The Portfolio Committee on Police has noted Thursdays’ announcement by President Jacob Zuma appointing Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba as the Acting National Police Commissioner.
Committee Chairperson Mr Francois Beukman said that Lt-Gen Mothiba should ensure that the fight against crime becomes his number one priority. He should also ensure that the leadership of the South African Police Service (SAPS) focuses on their core business of effective and proactive policing. “The new Acting National Commissioner has a huge responsibility to ensure stability in the SAPS. The Portfolio Committee will closely monitor the performance and activities of SAPS in the coming weeks,” Mr Beukman said.
The Committee views this appointment as an interim measure because South Africans are looking forward to the appointment of a full-time Police Commissioner. “In this regard, we want to reiterate our position that the appointment of a full-time police commissioner should be finalised within the next few months.”
The Committee believes that the appointment process for the new National Commissioner should include extensive vetting and due diligence processes to ensure that a fit and proper candidate is selected. This person must be able to bolster trust in the leadership of the SAPS. “The new National Commissioner must be enabled to implement all the recommendations of the National Development Plan to ensure improved policing practises,” Mr Beukman said.
The Committee notes also the announcement by the Minister of Police on the processes relating to the former Acting National Commissioner, Lt-Gen Khomotso Phahlane, and will await the outcome of the said processes. The Committee welcomes the swift and firm response by the Minister of Police in this regard.
During a meeting of the Portfolio Committee in May, serious tensions and allegations emerged as MPs probed allegations of interference by the SAPS in the work of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). In the wake of this meeting, the Committee called on the executive to intervene. “The Minister of Police should be commended for his timely response to the call of the oversight Committee of Parliament to intervene in the matter. We trust that going forward, other challenges in the policing environment will also be dealt with the same vigour and speed,” Mr Beukman said
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Franscois Beukman