Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange asked to take early retirement

Gauteng provincial Commissioner Deliwe De Lange.
Gauteng provincial Commissioner Deliwe De Lange.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

Gauteng provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange has been asked to leave her post.

In an interview with the publication‚ De Lange confirmed that national police management had approached her to leave.

Her last day‚ she says‚ is June 29.

A career police officer‚ known as a corruption buster and someone who takes no nonsense‚ De Lange‚ who joined the police in 1983‚ said it was a "sad day".

"I had so much still left to do. There is a lot that one can do in two years‚ which is the time I still had left in my post. I still wanted to do a lot‚ but the national office approached me and asked me to leave."

De Lange declined to say why she had been asked to leave.

"I agreed with police management and they will now look for someone else to occupy the post."

De Lange‚ who addressed her staff on Wednesday about her departure‚ took over from the former acting provincial police commissioner‚ Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba‚ in 2016. Mothiba was appointed after former Gauteng provincial police commissioner Mzwandile Petros' contract expired.

Petros was initially replaced by Lieutenant-General Bethuel Zuma‚ but he was removed hours after his appointment after it was discovered he was facing reckless and negligent driving charges. He was later found not guilty by a Pietermaritzburg court.

De Lange declined to comment on who would replace her. "You need to speak to the national police office about that. The police minister will have to make an announcement on that‚" she said laughing.

She said she would be joining her husband‚ a correctional services department employee‚ who was on pension.

Asked about a golden handshake that she is reportedly receiving for leaving early and its value‚ De Lange laughed.

"Yes I am receiving one. I am taking early retirement."

She said she and her team had done well in rooting out the bad apples from the SAPS‚ helping to boost public confidence in the police and reducing crime.

"The team I had were stars. Dedicated members who‚ like me‚ are married to the service."

De Lange said her wish was that she could still stay on and complete what she had started‚ "and extend my service to the community and the police".

"I am very proud of the work I did to stamp out corruption. If I could I would be here for longer and finish my term. I would ensure that I root out all these corrupt officers in our province who are damaging the image of the SAPS. These are both officers in junior positions as well senior officers.

"It is sad to leave knowing that I didn’t get to finish the job. I believe that I had a lot still to contribute."

SA Police Union president Mpho Kwinika said De Lange had been phenomenal in restoring confidence in the police.

"We are definitely not happy about what has happened‚ and the rumours over who is going to be replacing De Lange."

He said the union wanted to know why she had been asked to take early retirement.

"This is one of the most expensive ways of getting rid of people. She still had two years left in her career. Why give her a golden handshake‚ if she has performed well with no disciplinary steps taken against her‚ and the provincial government executive still have confidence in her.

"There are a lot of questions which need to be answered about this move. The country is losing millions of rands through golden handshakes."

Police spokesman Colonel Athlenda Mathe said: "The status of an employee falls within the employer/employee relationship which is respected by SAPS management. Any relevant announcements will be made by management at an appropriate time."

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