Top police post re-advertised after major-general not shortlisted

The position of Western Cape police commissioner has been re-advertised after police minister Bheki Cele asked for a review of the process, says Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz.
The position of Western Cape police commissioner has been re-advertised after police minister Bheki Cele asked for a review of the process, says Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz.
Image: THULI DLAMINI

Western Cape community safety MEC Albert Fritz has condemned what he called "political interference" in restarting the process to select a new provincial police commissioner.

Fritz said the post for provincial commissioner was re-advertised on Monday, and applications for the position would be circulated internally. 

He alleged this followed a "series of complaints from [Western Cape] ANC secretary-general Faez Jacobs, and [deputy provincial commissioner for detectives Maj-Gen] Jeremy Vearey".

Fritz said he condemned the re-advertising of the position "as it points to top-level ANC interference within SAPS and government recruitment processes".

Vearey, also an ANC stalwart, complained to police management on September 20 that he had not made the shortlist. Earlier this month police minister Bheki Cele asked national commissioner Gen Kehla Sitole to "review the process".

The post has been vacant since the removal of Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula on August 1 after a battle between two factions divided police in the province.

Fritz said there was a hint that the "constitution of the selection panel" may also be changed.

"It is alarming that a process which was followed in line with the constitution and related legislation is now being restarted due to a politically aligned candidate not being shortlisted," said Fritz.

"Not only is this a mass violation of the trust in the panel but it is also a breach of the rule of law. I will urgently be seeking advice on the legality of restarting this process, which was done 'to mitigate the risk for [SAPS], should a dispute emanate from filling the post'," he said. 

Fritz said he had called for the selection process to be devoid of "ANC factional and political considerations", which he charged was behind the dire state of policing in the province.

"This is critical given the history of SAPS in this province being destroyed and rendered institutionally moribund because of politicking. I shall do everything in my power to ensure the process of selecting a new provincial commissioner is not held to ransom by ANC internal factional considerations. As to the allegation by the ANC that I intervened in the previous selection process, I dismiss this with the contempt it deserves," he said.

He said the provincial police were mired in allegations of corruption, faced a high crime rate and required "strategic leadership from a competent provincial commissioner who placed the safety of the province above all else".


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X