Groenewald: When are we getting a new police commissioner?
President Jacob Zuma ought to create more clarity on when a National Commissioner would be appointed for the South African Police Service.
Leader of the Freedom Front Plus, Piet Groenewald, said President Jacob Zuma ought to create more clarity on when a National Commissioner would be appointed for the South African Police Service.
The term of Riah Phiyega, the former Commissioner, ended this June. She completed her tenure at the helm under a dark cloud, having actually been suspended from her position. So, on South Africa’s opposition benches, there are two concerns.
1- When will the next Commissioner be appointed?
2- Will that appointment be political?
Groenewald’s question comes in the wake of the national crime stats release last month, which indicated that the Department of Police had failed dismally in its efforts to curb South African crime. He said it was blatantly obvious there was no stability in the top structures of the police service.
President Zuma has tried to allay some opposition fears, adding that the wheels of change had already been set in motion.
“The process of recruiting the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service is progressing very well. We are conducting internal processes that will culminate in making the appointment. I intend to appoint the National Commissioner as soon as this process is finalised,” said Zuma.
However, no clarity has actually been created on when that appointment will be made. That is the primary concern on opposition benches – the failure of the President to produce tangible outcomes.
Zuma is not convinced that the police service has failed to protect South Africans though, citing the fact that not all crimes had increased during the past year. He said Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula had actually done a good job during his tenure at the helm of the department.
“On 24 October 2017, the Minister of Police released the crime statistics for the financial year 2016/2017. The statistics show an increase in certain crimes and a decrease in others,” said Zuma.
“We commend the Minister of Police, the leadership and all policemen and women, as well as ordinary members of the public for their ongoing hard work in fighting crime. The responsibility for confronting the scourge of crime and violence, while led by the police, is also a responsibility shared by all South Africans.”