South Africa’s police commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole, told eNCA on Thursday night he believes the SAPS will arrest “all key criminals” involved in the bombings and arson attacks in KwaZulu-Natal by the end of next month.
“By the end of August the country will have stabilised and all key criminals will be in jail,” Sitole said. He said the criminals were “on the back foot” and qualified his statement to say that if the situation had not “stabilised”, then it will at least have “normalised”.
Earlier in the interview, he said he could not go into too much detail about the police’s strategy regarding the spate of bomb and arson attacks in KwaZulu-Natal, as “unconventional methods” were being used to counter this.
The police are also focusing heavily on cash-in-transit heists in a bid to stop the recent scourge of these crimes. Police Minister Bheki Cele has also undertaken to make 100 surprise visits to police stations as part of the 100 years of Mandela.
His comments about the progress of the SAPS stand in contrast to an earlier admission that the police force has not been winning the war on crime.
Speaking to Talk Radio 702 on Thursday, he spoke of his commitment to a “turnaround vision” that would see the SAPS reversing its fortunes when it comes to crime prevention, saying “… since I introduced the new turnaround vision in the police we have now developed a culture of conducting sustainable modus operandi analysis on a daily basis”.
What “sustainable modus operandi analysis” means in practice was not made clear.
Sitole took over the job in November 2017, vowing at the time that he “won’t bow to political pressure”.
“I have no skeletons in my closet,” he told City Press.
His tenure so far, though, has not been without controversy. In May, the Citizen reported that he had been accused of “promoting cops to bloat his private office“, using regulation 45 to promote 16 SAPS members.
In March, The Citizen also reported that senior police management – including the police commissioner – reportedly met with a police supplier late last year to allegedly hatch a plan to defraud Crime Intelligence of funds to be used to buy votes at the ANC’s national elective conference in December at Nasrec, Johannesburg.
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