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WRAP | Police ministry 'optimistic' after Fannie Masemola named national commissioner

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31 Mar 2022

The Ministry of Police has received the announcement of the appointment of Lieutenant General Sehlahle Fannie Masemola as the country’s new National Commissioner, with much enthusiasm and optimism.

A statement said: 

The Ministry is hopeful this appointment, which marks a new chapter in the life of the South African Police Service, will further strengthen the existing efforts within the police service to safeguard South Africans and all those who live within our boarders along with their property.

Police Minister, General Bheki Cele together with his Deputy, Cassel Mathale have congratulated the incoming National Commissioner who will lead the men and women in blue from the start of April.

“We must commend President Ramaphosa for acting with agility in making the appointment and not allowing a vacuum to exist in this office, which is critical in the leadership and the mobilisation of all personnel and resources responsible for the safety and security of our country.”

No stranger to the functioning of the SAPS both on an administrative and operational level, the Police Ministry is confident Lt General Masemola, who served as the Deputy National Commissioner responsible for Policing since April 2016, will hit the ground running in pursuing the overall vision of the organisation and take it to new heights.

“The Ministry will continue to lend support to the office of the National Commissioner, as it charts the course of action which we are sure will build on the restoration of the morale and unity within the organisation.

We are optimistic that this shift in the SAPS top management, will not derail the efforts in place to build on an efficient and trustworthy police service that is accessible to all our people and is unapologetic about preventing, combating and investigating crime; maintain public order and uphold and enforce the law," Cele concluded.

31 Mar 2022

Reaction is streaming in after Masemola's appointment

GOOD said in a statement: "We welcome the appointment of General Fannie Masemola as the National Police Commissioner.

"By all accounts General Masemola is an experienced professional police officer who has served in the ranks in various leadership and management capacities – at both provincial and national level.

"Our fight against crime requires stable and competent police leadership and we trust that the new National Police Commissioner has the capacity to bring that.

"Building a credible police service that is responsive and trusted by communities across our country is a mammoth task.

"We congratulate General Fannie Masemola on his appointment and we wish him well in the task ahead."

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | I There are already potential problems with the appointment of General Masemola. A source told me this afternoon that Masemola is very close to police minister Bheki Cele.

Cele is known for interfering with the day-to-day running of the police. Ramaphosa evicted Khehla Sitole out of office because of his public fallout with Cele. General Masemola is quite experienced, but will he be able to tell Cele to not to interfere? It remains to be seen.

- Sipho Masondo

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | Masemola is a career policeman who bounced around the ranks for years. What is important here is his age. He is on the cusp of retirement age. Is this simply a place-holder appointment. In terms of stability of leadership, if he bows out in less than two years, what does that do for the direction of the police?

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa is done speaking

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says Masemola has a great weight on his shoulders, but he is capable. He calls on South Africans to show support to the SAPS. 

"In the conversations I've had with Masemola he has assured me that he is up to the task, and he is determined to serve the people of South Africa. I am certain he will do us proud."

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | Important that the president acknowledges the need to rebuild trust, which is at an all-time low. Worth nothing, however, that a closed process announced only after it was complete does nothing in aid of this.

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says, after this, the government will make appointments in other key areas in law enforcement. 

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says Masemola served the country, most recently, in the country's security response to Covid-19 and lockdown. He says "a stable, capable police service is our shortest guarantee that our national rights won't be violated by criminals."

31 Mar 2022

BREAKING | Lieutenant-General Fannie Masemola announced the new commissioner of police 

Ramaphosa has announced General Fanie Masemola is the new Police Commissioner. 

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa thanks the selection panel for their work, and welcomes their recommendations. 

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says the selection panel was guided by the "decisive role" the police has in nation-building and entrenching the rule of law. The panel also emphasised the importance of bringing the police service to communities. 

31 Mar 2022

He says 24 possible candidates were invited to apply, but only five were interviewed. The interviews were structured around financial management, programme management, community confidence level, change management, problem solving and integrity.

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa names several members who were part of the panel to appoint the new commissioner. It includes Police Minister Bheki Cele. 

31 Mar 2022

He says the national commissioner is equivalent to a director-general.

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says Khehla Sitole's term ends today after his contract was terminated. He thanks Sitole for years of service. 

"I initiated a process for the appointment of a new commissioner of police," he says. 

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa: this is an effort where we join hands with different sectors of society and stability in the JCPS cluster is a key prerequisite for fighting crime.

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says the SAPS is in the process of hiring 12 000 police constables, who will begin training tomorrow. 

31 Mar 2022

He says the country has, in the past weeks, reinforced law enforcement with several key appointments. A new head of the Investigating Directorate, Andrea Johnson is one of them.

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa says the government will take a more inclusive approach and will bring in CPFs to see assess the country's response to crime. 

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa has begun his briefing...

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | The announcement also signifies something of an about-turn by President Ramaphosa. In Parliament, earlier this month, he was adamant that a top cop would emerge from a competitive process underpinned by the National Development Plan.

Beyond this, he held that an appointment would come after a process similar to that which was used to appoint Shamila Batohi as NPA head. In that 2018 process, a panel selected a shortlist and there were public interviews. Now, however, the country will be presented with a candidate selected in a process far from scrutiny.

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | The President’s announcement of a replacement for Khehla Sitole confirms our reportage from earlier in the week that a panel he assembled conducted interviews of select candidates. This is much to the chagrin of civil society bodies who had called for a transparent process and public interviews. Instead, it would appear that all of this has happened behind closed doors.

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

COMMENT | Whoever is appointed as the new top cop will inherit a disillusioned police service addled by years of corruption and mismanagement.  They will also have to contend with Police Minister Bheki Cele who regularly involves himself in day-to-day operations and will be a difficult principal to satisfy.

They will enter the fray at a critical time. Public confidence in the SAPS has been battered after the July unrest and there is a need for decisive leadership. This will be a crucible.

- Jeff Wicks

31 Mar 2022

Ramaphosa to announce new police commissioner 

President Cyril Ramaphosa will announce the country's new police commissioner at 16:30. 

The former commissioner, Khehla Sitole, had his contract terminated in February. Today is his last day. 

Sitole's reign was characterised by controversy, with News24 reporting extensively about the probe 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.

Questions were also asked over the police's response to last year's devastating unrest. 

News24 reported this week on the five candidates who are in the running

This week, we also took readers behind the scenes into the commissioners' interviews.

Follow the announcement live on News24.
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