EASTERN Cape police have been accused of feeding safety and liaison MEC Helen Sauls-August with false muti murder statistics.
During a sitting of the Bhisho legislature in Bizana on Wednesday, Sauls-August told MPLs that records of reported muti murders had increased from two last year to 50 so far in 2013.
This information was also contained in written response submitted on September 30 to DA MPL Bobby Stevenson. Stevenson had asked about the prevalence of such gruesome killings around the province.
When the Daily Dispatch enquired about the drastic increase in muti murders this week, SaulsAugust’s parliamentary liaison officer Arnold Scholtz admitted the legislature was provided with the wrong information.
The number of muti deaths for 2013 actually stood at five and not 50.
Scholtz said police authorities had provided the MEC and later the legislature with “wrong and distorted information”.
He said it was not the MEC’s intention to mislead the legislature, “hence she is up in arms with those who had provided her with such misleading information which reflects badly on her oversight”.
Sauls-August has since approached the provincial police authorities and demanded that the misleading report be rectified.
“Most definitely corrective measures would be taken against those responsible,” said Scholtz.
The Dispatch was unable to get a definition of what the police consider a muti murder.
ANC chief whip Mzoleli Mrara yesterday said the party had advised Sauls-August to investigate the issuing of wrong information and for her to take action and “decisively deal” with officials found to be in the wrong.
Attempts to get comment from legislature speaker Fikile Xasa and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Celiwe Binta proved fruitless yesterday.
Opposition parties were also not impressed, with COPE MPL Nkosinathi Kuluta saying that provincial administration “was very sick”. —