Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is reportedly on a mission to clean up police crime intelligence, Business Day reported on Thursday. This follows remarks he made this week, calling on qualified people to be appointed to the unit, according to Eyewitness News (EWN).
While critics are accusing Mbalula of purging the unit of those close to former crime intelligence head, Richard Mdluli, Business Day reported that the changes will tighten Mbalula's grip on the division and strengthen its surveillance capacity.
Business Day reported that a directive was sent to the newly appointed acting crime intelligence head, Major General King Ngcobo, on September 12, ordering changes to the division.
The directive reportedly states: "Intelligence information is not to be used for political reasons, blackmail or other nefarious witch-hunting against any other citizen".
The directive also reportedly gives Mbalula more powers, as well as control over a R700 million slush fund that has been reported to have been looted in the past. The slush fund's head, Major General Obed Nemutanzhela was also removed.
Mbalula's spokesperson, Vuyo Mhaga, confirmed to Business Day that Ngcobo had been ordered to remove "those people who use state resources for things other than for the safety of our people". He also denied that Mbalula was removing officials loyal to Mdluli.
According to EWN, Mbalula called for rogue elements to be removed from the police, at a press conference on Wednesday.
"The law cannot be abused for political expediency and those who are in pockets of power in those areas misuse that," he reportedly said.