Fannie Masemola named new national police commissioner

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  • General Fannie Masemola is the new national police commissioner.  
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his appointment on Thursday afternoon.
  • He said Masemola brings an "outstanding record of achievements". 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed General Fannie Masemola as the new police commissioner.

The president announced Masemola's appointment during an address on Thursday afternoon. 

News24 had this week reported on the five candidates in the running for the job.

Ramaphosa said Masemola had been a deputy police commissioner with an "outstanding record of achievements in policing across South Africa".

This included helping with the de-escalation of violence in KwaZulu-Natal after the first democratic elections in 1994. He said Masemola brought to the position his experience in drastically reducing cash-in-transit crimes in the period around 2016. 

He added that Masemola played a leading role in coordinating security for all elections since and including 1994.

He also led the securing of major national and international events in the country, including United Nations Summits, Climate Conferences, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"Most recently, General Masemola served the nation as chairperson of the Natjoints on Covid-19, which coordinated government's efforts across different sectors nationally and internationally to keep all of us safe.

Fanie Masemola
Cyril Ramaphosa with Fanie Masemola.

"The weight of the nation's expectation resting on the commissioner's shoulders will be matched only by the weight of the support government will place at the disposal of the commissioner.

READ | The issues that led to Ramaphosa announcing the early termination of Khehla Sitole's contract

"A stable, capable and capacitated South African Police Service is our surest guarantee that our constitutional rights will not be violated by criminals."

Ramaphosa said further steps would be taken to restore stability to all security structures, including filling critical vacancies in the State Security Agency and Crime Intelligence.

Ramaphosa assured Masemola that he had the "full support and backing" of Cabinet and the government.

"I want to call on the leadership as well as the rank and file of the South African Police Service to pledge their support to you as well. You have the weight of the nation's expectations resting on your shoulders, but I am confident you are more than up to this task and responsibility."

The former commissioner, Khehla Sitole, had his contract terminated in February. Today [Thursday] marks his last day.

Sitole's reign was characterised by controversy, with News24 reporting extensively about the investigation into an aborted attempt by police to splurge R45 million on a spying device, known as a "grabber", on the eve of the ANC's 2017 Nasrec elective conference. 

His axing comes after calls for Ramaphosa to fire both Sitole and Police Minister Bheki Cele for engaging in bitter, public spats.

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