu saying: “I’m not going to talk about that. My feelings are my feelings“.
Nhelko also dismissed claims that he was attempting to stop IPID head Robert McBride from returning to work at all costs.
In a series of vague answers to questions by the media‚ he said that he would not comment on the process or the withdrawal of charges against McBride‚ except to say that Parliament’s process would be followed.
He also said that people had “conveniently” forgotten about the 2010 rendition claims which McBride was accused of doctoring the investigation reports into.