Top jobs for Zuma’s cops

2012-03-25 15:30

Johannesburg - Six of President Jacob Zuma VIP bodyguards have been “irregularly” promoted to the top ranks of the police, with two of them jumping six ranks.

The promotions by acting police boss Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi – all to the rank of full colonel – have sent shock waves through the police.

City Press can reveal:

» Two VIP guards jumped six ranks – from sergeant to colonel;

» Two leapt five ranks – from warrant officer to colonel;

» Two jumped three ranks – from captain to colonel; and

» Two more VIP guards were promoted one level up – from lieutenant colonel to full colonel.

Two police sources told City Press the posts were not announced within the unit and no interviews were conducted.

All the guards were promoted in the past month.

According to a well-placed police source, all eight of the promoted members had been assigned to protect Zuma since 2005, when he was fired as deputy president.

This has sparked rumours within the police that the promotions were a reward for loyalty to Zuma – and has caused frustration and unhappiness within the presidential protection unit.

In response to questions, the police did not clarify why the six were suddenly promoted.


Three independent sources have confirmed the promotions.

The promotions would more than triple the salaries of the sergeants, from about R137 000 to R496 000 a year.

An equivalent appointment in the public service would be the appointment of a clerk as a director.

Police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo confirmed “the number of members promoted to the rank of colonel was indeed six, but these members were not all sergeants”.

Naidoo said he was not at liberty to disclose who the officers were protecting “due to security reasons”.

“In view of these members having served several years in the environment of VIP protection, they have the necessary experience and acquired skills that warrant them being promoted.”

But the promotions have apparently deeply divided the presidential protection unit.

A member of the unit said the promotions had infuriated many members, who had been in the service longer and who were better qualified.

Oscar Skommere, general secretary of the South African Police Union, said that the legal power conferred on the commissioner to appoint and redeploy members of the force
was “unfair”.

“Members protecting politicians have told us the politicians will say to the police commissioner, ‘I want so and so to be promoted’.”

Another senior police source said a number of ministers had been asking the commissioner to promote their VIP guards to ensure their loyalty.

'Highly irregular'

Gareth Newham, head of the crime and justice programme at the Institute for Security Studies, said the promotions were “highly irregular”.

“The massive shortcomings and high levels of corruption in the police are all caused by appointments such as these,” he said.

Newham said the promotions represented a dramatic departure from the police’s guidelines, which only allowed for the commissioner to override the policy guidelines in very special circumstances.

The promotions appear to flout the guidelines in the police’s promotion and grade progression policy.

The guidelines state that the promotion from lieutenant to captain, and from major to lieutenant colonel, requires at least “seven years uninterrupted service on each rank, respectively”.

According to guidelines on promotions posted on the police website, “levels and ranks cannot be skipped” and personnel “have to apply and compete with their peers for advertised posts”.


Newham said the officers would now be in the uncomfortable position of having to command officers who were once their seniors.

Major General Mxolisi Dladla, the commander of the presidential protection unit, declined to comment, but denied there was tension within the unit.

“The members here are very happy,” he said.

Mac Maharaj, Zuma’s spokesperson, referred queries to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Zweli Mnisi, Mthethwa’s spokesperson, said “the appointment of any police officer is a departmental function".
"The ministry does not at any point recommend or promote police officers.”

  • btosuffer - 2012-03-25 10:26

    this is is irregularity at its best,there are loyal police members in police stations and specialised unit who are dedicated to the service,who are having more that 15 years in the rank but they are not being considered for "elevation" to the next rank.Dladla is lying to us wen he say members at vip unit are happy,u cnt be happy wet as the system is onli favouring only few puppets in the system.

      Jeeves - 2012-03-25 16:00

      Corrupt corrupt corrupt corrupt! This article made me feel ill.

      Tim - 2012-03-25 16:50

      You see! It pays to be Friends of Zuma :). Please apply for membership here and receive your free promo !!!

