The portfolio committee on police on Friday welcomed the appointment of Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba as the acting national police commissioner, but called on President Jacob Zuma to make a permanent appointment.
“In this regard, we want to reiterate our position that the appointment of a full-time police commissioner should be finalised within the next few months,” chairperson Francois Beukman said.
Beukman called on Mothiba to ensure his number-one priority should be the fight against crime.
“The new acting national commissioner has a huge responsibility to ensure stability in the SAPS. The portfolio committee will closely monitor the performance and activities of SAPS in the coming weeks,” Beukman said.
He said the committee believed the appointment process for a new police commissioner should include extensive vetting and due diligence processes to ensure a fit and proper candidate is selected.
Beukman said the person must be able to bolster trust in the leadership of the SAPS.
“The new national commissioner must be enabled to implement all the recommendations of the National Development Plan to ensure improved policing practices,” Beukman said.
On Thursday, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula announced that former acting national police chief Khomotso Phahlane had been “relieved of his duties”.
“President Jacob Zuma, in exercising his prerogative, has relieved Lieutenant-General Phahlane from his position of acting national police commissioner. We wish to thank the president for his wisdom and decisive action in this regard,” Mbalula told a media briefing in Cape Town.
“There are clearly serious allegations of misconduct on the part of Lieutenant-General Phahlane which also impact on his fitness to hold office as the acting national police commissioner. The allegations against Lieutenant-General Phahlane raise questions of conduct.”