New SA top cop appointed

Thursday, November 23, 2017

President Jacob Zuma has appointed General Khehla John Sitole as the new SAPS National Commissioner, the Presidency said on Wednesday.

Sithole will replace the acting commissioner Lesetja Mothiba with immediate effect. Mothiba was acting after Khomotso Phahlane was suspended in June to allow the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to conclude its fraud and corruption investigation.

The police were without a permanent National Commissioner since Riah Phiyega was suspended in October 2015.

Born in Standerton in Mpumalanga province, General Sitole, who was Protection and Security Services Divisional Commissioner before his appointment, brings a wealth of operational as well as management experience to the South African Police Service.

He is a career officer, having joined the police in 1986 as a student constable. His dedication saw him working his way through the ranks to be a Lieutenant-Colonel in 1995, a Director in the police service in 1996 and served as Assistant Police Commissioner in three provinces from 2000 until 2010.

He was appointed as the Free State Provincial Commissioner in 2011 and then Deputy National Commissioner for Policing in 2013.

He moved to the post of Divisional Commissioner Responsible for Protection and Security Services last year.

President Zuma has congratulated General Sitole on his appointment and wished him well in his responsibility of leading the fight against crime in the country.

“His extensive experience in the police service will assist him to execute this critical task of making South Africans and everyone in the country safer and to feel safer. We wish General Sitole all of the best as he assumes his new position at the helm of a very important institution in government and the country,” said President Zuma who extended his gratitude and appreciation to Mothiba for acting in the position.

Meanwhile, the Portfolio Committee of Police has also welcomed the appointment, saying it is a positive step in ensuring stability and clear leadership of South African Police Service which will add impetus to the fight against crime.

Of importance, the committee said it welcomed the appointment of a career policeman with extensive experience, which it said it was necessary to improve cohesion and morale necessary for the fight against crime.

“The committee has for a while called for the appointment of a competent accounting officer with the energy, strategic vision and innovation plans to fight crime and corruption,” said committee chairperson Francois Beukman.

Beukman said General Sitole has the necessary technical and policing expertise to take the police forward.

“The committee is of the view that it is of vital importance that General Sitole ensures that all recommendations of the NDP in relations to policing are fully implemented as a matter urgency.”      
The portfolio committee urged the management team and all SAPS Officers to support General Sitole in ensuring that all within the borders of the country are and feel safe.

Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula has congratulated General Sithole who he will introduce to the media later today in a media briefing to be held in Pretoria. – SAnews.gov.za

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