      Vince.York - 2012-03-25 17:00

      AND you all think zuma & his crony cabal of thieves are NOT doing exactly the same within Justice, NPA and every other sector as they undermine the Democratic Bastions of SA in their get rich quick scheme of things?

      Benn - 2012-03-25 17:37

      In a country where a goat herder, entrepreneur of note and partner of eminent associate, Shabir Sheik, becomes president over night, I suppose this is possible. But fact of matter for those who can see, who have brains to think, its yet another nail in the coffin for a once civilized country. Very sad.

      Wesley - 2012-03-25 18:11

      I wonder if they can read and write, on the otherhand that is not needed to be the prez

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-26 11:57

      Taken from the same FOZ website...@$%&! I can hardly believe what I'm reading in the South Africa news now, on a daily basis... "We, the people, will ensure that this man of honour, who dedicated his life to liberating us, will finally have the right to defend himself We, the people, from across South Africa, will join hands to stop the abuse of Jacob Zuma’s rights and dignity, and the further desecration of his name We, the people, will not tolerate any further injustice to Jacob Zuma We, the people, will strive to ensure that a fair trial, as guaranteed by the Constitution, will ensue. We, the people, are the Friends of Jacob Zuma " How about ... "We the people are tired of bending down and taking it up the ..." Cry the beloved country...

  • Dennis - 2012-03-25 10:49

    This is classic banana republic behavior !! The worst president .....EVER !!

      infijar.ken - 2012-03-25 17:00

      This is almost as bad as the case of ta cleaner being promoted to Colonel in the Air Force. Sorry Mr Dladla, this promotion by friends in power does absolutely nothing for morale.

  • Patrick - 2012-03-25 11:00

    The media has played a vital role in exposing everything which is bad about this government . After reading a lot about corruption I begin to wonder whether is there anything good which our ANC government ever did or does. I honestly do not think there is hope that things will become better. In apartheid times i was taught to go to school and work very hard in order to get a good job. Now it seems u have to be connected and there is no subject or course being offered for connection. What has this world become?

      Don.Tandy - 2012-03-25 16:15

      Anarchy Nepotism Corruption.

  • msondezi - 2012-03-25 12:01

    This govt has been showing the country the middle finger ever since it got into power in 2009, therefore we really should not be surprised when we read of such acts.

      Brad.Kopping - 2012-03-25 16:34

      dont u mean 2008?

      Irene - 2012-03-25 19:58

      Don't you mean 1994?

  • aramoroka - 2012-03-25 12:14

    this is unfair, you can't promote a police officer from sergeant to full colonel...the law requires at least seven years of service to be promoted to the next rank. some police officers have been in the police industry for more than twenty years but haven't been promoted. this hurts me so bad because my dad is a police officer and works at johannesburg central station and has been a police for thirty one years this year but he is still a warrant officer and he is not the only one, the more police who have been in the police industry for more years than my dad bt also in the same situation, don't you think its unfair?...and as the city press news paper said "the massive shortcomings and high levels of corruption in the police are all caused by appointments such as these." at my side i also say the promotions were really highly irregular and the police minister Nathi Mthethwa should really do something for some police who really deserve these promotions.

  • Bertus - 2012-03-25 12:52

    "IN YOU FACE, SUCKERS!" - Jacob Zuma

  • Aubrey - 2012-03-25 12:55

    Viva ANC and president Zuma viva,i wish you Mr President Zuma and your Organisation to live longer and rule maney maney years or even forever.South africa dont forget that you vote for this corruption, nipotism and capitalism ,this are the results for what you vote for,and Mr Zuma oneday in Witbank said ANC will rule forever, it means people will suffer forever ,so bring those suffering Mr President to the Nation until people see that you are not a good leader,cause when some of us said ANC is run by leaders who are corrupt , we are not considered,so bring more suffering and make them pay even the E Toll in Gauteng for ever,and people don't complain you vote for this suffering.

