Dintwe reads top spy the riot act over PPE slush fund

Inspector-general for intelligence Setlhomamaru Dintwe has read SAPS Crime Intelligence (SAPSCI) boss Peter Jacobs the riot act, saying he must desist from preventing members of the division from cooperating with his office’s probe into the abuse of the slush fund to buy personal protective equipment (PPE).

Sunday World reported last week that Dintwe’s office is investigating allegations that the SAPSCI irregularly paid close to a R1 million to procure PPEs, some of which have been rejected for being substandard.

On November 4, Dintwe requested Jacobs to avail all copies of documents, expenditure claims and vouchers relating to the procurement of PPE.

Dintwe had said the procurement of the PPE ought not to have been funded from the Secret Service Account as that contravened the provisions of the Secret Service Account Act, which provided that the funds of the account should be used only for services of a secret nature.

He added that the opinion held was that PPE could not be categorised as a secret product.

In another confidential letter to Jacobs last week Wednesday, Dintwe slammed top spy for not providing the information he requested.

He reminded Jacobs that the information was requested in terms of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, warning one of the country’s senior spooks to desist from preventing members of the division from cooperating with his probe as it was a criminal offence.

Dintwe said internal protocols of SAPSCI could not be elevated above an act of Parliament. “I have requested information from the employee of the service, Major-General Lekalakala, and this request is not amended in any form or manner,” he wrote.

“It is my humble request that your office desist from referring us to an unwritten and unknown protocol each time we request or demand information in terms of the oversight act. You are also requested to desist from preventing members of the SAPS-CI to cooperate with the Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence as doing that amounts to a criminal offence,” he added.

Jacobs had until Monday submit the information. It was not clear that he had done so this time around.

Dintwe had said he received reports on a Durban company that was irregularly paid close to R1million within a short period of a week for PPE.

The company, whose name was not mentioned, was paid R430 000 on March 24, R450 000 the next day and R75 912 on March 31, bringing the total of payments to R955 912.

The entity was awarded the contracts in contravention with the Public Finance Management Act, which stated that any contract above R500 000 has to be advertised to allow for a competitive bidding process. Dintwe also noted that National Treasury regulations prohibited the deliberate splitting of the procurement process.

Some of the offices at provincial and cluster level rejected the PPE, saying it was substandard. They included KwaZulu-Natal crime intelligence head Thuso Tshika.

Sources said Jacobs, who is said to be an ally of Police Minister Bheki Cele, undermined national commissioner Khehla Sitole, who is the central authority for the procurement of PPE. On Friday, Police Spokes- person Vish Naidoo said: “As indicated in my previous comment to you, National Commissioner is awaiting a report from the OIGI which he has not received yet; until then the SAPS will not be able to comment.”

Naidoo previously said the procurement of PPE was centralised and included participation by deputy national commissioners, divisional commissioners and provincial commissioners.

He had confirmed that Dintwe had informed them of the probe into the procurement of PPE by SAPS-CI.

Dintwe’s office did not respond to written questions.

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