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New National Police Commissioner not the ‘best candidate’: DA

President Jacob Zuma and newly appointed National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole
President Jacob Zuma and newly appointed National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole

The Democratic Alliance (DA) does not believe the new National Police Commissioner is the “best candidate”‚ but hopes his appointment will bring stability to the police.

President Jacob Zuma announced the appointment of General Khehla John Sitole on Wednesday.

“We are concerned that he is not the best candidate to ‘firewall’ SAPS from political interference and if the President says ‘jump’‚ he will say ‘how high?’‚” DA spokesman on police matters Zakhele Mbhele said.

Zuma said: “His (Sitole) extensive experience in the police service will assist him to execute this critical task of making South Africans and everyone in the country safer and to feel safer. We wish General Sitole all of the best as he assumes his new position at the helm of a very important institution in government and the country‚” Zuma said in a statement.

Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba served as the acting National Commissioner until Sitole’s appointment.

Mbhele said Zuma “sprung this decision on us” instead of following the appointment process in line with the recommendations of the National Development Plan.

The DA said they will submit parliamentary questions to Zuma to discover who the other shortlisted candidates and their qualifications were.

“While we acknowledge that General Sitole is an improvement from his predecessor‚ because he is an experienced and senior career officer‚ we are not convinced that he has the backbone to resist political pressure on the SAPS because it was during his tenure as Divisional Commissioner of Protection and Security Services that the former AU Chairperson‚ Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ was granted use of the Presidential Protection Service without merit or grounds‚” Mbhele said.

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