'mthethwa and I not at war'
POLICE Minister Nathi Mthethwa and his deputy Fikile Mbalula have rejected reports of tensions between them.
Mbalula has blamed the reports on "media informers" working at police headquarters in Pretoria.
"There are people at police headquarters who are giving you incorrect information," Mbalula said at the National Press Club in Pretoria yesterday.
He said people who had overheard his conversations became "the ears of destruction".
He said the reported tensions were in the "imaginations" of journalists.
"We engage in discussions and somebody picks up a discussion and says there is a fight, there is a turf war. We are not at war."
Mthethwa also blamed the media for misinterpreting their disagreements as tensions.
"It does not help public confidence in the police. It does not help us and it does not help in the fight against crime," he said.
Regarding his relationship with Mbalula he said: "We grew up together in the politics of the ANC. We know that we don't nurse each other's egos and he [Mbalula] knows that.
"We've grown up in what is described as constructive engagement and constructive criticism."
Mbalula said he had no plans to outshine Mthethwa.
"In the past the job of a deputy minister was to go to the mall to buy groceries and nice bags. But they are no longer going to be tokens because you can't pay people for doing nothing."
Mbalula said President Jacob Zuma was expected to outline guidelines about the sharing of responsibilities among ministers and their deputies.
Mbalula repeated that "innocent people would die" during combat between the police and armed criminals. "We are explaining the truth," he said.
He said the police would launch a festive season anti-crime strategy that would run until the end of January next year.
Mthethwa explained that preparations for the security of the World Cup were at an advanced stage, with R640 million to be spent on 41000 police officers to secure the global spectacle.
He also dismissed the shoot-to-kill phenomenon as "media talk".
"The assertions that recent shootings of innocent civilians are caused by police recklessness cannot be concluded by 'media courts'."