Police chief defends hand-picking staff

2012-03-13 15:38
Cape Town - Acting national police commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi on Tuesday defended internal, hand-picked appointments in the force, saying the practice may not be fair, but happened worldwide.

"The better thing to do is to choose the person you want... unless you don't have anybody with the qualifications, then you can throw it out there with an advert," he told Parliament's portfolio committee on police.

"So unfortunately, not all the appointments are with panel members that are neutral. You will find the chairperson or any of the [selection] panel members might have interests. There is no instruction that says you must remove yourself from there. If I need somebody to do a specific job in my own office, I'm going to choose that person.

"There is no penalty that comes with it. So it might be a process which is not fair, but I think it is something that is happening throughout the world."

The acting commissioner was being questioned by MPs on allegations of irregular promotions in the police force. His own appointment in October last year, after commissioner Bheki Cele was suspended, raised eyebrows because Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa selected him above more senior staff.

Mkhwanazi was a major-general hastily promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general by Mthethwa. The minister told Parliament he had done this so nobody could question the acting commissioner's authority.

Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  nhlanhla mkhwanazi  |  nathi mthethwa

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