Top detective Piet Byleveld was called to police head office in Pretoria yesterday to be surprised with a promotion to the rank of director.
"For once Byleveld did not have a clue about what was to happen when he was called under the guise of briefing top management on recent serial killings.
"He was taken by surprise," police spokesman Director Sally de Beer said.
Byleveld will assume his new position from next month.
"Piet Byleveld has rendered exceptional service to the South African Police Service (SAPS) and in turn top management, fully supported by the Minister of Safety and Security, decided to take the exceptional step of appointing him to serve at a higher level," De Beer said.
In response Byleveld said: "I am an ordinary policeman and an ordinary detective. I have always been proud to be a member of the SAPS and I am honoured to have been appointed director."
Byleveld is renowned for his excellent detective work which includes the investigations that led to the successful convictions of the Nasrec serial killer, the Wemmerpan serial killer, the Bruma Lake murderers, and the conviction of Donovan Moodley in the murder case of Leigh Matthews, a student. - Sapa