  • Mhlengi - 2012-03-25 13:53

    ANC has lost it. This is corruption at its best.

  • mmoledis - 2012-03-25 14:10

    This will end up bringing unhappiness to the department of police and if this can not be solved in time then it will end up causing problems with the department, let proper procedures be followed irrespective who is working for who, if one is qualified and knows the job so let he or she be promoted but not in an irregular ways. To me money is not an issue if those police officers can do better than their seniors so let them be promoted to positions equivalent to their tusks and experiences, yes they are right to be promoted to colonels because they are protecting a president of the republic and do not condone lower ranks from constable to sergeant to guard a first countries citizens, because this will be like taking a grade E security officer and make him to protect president, so this is not good so colonels are right to protect president and ministers, then majors and captains be responsible for deputy ministers and director generals while other lower dignitaries be protected by lieutenant to constable, then that will be fine and think can stop all what is happening within presidential VIP unit and VIP unit at large.

  • Luckybuthelezi - 2012-03-25 14:19

    what you did Zuma is unlike you, it is a bad example. It also shows that nepotism will take time to come to an end

      Don.Tandy - 2012-03-25 16:18

      'Unlike you'???? Oh please, I will be more surprised when I read a story that has showerhead doing something honest and decent.

      Irene - 2012-03-25 19:59

      Unlike Zooomer? Oh please, what rock have you crawled out of? Zoomer is pure filth, just like the rest of the ANC.

  • frank.hartry - 2012-03-25 14:24


  • Tshabalala - 2012-03-25 14:25

    If you're living in South Africa, then it shouldn't surprise you - I'd be surprised if these appointments were done having followed the necessary procedures. In ANC's political terms, once one denounces these acts, he's anti-revolutionary or it is seen as an attack to their overly protected President. ANC under Zuma-led presidential tenure, more concerted effort is spent fighting corruption committed by Zum's allies, not sure though as a reward by President himself or taking upon themselves for their unwavering support during the stormy roads towards Union Building. As Gareth Cliff and ANC members often tell you that don't reduce any ANC related discussion to an individual as a topical subject - so it makes perfect sense then to equate relatively, an act of individual to collective act of the party, so in this regard ANC is corrupt.

      Klaus - 2012-03-25 18:05

      They know far to much, to many skeletons, a moral buy out, finish & klaar

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-03-25 15:46

    I am sure this will motivate the SAPS members , well done Mr President . thats how we roll in SA jobs for buddies

  • Ian - 2012-03-25 15:54

    ya so, its the association of national clowns, nothing new here

  • Don.Tandy - 2012-03-25 16:13

    Why do stories like this not surprise me, and why do I wonder why our police services are in such a mess.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-25 16:17

    Why are we suprised...its South Africa, anything can happen miraculously as long as you have an uneducated president who doesnt even how to run the country except being a president...

  • mknnko003 - 2012-03-25 16:26

    This things are always said here but it puzzles me that they end here. We read about them then that`s it! No prosecution by the criminal justice. We demand Action against deviant act!

  • Andrew - 2012-03-25 16:28

    Well maybe Julius has a good point?

  • Luviwe - 2012-03-25 16:28

    Not surprised at all, these are the results of a compromised presidents. Desperate for a secong term, remember Shaik is still waiting for his freedom too. Bills not yet settled in full yet.

  • vmeiring1 - 2012-03-25 16:32

    No wonder the police is so useless.

  • Melanie - 2012-03-25 16:35

    pls pls pls pls...give this country back to govern by a white man! Yerrrr.....these idiots, fools are inhumane. President zille, can't wait 4 u on the throne.safrica is a barbaric republic

  • moruthane - 2012-03-25 16:36

    One reason i don't vote, not that i don't want to but because there is no party thats trustworthy for my liking...

