Corruption Watch urges new police commissioner to restore integrity to police service

Corruption Watch welcomes appointment of new Police Commissioner.

CORRUPTION Watch says it welcomes the appointment of the new South African Police Service national commissioner, Lt-General Khehla Sithole, with cautious optimism. Lt-General Sithole, who joined the police service in 1986, is the first permanent national commissioner since Riah Phiyega’s suspension in 2015, and he is the first career police officer to be appointed since General George Fivaz stepped down in 2000.

The organisation which has been calling for the new commissioner to be experienced in police service said it was pleased to note General Sithole’s long record of service and vast experience.

“Lt-General Sithole is the sixth national commissioner to be appointed by Zuma. The majority of the previous commissioners lacked both the necessary skills and expertise, resulting in a crisis of leadership that has had a devastating effect on public safety, with murder and aggravated robbery on the rise in the last few years. We contend that a transparent, merit-based recruitment process involving public participation would have allowed both the public and police officials to be better apprised of the abilities and characteristics that the new national commissioner will bring to the job,” said a statement from the organization.

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Earlier this year Corruption Watch and the Institute for Security Studies launched a public awareness campaign calling for a more transparent and inclusive selection process for the appointment of both the national commissioner and the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, also known as the Hawks.

“While media reports suggest that there is no evidence that the new commissioner lacks integrity or skills, there is still concern that President Jacob Zuma did not act on the recommendations of the National Development Plan that calls for a transparent and merit-based recruitment process in the appointment of this critical post.We, however congratulate Lt-General Sithole on his appointment, and urge him to restore integrity to the police service and to take seriously his task of tackling the crime and corruption that is currently crippling our society,” added the statement.

ALSO READ: Corruption Watch calls for transparency in selecting Hawks chief



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