New police boss talks tough

2011-10-27 22:44

Johannesburg - Newly-appointed acting national police chief, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, had tough words for criminals on Thursday.

"We will meet fire with fire. If that is not clear to anyone, I challenge you to commit crime," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"I want to take this opportunity to warn the criminals out there that they will not enjoy the Diwali, Christmas, New Year or even Easter in this country."

Mkhwanazi said the police would continue to carry out their duties with excellence in the fight against crime.

"President Jacob Zuma has entrusted myself and the top management with the responsibility to lead the over 200 000 members of the organisation," he said.

"My job is to steer the ship to the direction that has been set."


Mkhwanazi said he understood what police officers expected from their leadership and would not disappoint them.

"I've been a an operational member all my life. As management we would like to assure members of the SA Police Service that the fight against crime will not be compromised."

He said he was not worried about how long he would be in the top police job, as former police chief Bheki Cele had not been fired.

"Even if General Cele were to come back, he will find things functioning. When we divert at some point on the route, it does not mean we have forgotten the destination."

Zuma announced the suspension of Cele on Monday pending the outcome of a high profile investigation into what was said to unlawful police lease agreements.

Mkhwanazi said he was asked to take over in an acting capacity "only a few minutes" before Zuma announced this to the media.


"It was an instruction, not a discussion. I don't know the reasons for my appointment. I am a police officer - commanders get appointed, they do not campaign for posts."

Mkhwanazi said he hoped to bring some improvements.

"I want to add more fuel to police service. I want to increase the speed on what was being done in the police".

Mkhwanazi holds a national diploma and a BA degree in policing.

  • Shadho - 2011-10-27 23:37

    Lt General now??? Thought he was a Major General. Fight fire with Fire?? Operational member all of his Life????... General obviously you have impressed the President and his kabal. No one else at this time. So don't read to much into your promotion and get all high and mighty. For the higher you climb the harder you fall if you mess up. It is the public of the RSA, Thats all Law abiding Citizens. That you answer to. Law abiding citizens DO NOT answer to you or the Police or anyone else for that matter. Not even JZ and the constitution of the RSA provides for this. So General. Seen you are already talking the talk. Have you given up on doing the walk??....For ACTIONS speak louder than any spoken or written word and the Citizens of the RSA are watching and wanting. Enjoy your new position but never forget your humility in life. ^5s

      VOVO247 - 2011-10-28 10:12

      Give the man a chance to prove he's metal. Reading up & looking into it, seems like this guy can back himself pretty well, & is pretty well rated by higher ranking members :)

  • Coltrane - 2011-10-28 00:05

    i have read a bit of the new acting police commisioners profile and i must say that i am imppressed with this young man.i am imppressed by the fact that he is himself a police officer with vast experience in the force and for once without doubt i support him 100%

      morne.deklerk - 2011-10-28 08:18

      SAPS needed and member who has been in the field etc. to lead, that will make a difference!

      jogesig - 2011-10-28 09:33

      "BA degree in policing" "been an operational member all my life." Best General we have had so far

  • Jeeves - 2011-10-28 00:13

    Go General go! Inject some of that high level training into the bureaucracy around you! I think this is great for SA!

  • herman.brummer - 2011-10-28 05:44

    noting will change, just big talk, worthless talk that is. Just another ANC useless carder deployment!

      Katleho - 2011-10-28 09:36

      @herman.brummer: actually, this "useless cadre deployment" is quite educated and has a degree in policing...that makes him a real cop! So how about actually letting the guy do his job first before knocking him?

  • Robbie - 2011-10-28 06:25

    Well done for putting a real policeman in charge.This is good news.

  • Peter - 2011-10-28 06:44

    All good comments, but the problem is in the comment "I challenge you to commit crime". So they commit the crime, ---- which cop is going to do anything about it as it seems that there is corruption in all levels of the Police force in large numbers. So therefor there are so few "good" cops left to deal with these crimes.

  • braamc - 2011-10-28 07:10

    Does this include all the government and criminals in SAPS 2?

  • Mzamo - 2011-10-28 07:20

    "Even if Cele were to come back...." is he gone for real??! I see they replaced fire with fire!! This man is talking about fire already!! I'm glad the fight against crime continues and it seems it is gonna be even worst as this man has vast experience in the Police industry!! Viva Mkhwanazi viva!!

  • dplessis - 2011-10-28 07:35

    He's not saying anything that his predecessors in title did not say / promised and then did not do! In our case history does not evolve, history simply repeats itself over and over again. But let's wait and see and give the man teh benefit of the doubt (hope) at this stage.

  • Bill - 2011-10-28 07:57

    Right, yes Sir! Now how come no mention of combating corruption in the police force and what about ongoing police brutality? And all those police dockets stolen daily? Catching criminals is one thing, Having a sound policing system that will ensure the cases are followed through due process to ensure successful prosecution is another and that is where Cele failed to keep his corrupt officers in check! I just hope you General Mkhwanazi are not just hot air like your predecessor…! But like everything, time will tell!

  • peter.vanachter - 2011-10-28 08:06

    Its good to see that finaly some one with a degree in the job he is in, and being a policeman himself is at the top of this. I would like to support this man and hope to see the back of cele. What wil be interesting to see is, the time frame he puts on implememting some newer policies even though he is acting head.

  • Ina - 2011-10-28 08:15

    I am hoping that with all his qualifications, here at last we have the person who is going to make us proud of our police force, and make us feel the confidence in them that has been lacking. Hoping that once more we will look at our police as people who are there to help, not hinder and intimidate.

  • Mzamo - 2011-10-28 08:34

    "Mkhwanazi holds a national diploma and a BA degree in policing", is that all?? No experience, no other highlights in his career you write about?? It seems as if media always has eager to write about bad sides of the people appointed in these positions. If there was a pending corruption case or some crime he committed before, or something bad he did in the past, it was going to be highlighted! Media must change. I am sure there are other good things they would have highlighted.

      Katleho - 2011-10-28 09:40

      try head of special task force, 2005-2011.

      Ina - 2011-10-28 12:58

      Well,if indeed he holds these qualifications, at least it is better than grade 7. and a fail in wood work!

  • Mandla - 2011-10-28 21:12

    gooday mr new national commissioner.IM ON ATTENTION.we wont rush you but as loyal members of the service we will be supporting you,ofcourse while watching you,u do like the rest:we loose hope in you,we continue being loyal to the service,we bid farewell to you before u know SORRY SIR BUT WHEN AM I GETTING MY PROMOTION?i have the qualifications same as yours but all i have seen is posts being advertised and people from outside taking them and then telling us police are lazy to study.u fix that I WRITE TO THE PRESIDENT AND SAY:HE IS THE RIGHT CANDIDATE.for some odd reasons our careers are just on the slow lane.pliz fix that and see more decrease in crime stats.we are and will stay LOYAL to the service.Amen to the fact that you are a police officer by profession hope you know what the day of the officer at junior level comprises of. about your temporal appointment:i think its the best in many years, something we have been always moaning about:to have one of us as a n/commissioner.

  • Jan - 2012-01-30 12:13

    Good, he better stick to his words and kill these criminals...

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