The long overdue suspension of KwaZulu-Natal SA Police Service (SAPS) commissioner Lt-Gen Mmamonnye Ngobeni following ongoing allegations of corruption presents an opportunity to restore integrity to policing services in the province, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday.
“According to media reports, Ulundi cluster commander, Maj-Gen [Bongani] Langa is set to assume the top position. Certainly, there is a lot of work waiting for the new acting commissioner,” DA KwaZulu-Natal MPL Rishigen Viranna said.
The DA in KwaZulu-Natal called on Langa to raise the morale of officers so that they could refocus on their core mandate which was to fight crime and to keep the residents of the province safe.
Langa should also urgently re-establish the KwaZulu-Natal narcotics units – a promise that should now be honoured as communities across the province buckled under this problem, Viranna said.
He also needed to address the shortage of resources so that officers had the right equipment, were well-trained and effective, and prioritise crime intelligence so that it worked again, particularly in light of the rise of community protest action.
“Finally, we call on the acting commissioner to attend KZN community safety portfolio committee meetings and make himself accountable to elected members of the legislature, something his predecessor did not always do,” Viranna said.
With Ngobeni’s suspension, the DA had been fully vindicated after what had been a long battle. While the former commissioner was fighting to hold onto her position the KwaZulu-Natal SAPS suffered a severe lack of leadership resulting in a reduction in both provincial crime fighting and police morale.
The people of the province deserved a fully functional police service – one which demonstrated true leadership from the top and which worked hard to ensure their safety, Viranna said.