Cape Town - The head of the new Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Anwar Dramat has been praised for the role he has played in crime combating.
Not much is known publicly about the current Deputy Provincial Commissioner of Police in the Western Cape due to his years of work as an intelligence operative.
But today, he received high praise from his colleagues for, among others, being a successful intelligence and underground operative and for his work in curbing taxi violence and drug related gangsterism in the province.
Mr Dramat has worked in the command structures of the SAPS since 1995.
Announcing his appointment, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Commissioner Dramat's special expertise included crime intelligence and underground operative work within the serious and violent crimes environment.
"With backup knowledge in religious extremism, our new head has been at the centre of crime combating since his arrival within the SAPS," said the minister.
Minister of Justice, Jeff Radebe said he had met Commissioner Dramat on Robben Island where they had both spent many years. "He was one of our most successful underground operatives."
Western Cape Provincial Commissioner Mzwandile Petros also described Commissioner Dramat as an "effective intelligence operative".
Commissioner Dramat, he said, was effective during the turbulent post-1995 years in the Western Cape when there was not only religious extremism, but taxi violence and gangs.
"He was also responsible for putting big names behind bars. For one, he was directly responsible for putting [Cape Town crime boss Rashid] Staggie behind bars."
Mr Staggie was convicted for ordering the rape of a teenage police informer and of illegal possession of a gun, although police had wanted to convict him of drug dealing.
The work Commissioner Dramat had done in the province, said Commissioner Petros, had benefited the whole nation.
"That no one knows you has worked well for us in the past when people unwittingly gave you information, but, unfortunately 'bru', those days are gone," he said to Commissioner Dramat.
Speaking after the announcement, Commissioner Dramat said he was deeply humbled and honoured to be assigned the "huge task of leading our forces against organised crime".
"I am deeply thankful to the Minister of Police and his team for the confidence they have demonstrated in me as well as the support they have provided so far."
"[I am committed] to working for all South Africans to ensure that our country finally eradicates the scourge of fraud, corruption and organised crime.
"The war against organized crime has been strengthened; the responsibility lies with all of us to ensure that there's no hiding place for criminals," said Commissioner Dramat, adding that his life had been characterised by a desire to ensure that South Africa was as peaceful as possible.