Hawks head, police commissioner to be appointed soon

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
By: 
More Matshediso

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says President Jacob Zuma is nearing the finalisation of the appointment of the National Police Commissioner and the head of the Hawks.

The Minister on Tuesday addressed a media briefing on high-level interventions being made at the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Currently, the acting National Police Commissioner position is held by Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba. The term of the previous National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega ended in June, while she was on suspension with full pay.

Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane, who took over from Phiyega in an acting capacity, was removed from the post by President Zuma in June.

In June, the Supreme Court of Appeal rejected Berning Ntlemeza’s appeal to be reinstated as the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks). Ntlemeza wanted to be reinstated while his application for leave to appeal was considered. Ntlemeza had appealed against the North Gauteng High Court’s decision, which found that his appointment was unlawful. He was declared unfit to hold any public office.

“We are aware of the pending Constitutional Court challenge by Major General Ntlemeza and are duly advised that his matter remains without merit. As such, we hope to be in a position to move the country forward in this regard very soon,” said Minister Mbalula at the briefing at the SAPS headquarters in Tshwane.

Addressing instability, SAPS management

The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Police has expressed concerns over instability and crises in top SAPS management.

The committee has also made various important inputs and directives in terms of members doing business with the organisation, the misallocation of resources, lack of security vetting of certain SMS [senior management service] members and the Auditor General’s findings, among others.

Minister Mbalula said he is working to iron out these problems.

“It is up to me to weed out those members who act in a manner inconsistent with the law and their official duty as officers or those who exhibit traits of intransigency, unlawful insubordination, and lack of discipline of an officer in uniform.”

The Minister said they are reconfiguring the way they work to make the most of the available resources.

Police hard at work

Minister Mbalula said the majority of police have shown bravery and innovation, are dedicated and professional in their conduct and love their community and country.

“I work well with all of these members… There is great work being done.”

Minister Mbalula has approved the promotion of just over 4 800 constables to the rank of sergeant. One hundred sergeants will also be promoted in this process.

“A further 1 000 promotions will be announced in a few weeks’ time,” said the Minister.

Reducing crime

The Police Department now has a 2.4% crime reduction target for this current financial year in a climate of reduced resources and heightened violent criminality.

“We are supposed to be reducing crime by 2% per year up to 2030,” the Minister said.

He said the key objectives for the Police Ministry is that SAPS must remain accountable to elected representatives, not only the Minister of Police but also the Portfolio Committee on Police and the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence. - SAnews.gov.za