      Irene - 2012-03-25 20:00

      Vote for any party as long as it isn't the ANC. So long as they are in power we're all doomed and that is pretty obvious.

      schalk.mattheys - 2012-03-26 12:08

      Dude, by not voting you may aswell be voting in favour of the ANC...whatever you, but not for the ANC

  • louisdiemasjien - 2012-03-25 16:44

    Only in Africa. You see; promotions make you smarter. By suddenly becoming an officer you grow a brain. I once saw a 10 year old "general" in the DRC. Maybe he was also loyal to Zuma. What a treat!! I am very thankful that our government continues to make SA the laughing stock of the world. Consistency is key...

      Michael - 2012-03-25 17:09

      Louis - ja, it's only right that this promotion thing gets accelerated. All the new "Colonels" should be promoted to Field Marshall in about a weeks time followed with the award of the Victoria Cross, astronaut wings, chicken wings (very spicy)and pigs wings (they've proved own powered flight possible) Here's something else - there was a little chap who was promoted from corporal to chancellor, his name was Adolf and look how well he did!

  • jannie.beirowski - 2012-03-25 16:49

    they have the necessary experience and acquired skills that warrant them being promoted.” Based on my police experience and working closely with several station commanders, I can not see how guarding a politician can give you any experience of real police work. Laying charges, taking statements, handling motor car accidents, controlling crime scenes such as murder, burglarly, family-fights to name but a few are the basic needs required and I am sure they have no experience of the basics. Good luck to the officers who must perform under such ill-equipted supervision.

  • jason.nel3 - 2012-03-25 16:50

    What happens when Accountability is totally missing from the Government? We have a future based on corruption that will continue to rape the tax payer, the tax payer (+- 4million people out of +-50 Million) leaves the country for better quality of life, the the poor & uneducated person will continue to vote for the Accountable's as he/she is promised food & false lies at every speech they attend & so this vicious circle will carry on its way till we as a nation start holding the Accountable's.....accountable!

  • Andrew - 2012-03-25 16:54

    No wonder why we have the most useless corrupt police force in the world. What a demotivation for those hard working and loyal members. Evrything this corrupt ANC touches gets ruined.

  • Elvis - 2012-03-25 16:59

    I applaud Zuma for doing this because your VIP protection personnel have to be loyal to you, or else, you're in danger of many things including assassination. The media is creating a hullabaloo out of nothing. It is setting an agenda to destroy the ANC and the Developmental State so that the poor, the working and middle classes are impoverished forever. Why is the media not reporting about private sector corruption?

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-03-25 18:14

      The VIP guards must be loyal to the country and than automatically to the 1st citizen.(president) Even when chosen another president the same guards must still provide the same services. That is their job and the president's job is to stay in country's rules. As soon as you have a country and or president that break or intended to break those rules you need people more loyal to YOU than to the country. The argument you forwarded is similar to the habits that dictators practice while using the same excuse.

      sandy.langenstrass - 2012-03-25 22:07

      The media don't have to do anything to make the Anc look bad.....The Anc are doing that their poor performance.

  • Tony - 2012-03-25 17:09

    people when a herdsman is voted in to govern a country that is in mayhem and this herdsman tells the police that they have to shoot to kill and the police have private security to protect their stations and the Judges aren't allowed the death sentence as a punishment. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT? Remember this is just the begining.The Bad will be put in places of power and looked up to , and the good will be looked down at and pushed aside and cursed at.can not remember where I read this but it seems that it is coming at a fast rate. have a blessed easter.

  • Klaus - 2012-03-25 17:16

    Mrs Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, an educated Doctor, Physics, political leader of Germany earns Euro 250 000.00 (twohundredandfiftythousend euro) per annum, untainted by corruption, leader of a winning nation — now compare this with JZ and his harem. Something else: It is reported that National Health RSA will receive funds to the tune of 1,5 Billion Rand - from the European Common Market ! The hated whites, as declared by Malema and condoned by JZ Where are the donations from our new friends - Russia / China ?

