KZN needs a permanent SAPS Commissioner, not someone who could be gone tomorrow

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr. Rishigen Viranna, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison

 

 

KZN needs a permanent SAPS Commissioner, not someone who could be gone tomorrow

 

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is cautiously optimistic with the surprise appointment of former National Police Commissioner, General Nhlanhla ‘Lucky’ Mkhwanazi as KZN’s new Acting Police Commissioner.

We are satisfied with the fact that General Mkhwanazi is a career policeman and that he comes with a reputation of being highly qualified in police operations, of acting without fear or favour and standing up to political interference. We sincerely hope that this is the same attitude he will bring to the KZN South African Police Service (SAPS) which is bedevilled with allegations of poor service delivery and officer corruption.

His appointment does, however, raise serious concerns around future stability within the province’s police structures. KZN has not had a permanent SAPS Commissioner since 2016 after another acting police commissioner‚ General Bheki Langa took over from former provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mammonye Ngobeni following her suspension in 2016 on allegations of gross corruption.

Certainly, the DA in KZN does not envy the acting Commissioner his new role today.  As with any acting role, it comes with the acquisition of power in theory but not in practice. This is particularly relevant when it comes to holding officers to account. We would have expected that Minister Cele would have finally appointed a permanent Provincial Commissioner.

The DA expects to see General Mkhwanazi prioritise the following in his new role:

  • Tackle all allegations of corruption that have rocked KZN SAPS. This must include the finalising of the disciplinary procedures against former Commissioner Ngobeni, and holding errant officers to account;
  • The formation of a capable, functional and capacitated Crime Intelligence Unit to tackle corruption, rural safety, organised crime and land invasions;
  • Tackle the rising scourge of violent crime in communities that are living in fear;
  • Improve morale amongst ordinary policemen and women through improved working conditions, HR issue, equipment and vehicles and other resource; and
  • Actively rebuild the trust between the SAPS and communities.

KZN needs a strong and committed permanent SAPS Commissioner – someone who is fully invested – not someone who could be removed tomorrow. The DA will no longer tolerate the ad hoc manner in which our police force is being managed.

The DA remains committed to monitoring the new Commissioner’s actions in the interests of the people of our province who can no longer be expected to live in fear.

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