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Hawks veteran named as new Western Cape police commissioner

Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata is the new Western Cape police commissioner.
Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata is the new Western Cape police commissioner.
Image: Alaister Russell

A former acting head of the Hawks, Lt-Gen Yolisa Matakata, has been named as the new Western Cape police commissioner.

Matakata’s appointment was announced on Thursday by police minister Bheki Cele. She will take over in January.

The Western Cape has been without a permanent police commissioner since Lt-Gen Khombinkosi Jula, 55, was transferred to KwaZulu-Natal on August 1.

National commissioner Gen Khehla Sitole said on July 29 that Lt-Gen Sindile Mfazi would be acting commissioner until a replacement was appointed before the end of August.

But Sitole restarted the selection process and public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane launched an investigation after Maj-Gen Jeremy Vearey, the province’s head of detectives, lodged an official complaint when he did not make the shortlist.

In 2017, Matakata temporarily replaced Berning Ntlemeza as head of the Hawks after a high court ruling that he had lied under oath and lacked integrity. She held the position for just over a year until Godfrey Lebeya was appointed in May 2018.

The former Western Cape head of the Hawks then returned to her role as deputy national commissioner of the elite crime-fighting unit.

Earlier in her career, which began when she joined the police in 1995, she spent 15 years working in crime intelligence in the Western Cape, her native province.

Cele also announced the appointment of Lt-Gen Moeketsi Sempe as national head of visible policing; Lt-Gen Baile Motswanyane as Free State commissioner; and Lt-Gen Sello Kwena as North West commissioner.

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