/ 23 October 2007

Manto docket returned to the police

The docket on the theft of Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s medical records was returned to the police on Monday, said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

”It became necessary for us to do so because there are certain areas of investigation which still need to receive attention,” said NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali.

The Cape Town Medi-Clinic brought a complaint of theft after the Sunday Times published a series of articles detailing her alcohol consumption while in the hospital.

”The investigation was carried out by the SA Police Services at the conclusion of which the docket was handed to us for consideration, which happened last week,” said Tlali.

”We have today [Monday] handed the docket back to the police after studying its contents,” he said.

Tlali would not elaborate on the areas requiring further attention.

”I can’t tell you what the areas of investigation are, unfortunately. This is a police investigation, if you want them to say what these areas are, please ask them,” he said.

All he could say was that certain evidence was lacking.

Western Cape police would not confirm the docket had been returned, referring all queries to the NPA.

”Once the SAPS has concluded its work in respect of these areas they will hand the docket back to the prosecuting authorities — to the NPA — for the NPA to look at the docket … once again and make a decision,” said Tlali.

No decision had been made yet, he said.

The paper reported last week the arrest was imminent of its editor Mondli Makhanya and deputy managing editor Jocelyn Maker over the theft of Tshabalala-Msimang’s medical records.

However, Western Cape police commissioner Mzwandile Petros said their names were not even mentioned in the docket.

”No decision to arrest; no decision to prosecute has yet been made,” Tlali said on Monday.

He did not know when the additional investigation would be completed and said the police had not been set a deadline for this.

”We have a relationship of mutual cooperation and responsibility,” he said. ”We [the NPA] are not an instructing agency.” – Sapa