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Staff Reporter, Adriaan Basson29 Aug 2008 08:49
Thousands of football fans and players visiting South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup could be excused if they take the country’s drunk driving laws with a pinch of salt.
The man tasked with safeguarding the biggest event this country has ever hosted is himself a drunk driver who will be tried for this crime for the third time in February 2009.
The Mail & Guardian has established that Linda Mti, the beleaguered former commissioner of correctional services, has a criminal record after being convicted in 1992 by a Port Elizabeth court for driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless and negligent driving.
Mti was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment or a R400 fine.
At the time he was the ANC’s Eastern Cape chairperson.
Two years later he was appointed a member of Parliament, where he chaired the portfolio committee on safety and security, and in 1996 Cabinet assigned Mti to chair the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee.
In 2001 President Thabo Mbeki appointed Mti head of prisons, a position he vacated early and under a cloud in 2006 after being linked to companies whose multimillion-rand contracts with the department of correctional service form part of a fraud investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.
Mti was subsequently appointed head of security for the 2010 Local Organising Committee, but has since kept a low profile, with police Deputy National Commissioner André Pruis being the face of South Africa’s preparations to present a crime-free football World Cup in two years’ time.
Mti has been arrested at least three times for driving under the influence of alcohol.
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