  • nkulekweni - 2012-03-25 17:30

    This is the norm in government. Exposure...being known by important people is the way to earn a promotion. Working hard, having the experience and studying hard for qualifications is not. An audit of all government departments would reveal shocking facts to the general populace who have no idea of the extent of rot. But the results re: servive delivery speak for themselves. The ANC is not the governmnt of the people it is the government of well connected cadres. People will actually put more effort in attending ANC meetings than in doing the work they are paid for...because doing the work has less reward.

      Steve - 2012-03-25 21:33

      Well said Nkulekweni, Nice to hear a rational and balanced comment without racial or political overtones. Is this not anaother move towards self preservation for the future by surrounding yourself(JZ) with people who are now endebited to you????

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-03-25 17:31

    in order to protect the so called president you have to be a colonel how nice i wonder who is in charge now seeing that we all are colonels hmm hmm i wonder. i am glad that i left and i hope that all this suffering will end some day soon to all my friends thats stuck in a dead end police force ,for your own good and your families leave please its not going to end soon

      Hector - 2012-03-25 21:26


  • Mncedisi - 2012-03-25 17:31

    Well am not suprise, since 2009 what has he done better? South african wake up

  • siphiwe.mbethe - 2012-03-25 17:32

    there has been forever issues of corruption unlawfulness and crime around ANC and all sorts of excuses have been used. I think the ANC came up with good rules and regulations but they just can not put them into practice we as South Africans should consider another political party

  • Scouter - 2012-03-25 17:51

    Delegation must be becoming somewhat problematic within the PPU right now. Not to mention trying to understand the 'Chain of Command' now in place - or not in place more like it. They will all be at each others throats shortly, ehthusiastically vying for the next Presidential favour up for grabs.

  • Gregory - 2012-03-25 17:56

    Zuma you disgust me and all of south Africa , with a total disregard to the citizens you where elected to serve. Freely sticking your hands in the tax Payers pockets taking all the notes and leaving the change. May you rot in hell. You are nothing but a thief. Get out of our parliament.

      Irene - 2012-03-25 20:02

      Well said. Ditto.

  • pws69 - 2012-03-25 18:54

    Loyalty gets rewarded, doing your job properly gets you suspended and charged. Jannie Odendaal and Abel Twala, this story must make your skin crawl. (These two had the temerity to stop Winnie "necklace them" Mandelas driver when he broke the LAW).

  • Hercules du Preez - 2012-03-25 19:14

    As member of the service this is only one of the many nepotism cases, within the service!! I get sick 2 my stomach when I hear of these promotions!! I am frustrated daily about these issues!!!!!! :-(

  • Jon-Paul - 2012-03-25 19:21

    A Constable in the SAPS must wait 9 years to progress to Sergeant and from there on a minimum of 8 years between ranks.It sickens me that many officers who put their lives on the line everyday must watch this and go on with dedicating themselves to the community wth no reward or recognition.The short sightedness of police management must stop!

      drik.hoskin - 2014-10-06 16:03

      I had always thought an officer had to do a Staff Course in order to be promoted past the rank of Major. But then I am a bit old fashioned

  • Simon Mtshwene - 2012-03-25 20:28

    Disgusting, You are the one who is promoting corruption in this country, you are the source it. #Zuma

      Simon Mtshwene - 2012-03-25 20:30

      of it*

  • Kevin - 2012-03-25 20:59

    This is thuggery and in terms of the exams one has to pass these friends do not qualify. Surely this is looking after the thick buddy. There must be some redress in the courts as untrained people carrying this power will make the public unsafe.

  • John - 2012-03-25 21:22

    More corruption from those who no longer care as they consider themselves untouchable. This is what happens when you vote anc. Get out of SA if you can. This country is run by unconvicted cirminals imho.

  • Hadebe - 2012-03-25 22:55

    Zuma you just dissappointed me again, oh! forgot you dont care, ul only care about me when its time for me to vote for you again and you will give me a plastic bag full of groceries to last me another five years. keep doing it zuma gaddaffi did it.

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